Next Harry Potter hits shelves Saturday

By Gus Bode

Bookstores prepare for turnout

Harry Potter fans have less than 48 hours remaining before they can glimpse another magical year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. J.K. Rowling’s fifth novel, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” will be released Saturday in bookstores around the world.

Jane Modglin, manager of Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 1300 E. Main St., said the store will remain open until 1 a.m. Saturday morning and will begin selling “Order of the Phoenix” at the stroke of midnight.

Advertisement

“We have the opportunity to stay open, where people who pre-ordered the book can pick it up, or they can be the first to purchase it,” she said.

Modglin said the bookstore has already sold a large number of copies of the fifth Potter novel, but extra copies will be on hand for those who did not preorder the book. She said the store also has measures in place to ensure that Barnes and Noble meet the demand of the public.

“We have an ample quantity, but you must be patient,” she said. “If we sell out, come back in a few hours. Everyone is assured a copy, but you must be patient.”

Robin Brown, manager of Waldenbooks in the University Mall in Carbondale, said the store has also already sold a substantial number of books, so much so that they’ve stopped reserving copies.

“It was originally slated to be released last June, and then November, so we just continued to take reservations,” she said. “People have had ample time to reserve their copy, and we continue to get people in today, but it’s a little too late to reserve a copy.”

Waldenbooks will open its doors at 7 a.m. Saturday, three hours earlier than normal. Brown said the store will also give away door prizes and lightning-shaped forehead tattoos and cookies. There will also be numerous games on hand, including “guess how many Bertie Bott’s Beans are in the jar.”

Waldenbooks is also working with the Science Center, a not-for-profit center in the University Mall. The Science Center will have a wizard table complete with potions, and is helping play host to a book fair.

Advertisement

Customers can pick up Waldenbooks coupons at the Science Center, and 20 percent of all of Waldenbooks’ sales Saturday will be donated to the Science Center.

Barnes and Noble will also have a variety of activities available as customers wait to purchase their copy of “Order of the Phoenix,” including coloring contests and door prizes.

“Parents don’t mind spending money on books,” Modglin said. “It’s a good thing when kids read.”

Representatives from Wal-Mart, 710 Bookstore and University Bookstore said their businesses would be selling the book, though no special events were planned.

Modglin said she’s expecting long lines, similar to those when “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” was released, but it’s hard to tell, because many local establishments intend to sell the fifth installment.

“Plus, you don’t know how many parents are going to let their kids stay up that late,” she said. “But between the number of businesses selling the book, everyone who wants one should get a copy, though it may take some time.”

Brown said she, too, is expecting a crowd, and is hoping to recognize some return buyers for the series that she says spans all ages.

“The last book that came out, we had a little old lady in a nursing home, who had her family bring her in – she wouldn’t let her family get it for her, she wanted to come to the store and she wanted to be one of the first ones here for it,” Brown said.

“She was 93, and I hope to see her again this year.”

Reporter Katie Davis can be reached at [email protected]

Advertisement