I finished Harry Potter 7 today and I will only say that it was a wonderful and satisfying book (no spoilers here!). I would also like to offer my thoughts on actual reading vs. listening to the audio book which was obtained by Mr. Interrupted for me so I would not have to interrupt my sock knitting (hah).
I do enjoy the weight of a book in my hand and the feel and sound of the of the pages as I turn them, but listening to the audio book really allowed me to savor the story and absorb it in a way that I wouldn’t have if I’d read the book. Since I tend to be a fast reader and often rush through my reading so quickly that I barely remember what I’ve read after I’ve read it, listening to the audio book forced me to slow down and really take in the story as I heard it. This was especially true toward the end, as the steam-train of the plot began to pick up speed and rush downhill toward the climax and conclusion of the story. If I were reading, I would have rushed along with it. However, with the audio book I had to slow up and I believe my enjoyment of the story was enhanced by this.
Many object to audio books on the basis that the voice of the reader tends to be an imposition upon their own imaginations, but I do not believe this to be the case. I found Jim Dale to be a talented and entertaining reader and the voices he used for the characters only expanded and complimented my imaginings of them.