Took the older kids to see Order of the Phoenix last night. The movies always let me down to a certain extent. Few of the actors carry the roles as well as I hope, and there just isn't time in a commercial feature to give proper attention to the details that make the books worth reading. But that's just me nitpicking. The books are still perceived, I think, primarily as children's literature. The movies are made to keep children's attention. They mostly underestimate the audience.

Regarding the books, my wife scored tickets to the local library's release party for Book 7. I think everyone there got a copy of the book to take home for an unheard of 4 week loan on a new book. I brought the older two, who've been reading them with me for about four years now. (They go back and reread them independently after we've finished each book together. I think our daughter has read the first book a half dozen times.) It was a good time, and the library did a great job building up the mood.

I came down with strep the weekend the book came out, though, and took several days off after the second chapter. Then we had a cousin visiting for several days, so I haven't gotten the book out again yet. I know from history that limiting our reading of a 700-page book to nights when we don't have any other family obligations tends to make it drag on and on. There's no way we'll be finishing that book before it's due. Probably lucky if it's done by Christmas. But yes, I know who dies and who Dumbledore was right to trust. I had to know, and on my own terms, so I went looking for it rather than endure months of having to walk out of the room whenever it came up, only to have it spoiled by someone in the week before I was to finish the book. For the sake of those of you who may still be holding out, I'll respect your choice, and I ask that any readers do the same.