Word came out this week that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released at Midnight on July 21, 2007. Melissa, John & Sue from PotterCast issued this week's Blog Challenge in Episode #75, which was released Sunday. This week's challenge is for listeners to predict how long it will take them to read Deathly Hallows in its entirety.
I believe it is reasonable to assume that Deathly Hallows will be somewhere in the neighborhood of the length of books 4, 5, & 6. So, extrapolating from my experience with those books, I should be able to come up with a fairly accurate guess as to how long it will take me to read the ultimate entry in the Harry Potter series. When I bought Half-Blood Prince right at Midnight when it came out, I took it straight home and read for about an hour before going to sleep. When I woke up Saturday morning, I embarked on an all-day reading session, taking breaks only to eat, help take care of my four daughters, and take care of other necessary functions. I read past midnight, finally finishing at around 1:30 a.m. Clock time from purchase to completion was 25 1/2 hours, but actual reading time was less than twelve.
This time around, my daughters are all older, so I shouldn't have to take as many breaks to help with them. Meals don't have to take a long time, and reading can actually be accomplished during some of the other "necessary business," so there's no reason to believe that I couldn't finish the final book in about nine or ten hours if I could go uninterrupted. HOWEVER, there's a chance I might be in production for a musical with Garland Summer Musicals at the release date. In fact, I may be performing in Opening Night of Thoroughly Modern Millie on the evening of July 20th. If that's the case, I'll be more tired on the 21st, and I'll have to be back at the theatre by 7:00 p.m. for the 8 o'clock curtain. That would mean if I wasn't finished by about 6 p.m., I would have to put the book down for the night's performance. I've never been the type who can read something unrelated to the current show in the middle of a performance.
Also complicating matters is that if I am in that show, I won't be able to pick up my copy as early as I might have otherwise.
So, what does this all mean? I'm not sure, but if forced to guess, I'd say that I will probably get Deathly Hallows finished before I have to leave the house for the theatre. Hey, the forced deadline might even make me read faster.
My prediction is that I will have the book finished no later than 6:00 p.m. on July 21, 2007. Total reading time will be no more than ten hours. It would be fun to be at the performance that night and torture any fellow HP fans by telling them I have already finished and teasing them that I might spoil the ending for them. I'd never actually do that, but it would be funny to see how many people go screaming out of the green room with their fingers in their ears.