Pique n' your interest 

Harry’s not just a passing fad

Tommy Africa’s, Maxx Fish and Moe Joe’s couldn’t compete with the line up outside Armchair Books this weekend.

Instead of drunken guys demanding to get into a bar without paying cover because they’re "a local", this line up was a touch more civilized. They were also a little more excitable than your usual Friday night queue outside a Whistler bar.

But it wasn’t the size of the line up or the midnight party with free cake and juice that was the most incredible thing this night.

Rather, it was the fact that all these people, young and old, were crazy with anticipation about...a book of all things. An 800-page book for that matter!

And I thought reading was dead.

At long last the fifth book in the Harry Potter series had arrived.

And though she can be praised for her unparalleled imagination, the faith in her idea and her real life rags to riches fairytale story, perhaps J.K. Rowling’s greatest accomplishment is getting people reading again.

It’s a fast-paced world these days and it isn’t often that people take the time to sit down with a book and let their imagination take flight.

Too many distractions. Too much TV. Too many video/computer games.

Who cares about good old-fashioned reading?

Apparently a lot of people care if Friday night was anything to go by.

I didn’t realize how much of an effect Harry Potter had in the world of literature until I heard the loud desperate countdown to midnight — 20, 19, 18, 17 – signaling the release of ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.’

Standing in the line on Friday night I had a flashback of myself at 8 years old, feeling that same excitement, that feeling when you just can’t contain yourself any longer, on the verge of bursting apart at any given moment. It’s the December 24 feeling, wondering if you’re ever going to make it through the long night.

I devoured Nancy Drew, the Famous Five, the Secret Seven when I was 8 years old but there was no book that could seize an audience and create the buying frenzy that Rowling has created.

Back then, for hundreds of thousands of little girls like me, it was all about Cabbage Patch Kids.

The lineups were just as long back then. Parents were getting into fistfights in their efforts to secure what some could see as a very ugly stuffed doll. There was a mass hysteria around these dolls.

I got my first Cabbage Patch kid quite by accident on a visit to my relatives in Kingston.


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