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Arts and Entertainment

Postponing Potter

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We here at Laist are not too proud to enjoy the simpler pleasures in life – ice cream, sunshine, Elimidate, and the latest installment of Harry Potter. We’re not even ashamed to say that we’ve had our copy reserved for six months, and have been pleasantly anticipating it every step of the way. We resisted picking it up at the midnight Potter party, deciding that discretion was the better part of wallowing in young adult literature. We waited till the next morning, then checked in at our local megastore. But, due to a strange sequence of events, we’ve decided to do the unthinkable – yes, to postpone reading the book.

When we got to the store, a cartload of Potter hardbacks was stashed behind the information desk looking like Christmas morning, with a steely-eyed guardian at the helm. She checked our name in a fifty-page list of reserved copies, then handed us the book with a knowing sneer. (We didn't care.) Then, as we held our perfect hardback in the checkout line, it suddenly dawned on us that we could get a lot done - a lot done - if we held the book out a little longer as the carrot on the end of the stick. Since psychological manipulation is the only way to make ourselves productive, we jumped at the chance. Harry Potter is still sitting on our floor, still in its plastic bag, the spine not even cracked.

We have now been in possession of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince for forty-eight hours, and have resisted reading it, despite our mother calling us from Massachussetts to leave two messages ("I'm in the middle of Harry Potter. It's great!" and then, "I finished Harry Potter. It's great!" And we've done laundry, dishes, gone to the grocery store, and even started (but not finished) organizing our desk. The thought of Potter waiting at the end of this week is enough to make us work like we're under an enchantment.

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If the best things in life are worth waiting for, this one is worth waiting for a little longer. Sometimes drastic measures are necessary to motivate ourselves. And we're already looking forward to next Saturday, when we will disconnect all the phones, unplug the computer, dim the blinds, and read - when a sweltering Los Angeles July becomes some place very British and very cold.

Do you have a ritual of perfect postponement associated with a book you love? Do you wait till the next day, then the next, to read that last page? We'd like to hear from you if you enjoy putting off things you enjoy, or if you have to go to drastic lengths to make yourself vacuum the carpet. LAIST will publish the most twisted and sadistic narratives of literature postponement we receive. But don't try to get in contact with us on Saturday, OK? We've got other plans.