WHOsaid Harry Potter books were just for kids. Not Geoff Smith of Doon Doon, who was stocking up on back editions at Kingscliff
WHOsaid Harry Potter books were just for kids. Not Geoff Smith of Doon Doon, who was stocking up on back editions at Kingscliff

Hundreds rush to buy Potter

By CHRISTIAN STANGER

MORE children than you can "swish and flick" a wand at lined up at book stores across the Tweed region on Saturday morning to be among the first to purchase the sixth book in the phenomenally popular Harry Potter series.

Boxes were opened at 9.01am giving people their first look at the 607-page novel, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, a book set to break all records with its simultaneous release across the world.

Self-confessed Harry Potter fan Debbie Allen, of Boardwalk Books in Kingscliff, has experienced unprecedented interest in the book at her small book store on Marine Parade which was decked out in themed decorations for the event.

"It was good, we were really busy until about 2pm and then it kind of died down," said Ms Allen.

"It was steady all morning and we probably put through about 20 people at 9.01am, probably in the first 10 minutes.

"This hasn't happened for any other book, it's just a Harry Potter thing I think."

As the shop opened its doors more than a dozen eager patrons stormed the counter to await their copies of book which was released with two covers, a colourful regular one, and a darker version for the older population with black and gold cover.

"The adult version proved to be really popular with everyone as well," she said.

"It was quite interesting because of the different ages of the people in the line. There was everyone from seven-year-old children to grandparents who were buying it for themselves. There was no specific age range."

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince's sales have far exceeded even the enormously popular book from last year, Dan Brown's The da Vinci Code.

Sixty of J.K. Rowling's book were sold on Saturday, while at the height of its popularity the Dan Brown novel sold no more than five copies a day.

"Sixty copies is a huge amount, especially considering we are a very small book shop," said Ms Allen.

Debbie said that the book was popular because it engaged the reader and offered highly developed plot points and characters while not seeming pretentious.

"It has a combination of great characterisations that people associate with, very well thought out plots that have the right mix of excitement and suspense but it also has a dark side which I think people like," she said.

As for reviews, the last Debbie heard nobody had finished the 600-plus page monster yet, but one very keen teenage reader had read up to half-way.

One thing is for certain though, in the aftermath Harry Potter's world will have changed enough to set-up the seventh and last book, and one J.K. Rowling will have substantially added to her $1.34 billion fortune.



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