Wednesday, July 22

Ex Libris...

If I were very rich, I would build a really humongous badass library full of great books. I'll have every single book its own smug Ex Libris label: From the library of XXX, collector extraordinaire. But it's not very likely I'll be, so, I'd settle on getting them bit by bit, probably even second-hand. That was just me dreaming a tad late in the day. Anyways, these are the titles I'd like to get my hands on, pronto, in no particular order of importance or literary value:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series- Jeff Kinney
Witches of Eastwick
Widows of Eastwick- John Updike
HP 6 The Deathly Hallows- JK Rowling
The Mysterious Benedict Society- Trenton Lee Steward

I happened to watch this feature of JK Rowling in the Biography Channel one day, and was impressed about her rags to riches life story. Not one without its twists and turns, there was a point when she was living on her social security checks, she was suffering from depression after her first marriage crumbled, and was close to committing suicide. Yet, shy as she was, she was also an avid lover of literature and was able to channel all of her life experiences to create a story that now, without question, goes down in history. The first of Harry Potter series (The Philosopher's Stone a.k.a The Sorcerer's Stone) started out as an idea during a long train journey, and whose manuscript she typed on a very old typewriter. It was not a very smooth ride before she got published, but many already saw the big potential in her writing. From obscurity, she would soon rise to fame and become one of the best loved writers of children's books.

She said that Harry Potter is representative of her, although characters like Hermione Granger are also loosely based on her from when she was a younger. I suppose then horrid things like the Dementors need not be explained further. When she sold the rights of her first book to a movie outfit, it made her an instant millionaire. And it follows that she broke publishing records by selling milllions of copies of the rest of her seven books, the last installment of which she finished and published in 2007. It sold overwhelmingly, hotter than hotcakes, not only in the UK, but all over the world. Even the cheapskate that I am got five of her books and am now willing to cut a limb, if it would cost me that much, to have the two remaining books.

In the feature, A Year in the Life, the story revolves around JK Rowling working on the last of her HP books, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Snippets of her life are shown--- she hies off in a secret hotel room to slog on her manuscript, also a brief look at her house in Scotland, and a few miles away, her old tiny apartment (or what they call flat in the UK ). I am quite blown away at her real fortune----a castle-like home, great family and husband, and a very peaceful life. But it also showed a part of her tearing up at the recollection of her less than perfect childhood, and her life as a single mother. She visits her old flat in Edinburgh and looks back at a time when it (the HP idea) all started and where her life finally took a big turn. She largely remains a private person, and is often seen to be an aloof media personality. But she explains that the fame thing is something she still constantly struggles and is never comfortable with. Presently, she is someone who probably never has to worry about her finances for as long as she lives. But also because of that, she has focused a part of her fortune to philanthrophic causes, being an advocate in helping women and children cope with situations in single-parent homes. Great story, ain't it?

All that can be said though, why Harry Potter is such a hit, is that it simply made children (and even adults like us, admit it!) find love for reading anew. And on that alone, I think Joanne Rowling deserves whatever fortune has come her way.

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