strange_complex: (Snape laughing)
Well, I have read The Half-Blood Prince now. I didn't actually think I'd be able to by the end of Saturday, being a verrrryy sllooooooww reader (basically I read at speaking pace). But I read for four hours when I first got home, and then all day once I woke up again at 1pm, so I've managed it.

Waiting in the queue for it was definitely worth doing. The time seemed to pass so quickly: even though I know we were there for over an hour, it felt more like about 15 minutes. We all gave way to our inner children, and spent a lot of time bashing each other over the head with the snot-green balloons which the WHSmith staff came out and gave us. We also got sweets, pencils and Panini stickers - my best trophy was a Ravenclaw house badge sticker, which [livejournal.com profile] davesangel very kindly gave me. 30 seconds before midnight, the WHSmith staff led us on a shouted count-down, and finally we all rushed forth to the tills, waving our pre-order receipts and our money.

Me being me, I turned straight to the back of the book at the earliest possible opportunity, and did a lot of gaping, boggling and "bloody hell"ing as I rapidly established the identity of the character who would die, the character who would kill them and the Half-Blood Prince. The first two certainly shouldn't have been a surprise, as I'd seen both stated in what actually turned out to have been remarkably accurate online spoilers earlier that day. But the power of having it all confirmed at last by JKR herself was nonetheless quite sensational. (Although I did spend a minute or two going through a phase of thinking "But this is so shocking and such a big thing for the characters concerned, have I actually been sold a fake copy made up by internet trolls, just to see if we all fall for it?")

Now I've read it properly, I of course have lots and lots of thoughts, questions and responses about it... However, I'm also horribly aware that I only have four days left until my Reading interview, and will be spending half of one of them travelling to England. So I am sitting in my office right now, about to do some more work on my presentation, and while I may be able to post full responses before I go to Reading, the odds are it'll actually have to wait until next weekend. Pity, because there's so much to say, but we have a good couple of years to chew it over until the next book comes out after all, whereas I don't have two years to get my presentation sorted!
strange_complex: (Snape by JKR)
It's very exciting to go to Mugglenet right now and see their counter to The Half-Blood Prince enumerating the remaining time in terms of a few hours! I was perfectly sanguine about it all when I woke up this morning, and genuinely spent the day thinking more about Timgad than Hogwarts - but that's entirely out of the window now! :)

In an hour, I shall be setting off for town to queue up in front of WHSmiths, armed with chocolate biscuits, cakes and of course my precious pre-order receipt (and [livejournal.com profile] davesangel's!). My plan once I've got the book is to return home, make coffee and spend until at least 4am getting a sense of its overall plot and shape: much as Oscar Wilde used to do. Once I wake up again, I'll then continue learning more about the major plot details and developments over the course of Saturday, but also allow a bit more time for reading interesting-looking passages in a linear fashion.

The reason for this approach is two-fold. One, it will mean that by the time I go to sleep I'll already be essentially immune to spoilers, and will be able to start taking part in online discussions of the book almost straight away. But two, after the end of Saturday, I'm really going to have to all-but-drop-it again in order to concentrate on preparing for my Reading interview. Saturday is Harry-day, but I can't really let myself remain wrapped up in it any longer than that, and so I need to get as much as out of the book as possible during that time. Slow, linear reading can then be enjoyed at my leisure once I'm done at Reading.

Naturally, I faithfully promise assiduous use of lj-cuts and spoiler warnings in my LJ once I'm ready to start chewing over it myself - you lot know me better than to think I'd blow it for you, right?

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