Looking back

I've personally been dreading tonight for a good part of the week now. As a bookstore employee, I've been preoccupied for a very long time with the upcoming release of the seventh and last Harry Potter novel, which will be released tomorrow, if you're not willing to go online and search for the scans of the pages that have hit the internet. I've been dreading it for a number of reasons, the main one being the sheer amount of people that'll be coming into our store. Customers have become an irritation of mine for a while now. Whoever said: The customer is always right was probably just some pompus jackass who was annoyed that someone wasn't waiting on him. (It actually probably wasn't, but it's probably been purpetuated by that type of person.) Most of the customers that'll be in line will be the really excited Harry Potter fans, and this is another wearisome part for me. Because along with them will be the "Harry Potter is the greatest book of all time" and so on sort of speeches and praises that I've been hearing more and more of.
Harry Potter is not the next greatest thing in the world. Not even close.
I was first introduced to the series through my sister, when I was a freshman in High School, nearly eight years ago. I was hooked on the first book from the get-go, and must have read it a dozen times. Same with the second and third books. I remember, much to my annoyance, that the day I finished the first book, there was a blizzard here and I was given a three day weekend, when I'd planned on getting the second and third books from the school library. I wasn't a happy person for that weekend.
I read the forth book, and the fifth when they came out, but by this time, my fanboy love for the series cooled a bit as I discovered other fantasty books that were much better, in terms of reading level and overall plot. Even books considered to be in the same genre, such as Philip Pullman's Dark Materials and Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea, not to mention LeEngle's Wrinkle in Time, which I'd rediscovered. In general, better reads.
By the time book six came out, I'd only read book five twice, and until this summer, I'd only given book six a quick read once.
This past June and July, I got all the books together and went through them all, in between other books that I was reading. My opinion on the series is about the same as it was a couple years ago now. They're fun books. Not the best in the world, and certainly not the best written, but they're light, fun and entertaining.
In about twelve hours, we'll be done with the rest of the sales for the evening (about 2 am) and I'll be home, with a copy of the newest book, because I am interested to see what happens with the series. I remember thinking in high school, then calculating out when the last book would be released, and I came up with it coming out around my last year of college. I remember wondering what would happen in the series over those remaining books, and what would happen in my life over the next decade before I got to read the last volume. Now, I'm out of college, and I can't help feeling that giddy feeling that a part of my childhood is about to close up. Not even the fanboys can ruin that.