The Harry Potter All-nighter
The night Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows was released I stayed up ’til 5 am reading feverishly. Like a vampire, my time would be up come morning. I was going to have to hand it over to my son, who waiting eagerly for me to pick him up at sleep-away camp. (It never occurred to me to buy two copies. I’d like to say it’s because of how deeply I believe in sharing, but it has more to do with my Puritan horror of excess and lack of discipline. What–buy TWO books, just because I can’t for my turn?)
Is there another all-nighter in my future? The New York Times most senior book reviewer, the august Michiko Kakutani, is calling Cursed Child “a compelling, stay-up-all-night read.”
Now I’m not a rabid follower of Michiko or anything. I respect her. She’s not a gusher. She seems more inclined to hate something than love it. For Michiko to say a work is “compelling,” is astonishing enough. If she’d said it was compelling and stopped there, I’d go ahead with my plan to buy the book (script, rather) today.
But she’s saying it’s so incredible, I’m gonna be up all night reading it. And because she’s baldly saying this–could it be the first time Michiko’s ever called a book a stay-up-all-nighter?–I believe it. I feel the truth of it. On the one hand, I’m thrilled, as every Harry Potter fan has to be, that the script is so gripping. But man oh man–do I want to be up all night tonight? I’m nine years older than I was when Deathly Hallows came out. Do I have the stamina? Do I even have the will? (She whines. I know, nine years older and whinier.) I know if I buy it, I won’t have a choice. I’ll be up all night. Unless I ran out and bought it right now. Then I’d have to forgo the writing and research I was going to do this afternoon. I don’t have quite as much Puritan self-discipline as I like to give myself credit for.
I should wait for the weekend. Yes. Buy it Friday. If I stay up all night Friday, I can sleep in Saturday. Perfect.
Do I really have to wait ’til Friday, though?
Yes. I do. It’s not as if I don’t have anything to read. I’m going to finish Ian McEwan’s The Children Act (it’s absorbing enough). I’m not going to the bookstore.
Good. I’ve decided. A good decision. Right.