Pre-Potter

By Gus Bode

Though the final installment of the Harry Potter series won’t be released until midnight Friday, many local Potter fans have already started celebrating their favorite wizard’s final adventure.

Carbondale Public Library worker Anna Forslund hosted a party Wednesday evening for area teens to celebrate the much-anticipated release.

Wanting to create the most authentic experience possible, Forslund made Potter-themed treats such as butterbeer, acid pops and other treats.

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Josie Pinentel, an 8-year-old Carbondale native, was very enthusiastic while she was being “sorted” by Forslund. When Forslund picked the Gryffindor sticker Pinentel nearly leapt from her chair with joy.

As the last installment is set to reach the hands of anxious readers across the globe, many book carriers and stores in Carbondale are preparing for the release by hosting parties for fans.

Josie, despite her young age, has read all of the books in just one year.

“I started reading them at the end of first grade,” she said proudly. “Now I’m going to be in the third grade.”

While the public library used the book’s release as an opportunity to encourage people’s love for reading, other area stores will use the book to cash in on the Potter phenomenon.

Parties are scheduled for 710 Book Store, Barnes and Noble, the Student Center University Bookstore and Waldonbooks in the Marion Mall.

Barnes and Noble’s celebration begins at 6 p.m., Friday. Gold wristbands will be handed out to people who preordered the book and blue wristbands for everyone else.

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A costume contest, face painting and fortune telling are activities scheduled at Barnes and Noble.

As of Wednesday, the newest Potter book was already atop the bestseller list of barnesandnoble.com, proving the book’s popularity.

Chain bookstores with a local presence, such as Barnes and Noble and Wal-Mart, declined to release information on the book’s preorder rates.

710 Book Store reported between 30 and 40 preordered copies so far; however, the store has ordered many extras.

University Bookstore employee Barbara Serapin said about 50 people have ordered the book in advance. She said more and more people are reserving their copy early because of a 40 percent discount until 11:59 p.m. on Friday.

Cassie Horn, an employee at Waldonbooks, said the store had 600 preordered copies. Palm readings, prizes and many other activities for customers to enjoy are planned from 9 p.m. Friday until they start selling the book at 12:01 a.m.

Although she already has her book preordered, 13-year-old Liz Yohe of Carbondale said she would not be attending any of the book releases.

While many of the stores are holding “official” late-night parties, Yohe decided to only attend four other parties held by churches and day cares with which she is affiliated.

“I’m just afraid that someone will shout out the ending, so I’m going to wait until Saturday, get my copy and ignore the news so can I read it for myself,” she said.

Daily Egyptian writer Christian Holt can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 249 or [email protected]

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