Over the subsequent six years, I've spent a lot of time waiting for J.K. Rowling. I've waited for books to come out and movies to be released. I've waited to see who was cast as Voldemort and who was cast as Sirius Black. I've waited for relationships to develop, conclusions to arrive, and plot points to resolve. In the meantime, my girlfriend became my wife, and we have spent way too much time on geeky debates about the series. When the fifth and six books came out, we each bought a copy because neither of us wanted to wait for the other to finish. When the seventh book arrived, we were strapped for cash, so we only got one copy. She read it first, but was polite enough to burn through it. I helped by keeping the kid out of her way.
Now, of course, there will be no further Harry Potter books. Although I'd gladly buy "Harry Potter and the Thinning Hair," "Harry Potter and the Upsetting Mid-Year Work Review," or even "Harry Potter and the Vaguely Disconcerting Polyps," I know that anything beyond this point will definitely be jumping the shark. For better or worse, Harry Potter is finished as a primary character; his story is done. On the other hand, I still have some hope for his kids, particularly "Albus Severus Potter," whose initials are, interestingly, "ASP." Hmmmm.
In the meantime, I've got the original seven books, and will be going back to them every now and again. I also have some of the novels that inspired Rowling, including C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons. I've got H. Rider Haggard's catalogue and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series. Neil Gaiman is still writing up a storm and there's a rumor that they're going to make American Gods into a movie (I'm still waiting on Good Omens). Although her wizard stories are great, Rowling's greatest achievement was getting the world to read again. Now that she's taking a richly-deserved sabbatical, I'm revisiting a few of my favorites and seeing what else is out there.
At least until she comes out with "Harry Potter and the Incorrigibly Incontinent Puppy." Then all bets are off.
Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. No, he doesn't own a cape.
What literary characters would you like to see return?