Pottermania continues to grow. Yesterday there were stories of more
leaks, another in Canada and two in the U.S.; the big online and
companies issued a slew of announcements full of numbers and superlatives;
and more unusual Potter events became known.
In Canada, a convenience store in Calgary sold six copies of
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
. In the U.S., a drugstore in upstate Rosendale, N.Y., sold a copy of the book mistakenly, but the
customer is returning it. Two men in Indianapolis claimed they were
able to buy copies of the book on Monday at a local gift shop. So far,
three out of 10.8 million isn't bad.
Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, Ill., is teaming up with the Oak Park
Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to put on a "Countdown to Midnight"
event beginning tomorrow at 2 p.m. Camille et Famille will become Madam Malkin's Robes for All
Occasions, and U.S. Bank morphs into Gringotts Wizarding Bank, among
other magical retail outlet changes.
In addition, the Oak Park Library will have magic, craft and
fortune-telling booths, a costume parade and show the three Harry
Potter movies. The Circle Theatre is putting on an authorized, abridged
performance of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
World Press, a fan site, will sponsor Wizarding Chess matches.
Harry Potter steps up to the plate at the minor league baseball game between the New Haven
County Cutters and the New Jersey Jackals tomorrow evening at Yale
Field in New Haven, Conn.: the stadium will be
outfitted with cauldrons, broomsticks, frogs and more. Staff will wear
Potter costumes, and fans are encouraged to do the same.
After the game, the team is sponsoring best costume and Harry Potter trivia
contests, broomstick races and a Quidditch match. Potter films will be
shown on the scoreboard. At midnight, 500 copies of the book supplied
by R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., will go on sale.
Rainy Day Books, Fairway, Kan., is sponsoring a screening of the weekend's other fantastic event, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
at the Cinemark Palace, beginning at 9 p.m. tomorrow. Afterwards are
several drawings, a midnight snack and distribution of the new Harry
Potter book. Rainy Day is also hosting a pajama party for the book at
Beginning two days ago and lasting through Sunday, the Navy Pier in
Chicago is taking on a magical theme as performers and magicians appear
at various places on the pier. Today the Chicago Children's Museum will
storytellers will spin yarns and amateur magicians compete this
evening. The Barbara's Bookstore on the pier will host a midnight party
tomorrow, and the IMAX theater is premiering Charlie and the Chocolate
Potter, camp icon. Because this is the first Harry Potter book to be
released at the height of summer since it achieved enormous popularity,
some camps are organizing readings and events for campers. Today's New York Times
mentions a California camp in the redwood forest, where campers will be
awoken at 6:30 a.m. Saturday and without knowing the program beforehand, go to a campfire meeting, be served hot
chocolate from a cauldron and be read the first chapters of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
by counselors dressed as Potter characters.
The KU Bookstore at the University of Kansas in Lawrence will host a
midnight party geared to students. The winner of a pumpkin-carving
contest receives a $200 gift certificate to the bookstore.
Besides a variety of contests, including best decorated Quidditch
broom, the Stanford Bookstores at Stanford University in Stanford,
Calif., will host a morning party that will feature
tables down the main aisle of the store a la the Hogwarts dining hall. The Stanford Publishing Course
begins on Saturday and will use the store breakfast as its kickoff
The Fairfax County Library system in Virginia has ordered 325 copies of
the book, 53 audiobooks and 20 large print editions. As of last week,
1,350 people had signed up to borrow the book.
On its six national Web sites, Amazon has received more than 1.4
million orders for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
, in its U.S.
and U.K. editions, making this the company's largest new product
release ever. This surpasses the 1.3 million copies of Harry Potter and
the Order of the Phoenix
ordered before its release two years ago.
On the U.S. site, more than 870,000 copies of the book have been ordered, up from 789,000 for Harry Potter V.
Amazon will deliver more than a million copies of the book on Saturday
and will "most likely lose money on the sale," according to a New York
profile of the company last Sunday.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
is "the largest presale title"
in the history of Books-A-Million. The company's 200-plus stores will
have parties on Friday evening and Saturday morning. BAM said that its
"express lane" program will allow customers with pre-sale vouchers to
leave the store with the book "in a matter of minutes" after midnight
Between its online operation and stores, Barnes & Noble said this
week that it had taken more than one million orders for the book and
will hold midnight parties at more than 660 stores Friday night. Jim
Dale, the voice of the Potter audiobooks in the U.S., will be at the
party at B&N's Union Square store in New York City.
A company press release
enumerates the many hundreds of thousands of items B&N has bought for the parties.
Some 60% of all children older than six will read Harry Potter and the
and 25% of them of them will finish it in the first
24 hours after its release, according to a survey of parents done by
Borders. Two-thirds will read it within the first week of purchase.
More than one in four of the parents surveyed plan to read the book,