How will I live without Harry Potter?
July 22, 2007 1:14 PM   Subscribe

Help me deal with my grief over the end of Harry Potter.

I just finished book 7 and I'm so sad that the journey is over. Fellow fans: please help me get over it.
posted by HotPatatta to Grab Bag (67 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
If you haven't already, read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. May your seven stages go quickly.
posted by safetyfork at 1:26 PM on July 22, 2007 [3 favorites]

One of my professors introduced me to what she called "The Four Rivers," which is a way of going back over experiences (including books) and trying to integrate what you've learned so that you can gain some closure. You'd answer the following questions:

What about the experience inspired you?
What challenged you?
What surprised you?
What moved you?

You wouldn't have to stick directly to plot points; it may be that some them in the works touched on something that was happening in your own life, or even something that happened around you while you were holding the book, or a dream you had about the characters, etc.

I tend to get mopey and weird when finishing books, because I feel like a world I was a part of just expelled me. Something about having a bit of ritual for that good-bye does help.
posted by occhiblu at 1:26 PM on July 22, 2007 [18 favorites]

Unless I'm mistaken, there are millions of other books to read. Pick another series, and go from there.
posted by saturnine at 1:27 PM on July 22, 2007 [7 favorites]

Three ideas for you....

1) Discuss the book with other people. I find that after reading a book, I often feel a sense of loss as well. Hearing other people's perspectives on a story helps give me a deeper understanding of the book and points out things I might have missed. The major HP fansites (mugglenet, the leaky cauldron) should have podcast discussions of the book coming out soon. (I think mugglenet has one out already.) I'm always googling for reviews of books I like, or interesting forum discussions. The Chicklit Forums is a well-written forum about books, for example (don't be fooled by the name), and the HP thread there is currently lighting up.

2) Read fanfic, or better yet write it. There's a lot of awful, awful fanfic out there, but you can find some communities that are reviewed or newsletters that point you to the best-of. For example, Checkmated is a site (ostensibly with a focus on Ron/Hermione but it really accepts anything) that requires a reviewer before posting and that keeps the quality of submissions up. If you have any inclination towards writing, trying writing fanfic. You don't have to show it to anybody else unless you want to.

3) Read the books in another language. If you've got a basic understanding of another language (taken a Spanish class?) try buying and reading the books in that language. You're already familiar with the story, the writing is fairly basic and fun, and you can count on the Rowling's narrative drive to help carry you through.
posted by warble at 1:28 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

Artemis Fowl!!! Great series. And while it may be blasphemy to say so, I think it's better than Harry Potter.
posted by AlliKat75 at 1:35 PM on July 22, 2007

Print this out, throw a dart. New obsession!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:37 PM on July 22, 2007 [2 favorites]

Take the opportunity to read something decent? After the pedestrian efforts of JK you could lose yourself in the dense interplay of signifier and sign afforded by Enid Blighton's epic "Mallory Towers" sequence. If your tastes favour something less baroque then steel yourself to penetrate the wilderness of mirrors that are the Hardy Boys mysteries.

Of course you could always read fanfic but I don't think either of us want that to happen, do we?
posted by zemblamatic at 1:41 PM on July 22, 2007 [6 favorites]

I have no interest in Harry Potter. I have seen 2 of the movies, and I thought they were well done, but they were just not anything special to me. Needless to say, I haven't read the books either, nor will I.

However, what you are experiencing is not unusual. For some, the end of a television series results in the same feelings. For me, I had a surprisingly sad reaction to the end of Mystery Science Theater 3000, of all things! But it's not just about the end of the books, or of a show; it represents the end of period in your own life.

When MST3K ended, it was the end of getting up with my little girl on Saturday mornings and watching the show while eating bacon. Those were special times, and they were ending. I've had similar reactions to other shows.

The real issue was, my little girl was growing up, and I had to grow up, too. The important thing wasn't what show we watched, but that we spent time together. In your case, the important thing may be that you found something you related to and enjoyed over the past decade, and it's become part of your life. Your job now may be to find something else that stimulates your imagination in the same way. There are countless books out there. You were ok before Harry Potter, and you'll be ok after.

You can also relive the movies and books and whenever you want. I have the MST3K DVD collections, and my daughter (now 17!) and I still watch them together. My daughter recognizes that watching the shows as a tiny child helped to shape her sense of humor, and gave her a love for movies and comedy. In the same way, you can be thankful that the Potter series expanded your horizons and developed your mind in a particular way.

Some people may think it's silly to mourn something like this. They are wrong. It's natural. I even had that reaction to the last episode of Home Movies (Whaaa! Brendon drops his camera and it gets run over by a car! Noooo!!!!!!) Just keep your eyes and ears and mind open for something else.

There's a rather crass saying about relationships: Nothing gets you over the last one like the next one. That's true of interests and hobbies as well.
posted by The Deej at 1:47 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

I just wanted to say something quickly in response to people suggesting she needs to read something else.... I often get pretty attached to the books I read (not all of them, but occasionally). When a good author (yes, J.K. Rowling is a good YA author) creates a world and characters that are so realistic it feels as if it and they will go on existing without you, it's pretty hard knowing that your time with that story and those characters is up.

This means that I don't end up feeling like I want something different (a new series, a new book), I just feel like I want *more* and it's a little weird to deal with the fact that there won't be more. Often discovering bits of the story that slipped between the cracks on a first read, or participating in the communities that spring up around books is a great way to find those last little bits of satisfaction hidden in a book or series you loved.

But, when the OP does want to read on, I second His Dark Materials as great books in the same vein to pick up next. I liked Harry Potter, but I *loved* His Dark Materials. Now those are books I mourned the end of! :)

Also.... fan fiction gets a bad rap, but don't discount it out of hand. There are great authors out there who love the things they are writing about. It's just hard sometimes to find the wheat in all the chaff. (With HP, unfortunately, there's quite a bit of chaff.)
posted by warble at 1:52 PM on July 22, 2007 [5 favorites]

Check out the bottom of this page of reader's predictions for what will happen in book 7 from the Guardian - there's a list of books to check out "after Harry."
posted by mdonley at 1:53 PM on July 22, 2007

read diana wynne jones.
posted by sdn at 1:54 PM on July 22, 2007

I'm going to dare to suggest fanfiction too -- I just spent the last two weeks absolutely devouring Firefly and Serenity, and it hit me hard when I watched that closing shot of Serenity, and knew that that was it -- done. Done before I'd even discovered it. (Joss randomly killing off my favorite character didn't help much either DAMN YOU WHEDON) So nerd that I am, I started trolling for fanfic, and found a surprising amount that was good. Really good. It helped a lot. (So did listening to commentaries, oddly enough -- it helped me take things not so horrifically seriously.) You can't really get a commentary on the books, but fanfic might help that "put up the chairs, turn out the lights, and lock the door" feeling. They're books, written by a human being, and she made something amazing -- if not in the prose, than in what it awoke in a lot of people, but at the end of the day, they're still books, and a sense of humor and...realizing that they're just books, I guess?....will help. Promise.
posted by kalimac at 1:59 PM on July 22, 2007

read carlos castaneda next! his character will actually teach you how to be a sorcerer!
posted by bruce at 2:04 PM on July 22, 2007

Dress up in costumes based on the book. Go to conventions. Name your various cats after the characters. Reenact scenes using produce as your supporting cast.
posted by found missing at 2:08 PM on July 22, 2007 [2 favorites]

It's not respectful, in this forum, to lecture the FPP about how lame Harry Potter is and how much better other fiction is. We all fall in love with silly stuff sometimes. I know the feeling in question — I thought the series was decent, very addictive, sometimes moving although rarely sublime. It worked as an interesting mystery and the work was nicely evoked. It left me with some pangs, too, to finish it off. Grieving a little bit is not shameful; it makes sense.

The whole Harry Potter thing was an interesting shared experience for many people; what the hell is wrong with that?

I like occhiblu's suggestions. Think a few things over. (I've been counting out the horcruxes, how they each ended, and some other plot points.) Write down a few thoughts. Enjoy the experience of your mind working things out. Don't feel guilty or wrong, just observe and think through. Replay a bit and observe your responses. Your mind will gradually absorb it all and move on with the experience as part of you.

My gut instinct is that forums and chat rooms are a bad path; they tend to make closed loops in some way I can't describe.
posted by argybarg at 2:08 PM on July 22, 2007 [2 favorites]

What the OP describes is why I pretty much avoid fiction entirely. Some of us can get so deeply into the alternate world of a book that it is hard to leave it. LOTR was like that for me (both books and movies.)

For me, I had to somehow find a way to reconnect with my own life in a real world. I guess I'd recommend something like that-a REAL adventure of some sort. A weekend trip, or signing up for a class, or something along those lines. Getting out into nature, especially.
posted by konolia at 2:17 PM on July 22, 2007

read diana wynne jones.

(start with: Power of Three or (more likely) Charmed Life, and then The Lives of Christopher Chant and The Magicians of Caprona. DWJ was my favourite writer for many years, dearer to me than Tolkien, Alexander, Cooper - everyone. While I appreciate that the HP books clicked for you, for me they were always weak attempts at the feelings that Charmed Life and so on evoked in me. Boy-wizards, hooray!)
posted by Marquis at 2:18 PM on July 22, 2007

Read the Uplift series by David Brin. Startide Rising is my favourite.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:37 PM on July 22, 2007

*feels your pain*

I'm seconding Artemis Fowl. Reading that series has definitely helped the dry spells between the fourth and the fifith book. It's light-hearted, snarky, but it's got character you can care about. AF and HP are the only two series I've ever been able to get into fanfiction for, because there is enough characterization for empathy to exist, but not too much that you can't invent your own side as well.

I was an obsessive fanfic reader, and I've read my fair share of crap fics. Now that the series has ended, I'm seriously contemplating diving back into the thicket - don't diss it till you try it, some fanfic writers are better than Rowling.

My number one recommended fic is A year like None Other, by Aspen in the Sunlight. It sounds very out-of-character from the description on the site alone, but her talent lies in making the unbelievable seem natural through slow characterdevelopment. Other than that, my favourite is Redemption, by krtshadow. Very dark and cynical, but wonderful in exploring Harry's relationship with the wizarding world once they turn their back on him completely.

Other stellar fics are Harry Potter and the Battle of Wills, Never Alone, Never Again, and Had I known, which is unfinished.

A lot of these fics are dark, and a lot of them explore a potential Harry-Snape nonslash relationship, which is a connection I'm fascinated by. Beneath the dungheap, there are quite a few gems no matter where your particular interest in the series lie. It's easier to get as wrapped up in fic as in the actual books themselves. Best of luck to you :)
posted by Phire at 2:55 PM on July 22, 2007 [6 favorites]

Go read some Terry Pratchett. There's lots. Small Gods is a good 'un.

You're welcome.
posted by kindall at 3:15 PM on July 22, 2007

If recommendations are kosher, I've just been turned onto Gunnerkrigg Court.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:35 PM on July 22, 2007

I haven't read the Harry Potter books, but I've seen the movies, and liked them. So, if it's magic, and series books you like...

In college, I really enjoyed Roger Zelazny's amber series.

A few friends liked the Thomas Covenant series. I was lukewarm on them, though.

What about The Chronicles of Narnia books? (I haven't read them, but they sound like they might fit the bill for you.)
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 3:45 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

Coming to the end of the series doesn't mean you can't revisit the world again. I have found re-reading the same series again can often bring out connections/subplots or details that "just trying to finish" reading sometimes skips.

If your interests run this way, you can also read it to work out how the author constructed the stories you enjoy, to look for holes or errors, to consider the "red-herrings"

If none of that works, then Accio imagination to inspire you in some way. Legions of a Tolkien fans created other works in Art, Writing, Computer Games. Trek fans came up with their own language (Klingon). To paraphrase a movie from my college years "It ain't over till You say it is"
posted by bhdad at 3:51 PM on July 22, 2007

I like Robert Asprin's Myth series.
It's about a young wizard, his crazy baby dragon pet and other crazy colourful characters!
posted by PowerCat at 4:10 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

I would just like to add that earlier today I coined the perfect phrase for this feeling:

Post-Potter Depression.

*sigh* I have it too. And I've already read everything suggested above.
posted by griffey at 4:48 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

"Postpotterum depression" would be a better play on "postpartum depression."
posted by found missing at 4:53 PM on July 22, 2007

Although I have read (and been captivated by) the Harry Potter books, I experienced my first true mourning of the end of a series with His Dark Materials. I found myself dwelling on the characters, the scenes I had just finished, and wishing I could still live in that world that I had just abruptly left having finished the last book. I found that only time healed my wounds. Reading other books did not help end the torment. I will go along with others and suggest going out and immersing yourself in something else, anything to keep your mind off the characters. I don't mean reading another book, I mean getting outside and *doing* something. Even if that is drinking. Good luck.
posted by nursegracer at 4:57 PM on July 22, 2007

Safetyfork, warble and nursegracer are right on the money. I have to strongly third Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. It's soooooo freekin' good. And smart-tastic. And while amazing in a very similar way, so different that you will not even consider comparing the two. A few days after I finished reading that series, I sat down a just wept.

And as a side note, I can't bring myself to pick up The Deathly Hallows. I bought it. It is just sitting there. I stare, I wonder, I fidget. It's really weird. I think I fear where you are at right now. I, too, become very attached to characters, stories, they really feel like a part of my life. And The Deej said it so well about it being more than just the story that gets you. To me it's like the loss of a friend. So go ahead and grieve. It's really been a wonderful journey with Harry and Co. for so many people, and I'm happy to hear that it sounds like the 7th installment is as wonderful as the rest.

Maybe I'll brave it tonight...Post-Potter Depression. Erfh.
posted by metasav at 5:01 PM on July 22, 2007 [2 favorites]

I just finished the last book, too, and was actually mourning the end of the series before I started it. I'm disregarding the pooh-poohing of certain people in this thread.

Part of what makes me feel a little better is to think about Harry Potter in the meta. Much of the allure of HP for me was that it was very evocative of the stories that made me such an avid reader as a child. It let me re-live the sense of wonder to be discovered in a beautifully imagined world that I first found in Baum and C.S. Lewis.

For reasons that have been discussed in the blue, many of today's kids never found that immersive joy until Rowling came along. And what a fucking incredible gift that was. For sure, HP is not the be-all-end-all in serial fantasy fiction or YA fiction or any other genre. But for what ever reason, Harry Potter was the one that counted. I'm thrilled that I got to be there from beginning to end with kids 25 years younger than me.

Even thought it's over for us, kids and adults will continue to discover the enthralling ride of Harry Potter for years to come. And that makes me really happy.
posted by kimdog at 5:04 PM on July 22, 2007 [2 favorites]

I'm prone to this series-end-depression as well. I remember when I finished Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain in middle school*. Before that it was the last John Bellairs** book in elementary school. I'd morose for a week, and the series completion mopes still hit me when I finish a series nowadays (When I read the last Fletch book, for example). The idea that there's no more coming seriously bums me out.

While Harry Potter has not been as big of a series to me (I liked it and all but I'm not naming kids Severus or anything), here's some stuff I try to do to keep my spirits up:

1) I don't read fanfic, but I totally Mary Sue myself into the stories. Yeah. Give me a book or series that I liked and I can tell you "who I am" in the series.

2) When I come late to a series, I take time between reading each of the books. This doesn't help with gotta-get-it-right-now Book 7, but as you follow some of the suggestions in this thread, try and not get totally immersed and read everything in a week. Save it. Switch between series story and not. Spacing the series books with nonfiction that related to the subject at hand can go a long way to prolonging the magic.

3) Find people to talk about the book with, but not people who Only Want To Talk About The Book. If you want to get over the end of the series, it doesn't help to constantly visit sites or discussion groups that are dwelling on it.

4) Read stand alone books. Not everything has to be a series!

5) Be thankful that your author ended the series rather than pumping every last bit of blood from that particular stone.

Fantasy-ish authors with at least three books in a series I'd recommend include Bellairs, Alexander, Lewis, Fforde, Wilson, Moore, Powers, and Butcher for creating Lewis Barnavelt, Taran Wanderer, Thursday Next, Repairman Jack, the town of Pine Grove, Scott Crane, and Harry Dresden. There's a bit of Potter in each of'em!

* Said mopes are returning because I just noticed that Lloyd Alexander died two months ago.
** Turns out a friend of mine's grandparents owned the house he wrote and died in. Small world.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:08 PM on July 22, 2007

nthing the Pullman suggestion. My sister quit Harry Potter right before book seven came out to read the entire trilogy - and she was a regular potter nutjob. PLUS you can get super geeked about the upcoming movie! It'll give you at least another three years of movie/book related awesomeness.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:09 PM on July 22, 2007

Adopt an abandoned, ownerless cat at the SPCA and focus your attention on building a relationship.

You will find that you two will relieve each other's suffering.
posted by JaySunSee at 5:38 PM on July 22, 2007

Titus Groan is for you. Take it slow and savour every paragraph; it's Christmas pudding to Harry Potter's light sponge.
posted by flabdablet at 5:50 PM on July 22, 2007

Read a book That JK Rowling surely also read.

About a young boy who discovers he's a wizard and gets a scar on his forehead by a demon... hmmm sound familiar? LeGuin got there first.
posted by nax at 6:22 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

If you like the immersive nature of the series, I would suggest that you explore some epic fantasy. Specifically, A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. It's simply amazing. (fellow HP fan, also).
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 6:27 PM on July 22, 2007

I was going to suggest George RR Martin too - because I doubt that series is ever going to actually end.
posted by gomichild at 6:28 PM on July 22, 2007

If you're still pining for Potter, then (if no one else has recommended it), can I suggest FanFict?
posted by chrisbucks at 6:30 PM on July 22, 2007

Or, read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which is sort of like Harry Potter, but written for adults.
posted by xmutex at 7:09 PM on July 22, 2007

It's young-adult science fiction rather than fantasy but if you read Scott Westerfeld's trilogy Uglies, Pretties, and Specials now then you will be ready for the next book in the series, Extras, when it comes out in October. Disclaimer: Scott and I are regulars at the same bar.
posted by nicwolff at 7:23 PM on July 22, 2007

Quadrillionthing His Dark Materials. Although this may sound encouraging, given where you are now, I will say that when I finished the last book in that series, I literally threw it across the room. Then I cried for half an hour.
posted by rtha at 8:04 PM on July 22, 2007

L Frank Baum's 14 Oz books. Edward Eager, E. Nesbit. Two of Rowling's favorites are Elizabeth Goudge's The Little White Horse and Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle (not fantasy).

Come to NYC and see the Mythical Creatures exhibit at the Museum of Natural History.
posted by brujita at 8:19 PM on July 22, 2007

I really enjoyed the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. The first book is The Amulet of Samarkand, and it's about a young boy in London who wants to become a wizard. Contains some of the funniest footnotes I've ever read.
posted by mogget at 8:30 PM on July 22, 2007

I'm with the rest of the people who suggest starting in on a new book (or books). Of course, which book it should be is somewhat dependent on what exactly you loved so much about Harry Potter.

Was it the light fantasy adventure that enthralled you? Then I heartily endorse all the earlier suggestions in the thread, with a special recommendation for Diana Wynne Jones, an excellent and prolific writer who is fairly close in tone to Rowling. In addition, I'd put forth the work of Jane Langton, Edward Eager, Robin McKinley, Madeline L'Engle, Garth Nix, Joan Aiken, Kenneth Grahame, and Mary Rogers. Oh, and a special recommendation for Lud-in-the-Mist, by Hope Mirlees. A terrific and affecting little book; it's as though Christina Rossetti turned her hand to writing fiction.

On the other hand, you might have loved Harry Potter for the characters and the epic and intricate exploration of their maturation. If you ache to begin that journey from innocence to experience again with another character, try a coming of age novel. You don't necessary need to stick to fantasy this time around; many of the best novels in any genre are about growing up. Some suggestions (from a very rich and crowded tradition): David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickleby, Jane Eyre, Little Women, I Capture the Castle.

Good luck! Reading is the sweetest, gentlest, and occasionally the most addictive of drugs. Fortunately for your happiness (and mine), primo stuff is always very easy to come by.
posted by Iridic at 8:46 PM on July 22, 2007

Yes, I can't strongly agree enough with those above who've suggested Pullman; if you seek another deeply moving experience, please read His Dark Materials series (The Golden Compass is the first book). I would suggest doing so before the film version of TGC comes out in December.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:13 PM on July 22, 2007

Fanfic. Definitely. You get to read more that's in the same world, but it's generally pretty different from the books, so it's a way to sort of... ease away. Or not. I mean, there's plenty of it, so you can pretty much keep reading for as long as you want.

There's a lot of crap, but a lot of good stuff, too, and you can generally tell which it's going to be from the first paragraph (or sooner).

I don't know what you'd like, and it's been a while since I was into that part of fandom, but I'm going to recommend FictionAlley as 1)very broad as to the kinds of fics it hosts 2)having decently labeled fics (rating, spoilers, wordcount, hits, ships, era, and summary) and 3)heaps better than It also has forums--you might find that discussion/theorizing/shipping threads are something you like.
posted by Many bubbles at 9:17 PM on July 22, 2007

Meh, everybody who suggests moving on is WRONG. You clearly aren't ready to move on from Potter- so buy a few copies of the older books, and volunteer time at a hospital or school (especially one for gifted and or special needs kids) and read your beloved books out loud to kids. Its possibly the best thing you could do.
posted by Jacen at 9:44 PM on July 22, 2007 [2 favorites]

Thirding George R.R. Martin's ASOIAF series. It's like Lord of the Rings meets The Godfather. Highly recommended.

If you're not up for another series that won't end for years, there's always Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:00 PM on July 22, 2007

I'll second Martin. The characters I've cared about most in the last few years are Harry and his friends, several of the POV characters of A Song of Ice and Fire, and Jamie and Claire from the Outlander novels.
posted by Cricket at 11:00 PM on July 22, 2007

Tamora Pierce.
posted by rhoticity at 11:50 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

Well, what I'm planning to do after I've finished reading the final book (which will probably be at the end of this week because I'm depending on the kindness of not-strangers-but-still-rather-strange people to give me book after they've finished it) is to read the whole bally series again in one big self-indulgent splurge.

That helps sometimes.
posted by h00py at 12:36 AM on July 23, 2007

I don't have any suggestions. If it helps, know that there are others like you out there, feeling sad about the end of the journey. Myself included.

I just finished reading a few minutes ago and I feel very very sad I won't have any other Harry Potter book to wait for. Yes, there are lots of other good books, some of them waiting, unread, in my room. But I think Harry Potter got to be much more than a book series or a phenomenon, it bacame an experience. These books came with me through high school and all through college. They became the one thing in common I could have with people so different from me, and who then became my very good friends. They made me have hours of fun from silly and serious discussions about meanings and theories. They became part of my identity, even, since I am, as many others, a Harry Potter fan or Pottermaniac or whichever term applies.

I'm glad I was a lover of books before I found these ones, and I look forward to many other journeys to many other worlds, but I'll still miss feeling excited and anxious about the next steps in Harry, Ron and Hermione's adventures.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 2:54 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

If they were great books, you would be able to start at the beginning and read them all again with equal or greater pleasure.
posted by pracowity at 3:11 AM on July 23, 2007

Okay, I admit I'm a 30-something-year-old who read the entire series, too. Which means I liked it enough to have bought the final book on the day it came out, and to have finished reading it on the next. Although I can sympathize with your feeling of loss, I feel differently about the series having ended. I'm relieved to have been able to witness the ending, that I didn't die of an accident or something before the book came out! I'm glad the books became popular enough to give Rowling the opportunity to finish her creation exactly the way she intended (I guess, anyway). It was a good ending, I thought, of a good series of young adult fiction, and I'm happy to have been able to experience it. I'll assume anybody who is reading this thread has either already read the last book or has no intention of ever reading it at all, so... warning, minor spoiler up ahead... HotPatatta, after all, "All was well." Right?

My 10-year-old son, who can't read English, is currently begging me to translate it into Japanese for him before the official translations come out! Which is another thing I liked about the series, it was something I could share with my son.

Also, in case you haven't seen it, Pater Aletheias's comment on the series in MetaTalk was a great read.
posted by misozaki at 5:10 AM on July 23, 2007

I was feeling sad about the end of Harry Potter, mostly for the reasons CrazyLemonade describes. Harry Potter is one of the few things I have in common w/ the people around me. I was so excited when I heard that Junot Diaz had a novel coming out, but no one else cared. Walking into my office w/ a copy of Deathly Hollows, well, that led to a completely unproductive morning of Harry Potter discussion.

Reading a different series is not the answer, especially if that series is His Dark Materials. The first one was good, but the third is one of the most boring books I've ever read. Every time the wheelie things appeared, I would put the book down and just not feel like picking it up again.
posted by betweenthebars at 6:21 AM on July 23, 2007

My suggestions:

1. Reread. With narrative as detailed as Rowling's, you'll notice new things. I like the reading to other people suggestion a lot, and the suggestion of reading in another language.

2. Try new books with similar themes. My suggestions (in some cases already made here): Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea novels and short stories (the last novel and short stories are best IMO), Peter Beagle (The Last Unicorn, The Innkeeper's song, Giant Bones, Tamsin), Susan Cooper (The Dark Is Rising series), Tamara Pierce (The Song of the Lioness quartet and newer short series), Mercedes Lackey (I really liked only her 3 book series starting with The Black Gryphon), Tolkien if you haven't tried the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings yet.

3. Talk to other people who love the books about the books. You might try starting a book club with any other Potter fans you know to explore similar books as a group. Inevitably similarities to Harry Potter will come up during discussions if that is a common interest.

A good book's never really over, but it is a loss to know there won't be new stories written by an author about a world you've grown to love.
posted by Tehanu at 9:09 AM on July 23, 2007

Yup, another person who hates for a series to end.

Seconding the Tamora Pierce suggestion for when you're ready. Start with the first book of the Lioness quartet - she's written most of her pieces in quartets in a loosely related world, and I believe she's up to 20 or so - which means you don't have to say goodbye for a long time.

(and they're really good, too!)
posted by korej at 10:41 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm surprised no one has included Anne McCaffery's Dragon Rider series.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 12:19 PM on July 23, 2007

Don’t be too quick to escape your sadness; it’s more than simply a pain to fix ASAP like a stubbed toe or a drafty perch, at least in my experience. It’s one of many such feelings that great books will give you in a lifetime of reading and loving books, and as such, it’s a significant defining experience that you’ll probably remember all your life. I suggest you savor it!

My own similar emotions on reading quite a few deeply engaging and profoundly sympathetic books has helped me to define, recognize and deal with my overarching experience of earth-life as one of endlessly recurring love and loss, love and loss, love and loss...

A corollary is that you needn’t confine yourself to similar genres in your search for similarly immersive worlds. Hopefully you’ll find many such agreeable universes in your reading life. I’ve found many in my day, including some fantasy (amazed that only 3 comments out of 60-some mentioned LOTR!), but also in lots of other beautifully imagined realites, most not expressly magical at all. Actually, I now assume that this experience is what deeply pleasurable reading and great writing is all about.

Welcome to the sweet grief; may you learn much from it, use it to fuel your own creativity, and find it over and over again!
posted by dpcoffin at 3:58 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

A.S. Byatt's The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye. There are also fairy tales in Possession, which I didn't care for as much; though I loved the rest of the book (and Aaron Eckhardt was completely miscast as Roland).
posted by brujita at 9:38 AM on July 24, 2007

Having just finished it about 10 minutes ago myself, my first instinct is to go back and read them all over again.

Maybe that's not really healthy, though.
posted by naoko at 7:45 PM on July 25, 2007

I am probably going to spend the next few weeks trying to figure out what exactly happened between the end of the book and the epilogue. There were a lot of unanswered questions there, and if you ask me, lots of room to wonder!
posted by thebrokenmuse at 2:00 AM on July 26, 2007

You could start on Robert Jordan, by the time you wade through 12 books and work out all the inconsistancies, he may have finished the series (although don't hold your breathe).
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:55 PM on July 27, 2007

I've read all seven Harry Potter books as well, and I will miss the series.

Read James Patterson's all new Maximum Ride series for young adults, which is fantastic for adults as well! Winner of the Teen's Top 10 Award.

The Roger Zelazny Amber series, already recommended, is wonderful, but hard to find in its entirety, as it is very old. Still worth a try, though.

And, of course, as I say in all book threads--Terry Pratchett's Discworld.
posted by misha at 8:16 PM on July 30, 2007

I too had the last book sitting on my shelf for a long time before I had the courage to pick it up. I was never as obsessive about the series as some people I knew, but every time I got into one of the books I would really fall in love with the whole thing all over again, and I was kind of putting off letting that happen for the last time. I definitely cried a LOT through the last book (maybe a bit more than was warranted), and I felt lost when I put it down. Still, I'm taking some solace in the fact that the series ended, finished, as it was supposed to. I also remember that even though I've read Tamora Pierce's four-book Wild Magic series at least once a year since junior high, I still get the same joy out of it every time I read through it. It's not a surprise anymore, but there's a certain pleasure in watching things unfold once again, a sense that you know the characters, and the feeling of loss at the end is a lot less. And if you're a really intense reader, as I suspect you are, when you reread HP you'll still get tense in all the right places, even if you (intellectually) know what's going to happen. So - take what solace you can in the ending, and know that the books aren't going anywhere. You'll read them to kids, if you have some, one day, and it'll be just as good as the first time.
posted by you're a kitty! at 12:35 AM on August 15, 2007

I made up stories for what Harry Potter did after the books ended. I think of him as sort of alive and living in England now, maybe he's around my age now, which is 40.
posted by PoopyDoop at 11:31 AM on September 26, 2007

« Older Driving into NYC at rush hour?   |   Wireless woes and fatherly foes. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.