In just two days I couldn't help but fly through the 7th and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I've surprised even myself by finishing the series WELL before November 19th, when the first part of the final movie comes out in theaters, and am hoping that I've now made a habit of making progress in my reading and I've already jumped back into Wheel of Time book 4, The Shadow Rising, and hope to finish it very soon. It's funny, because I was hoping to finish it by the end of LAST year, but we'll see how it goes now.
The change for me has been incredible, because I absolutely hated the first 2-3 Harry Potter movies because of the seemingly inane plot twists and, to be frank, ridiculousness of some of the things presented in the movie. It wasn't until Goblet of Fire that I started to enjoy the movies, and then with Order of the Phoenix I began to see the wider world behind it all and became a fan. I believe it was around that time that I finally read the first book, and enjoyed it but also didn't really desire to progress through the others at the time.
I was content to see the movies without reading the books, and I can now tell anyone who expresses the same opinion to me that this is absolutely NOT the way to go. I enjoy the movies so much more now that I've read the books, there are tons of little things thrown in that you simply don't notice or that literally make no sense at all unless you've read the book. The climax moments in Prisoner of Azkaban were confusing and didn't come over well just watching the movie, but once you've read the book and know the story behind it all the characters are nothing short of impressive and quite moving. So if you're one of those people who is watching the movies without reading the books, I can't tell you enough: Read the books as soon as you can!
It took me roughly 70 days to read all of the Harry Potter books from start to finish, and though I was going for a 41 pages/day pace I ended up at a healthy 58 pages/day. This was far from consistent throughout the 2.5 months, because I didn't read at all during GenCon and then read the entire last book in the course of two days, but it's a good average pace for sure!
I finished the book around 2am last night because I just could not put it down, and was very interested in the general feeling of loss that came both as I went to sleep last night and this morning. I mean loss in the sense that reading these books has been something I've simply been doing for the last 2.5 months, and now that thing is complete. I'll move onto reading other books for sure, but there simply won't ever be another time that I'll be reading the Harry Potter series for the first time.
This just looks nice: