Accio book!

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Harry Potter contest, Midtown Tulsa Barnes & Noble I'm live blogging from the 41st and Yale Barnes and Noble, where about an hour ago my son won first place in the Harry Potter costume contest, entitling him to be one of the first seven in line to buy a book when the clock strikes twelve. He was up against some tough competition. It didn't hurt that he had been Harry Potter for Halloween, so we already had the robes and the glasses, and he and his mom had a pretty good idea of what was involved in dying his hair.

Harry Potter and DumbledoreAll of us were here for the first three hours of the party. My wife took the little ones home after the contest. There are a lot of people here, but not so many that you couldn't move around. I spent most of my time keeping the toddler entertained in his stroller, trying to keep him arms' length from all the books. We looked at a beautiful new book of historic Tulsa photos, including many from downtown's heyday. (There's a picture of a tree-shaded art deco cafe that once stood between 14th and 15th on Boston; wish I could just step into that photo.) The toddler was worried when I put on a set of headphones in the music department, but enjoyed taking all the "Cars" DVDs off the shelf as he made his "b-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-m" car sound.

While we roamed the aisles, the big kids had their picture taken with the advertising board for the book, listened to a classical ensemble play movie themes, watched a magic show, and listened to a bit of the live feed from the B&N on New York's Union Square, where the narrator of the audio books was giving a reading.

J. as Harry PotterWhen the toddler and I grew weary of steering between shelves and people, we strollered down to Reasor's -- I bought him a banana and some cookies and got myself a Coke Zero.

When I told a co-worker how we'd be spending our evening, she told me that she was allergic to hype. Normally, I am, too. But it's fun to be part of a kind of mass event, in this day of hundreds of TV channels and millions of websites.

And as mass events go, this one isn't bad. It marks the end of an excellent series of children's fiction, and there's been a minimum of standing in line.

Of course, it helps when your son is a powerful wizard.

UPDATE: They had the seven winners line up at the registers about 5 minutes before the boxes could be opened. We watched them open the first boxes, and my son got his book right at 12:01. I threw in a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. We paid, left triumphant, and headed to Shades of Brown for something to drink. I read the first couple of chapters to my son there. (We read the first book together, before he zoomed ahead of me and worked through the remaining books in short order.)

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As exciting as it was to see our 10-year-old win the Harry Potter costume contest last Friday night (thanks, Dawn -- we think so, too), we were even more excited and proud about something he accomplished earlier this month. Right before Independence Da... Read More

3 Comments

Paul Tay said:

Oh ratz. I forgot all about this whiz bang. Played bodyguard last night for Santa, while he entertained drunks on Brookside.

Shadow6 said:

The hype of the event is of course not the big deal here. What is most important is that your son will always remember that Dad took him to get the last Harry Potter book at midnight, he won the costume contest, and then you guys went to a coffee shop to read the first two chapters, and he stayed up real late with you.

Time well spent, Michael.

Don said:

Ditto what Shadow6 said. What a great memory for your son. Must remember to be interested in my sons' interests.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 20, 2007 11:27 PM.

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