I took a long round-trip road trip from Boston to Houston during Christmas break of 2001. I flew to Boston from Denver to spend my vacation in the northeast, but our goal was to attend the New Year’s Eve celebration at Times Square. This trip, however, marked another occasion.

One evening, as we were sitting around with nothing to do, I decided that I wanted to stop being bored. Russell was watching Friends and I needed to find something else to keep me busy. We were downstairs where there was a library of all kinds of books, enough to keep me busy for months and probably years. There was one set of books that caught my attention.

By that time, I had heard about this book through others or from the media. It was obvious this was a children’s book about wizardry and similar fantasy stories, but it must appeal to all ages if her parents owned hard back copies of the book. So picking between reading a book and watching TV, I picked reading a book. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I only had time to read a chapter or two, but it was enough make me want more.

Our trip continued on to America Jr. where we stayed with a friend in Toronto. And it was there that I once again made it to another bookstore. The Canadian equivalent of Barnes and Nobles is called Chapters, and my first and only destination was to find Harry Potter. This time, however, the book was titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I liked that title better than the Americanized version.

I reread the first couple of chapters and continued on a few more. It was then that I was hooked. If I was in elementary school, I would have loved to be Harry Potter and would be that kid waiting in line for the next new book. So I bought the British version of the book.

Upon my trip home to Denver, I knew that the new Harry Potter movie out in the theatres so I spent a lot of time with my book, determined to read the whole thing before I went to see the movie. That was probably the first movie I had ever preceded with the book version but it was worth it. So, in order to see the next movies that came out, I made sure to repeat the same process.

This summer is a huge summer for Harry Potter fans. I am a few years out of having finished book four and have been too busy to read book five. My main problem with being so behind was that I had been spoiled with reading the first four books in British English. I’ve held out ever since, occasionally looking for a good deal or package that I could order for the next few books to be in the British English but got busy and/or lazy about seeking it out.

Now, I’m way behind. The 5th movie is out, the final book is out, and I’m nowhere near finished. I think I’m going to bite my tongue, sit myself down in the local bookstore and finish up the series this week or next. I owe it to myself to finish out the story of Harry Potter that I grew to love and then I can join in the discussion of so many local friends who love this book more than I do.

I guess I just kinda feel left out.