Saturday, July 21, 2007
And then it was midnight
With less than 30 minutes to midnight, Wil Ennis got on top of a table. Wristband numbers 1 through 75 were to line up on one side; 76-100 yellow on another; the rest to come.

More people, new people just arriving, started coming through the front door. Staffers and a security guard guided them to the wristband station. It was like an airport as a flight is called, like Filene's during their wedding gown sale. The front-runners started taking their marks.

Twenty-five minutes. Twenty minutes. Fifteen minutes. A Barnes & Noble Web site clock counted down by hundredths of a second.

"3,440 pages read. Only 784 to go," read the cards from the photo booth.

A new line of about 20 snaked into the store's Starbucks, awaiting wristbands. Still people came through the doors. One woman came to the information desk, looking for information on a James Patterson book. She appeared perplexed.

At the two-minute mark, Karen, the manager, came out with the Magic Box, which contained the "Deathly Hallows." Wil attempted to get a cheer going: "Harry!" "Potter!" "Harry!" "Potter!" Within 30 seconds, it had changed to "Show us the book!" "Show us the book!"

And then the final seconds ticked off: Five! Four! Three! Two! One!

And Wil held the book high!

Then it was time ... to buy. A gallop to the cashiers. An exchange of currency or credit cards. And a mother, finished with the process, gently led her daughter out of the store.

The girl was not looking forward. She had her head buried in the book.
How's the book?

- Steven Burda
It delights me no end to see this kind of incredible attention paid to a book - a well written, charming, enthralling, HUGE series of books that requires real skill to be able to read and comprehend, and still provides an infinite new world of possibilities and imagination.

Jo Rowling, you're one hell of an author. Thank you for this incredibly rich literary gift that has spread across the entire globe and has millions upon millions of people eagerly, avidly reading. I salute you.
Well, despite the best efforts of the leakers the book made its way to market with its secrets intact. For the most part.
The broader issue of leaking is unlikely to go away though - although help me be at hand:
http://sneakybusiness.typepad.com/sneaky/2007/07/leaking-harry-p.html
1:05 AM and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring - not even a mouse
Mother in Bed with her treasured book
Two kids on the couch their faces intent
Home from Wal*Mart - our midnight trip
Thank you Wal*Mart for getting us home so quick
No sleep tonight
Just flip, flip, flip
the pages revealing
Harry Potter's final trick.
I was a bit dissappointed to find that my copy of Deathley Hallows was bound wrong and missing pages (one chapter was also repeated twice).

That said, I loved the book and the ending was perfect.
Chattanooga, TN: I passed Barnes and Noble at 10:30pm and the lot was maxed out. I then headed over to Books-A-Million where my copy was reserved and got in line at 10:45. By 11:15, the line wrapped around the entire store. By 11:30, the line was out the door to the store next door.

People were in full costume. It was a mix of Halloween and New Year's all in one, complete with countdown, balloons, music, contests, and more. I stood next to one woman there with her one year old daughter and two teenagers who had been at the store for over three hours waiting for the book release.

Moms, grandparents, children, babies, teenagers--every type of person came out for the party.

I just wanted the book to read it first and offer feedback to others from a Christian perspective, but there are many people obsessed with Pottermania. What's the fascination? I'd love the hear what some of you have to say about it.

Plus...I'm already finished (4:15am EST)! For spoilers and dialogue, check out my Potterworld Blog at http://potterwatch.blogspot.com/.
The wait was totally worth it. It was an awesome book.
What is a "Harry Potter" Is it Something like Superman?
For some reason, the NZ release was not at midnight, but at 11:01 AM. I had ordered it from a small local bookstore, paying $5 more than The Warehouse charged...money well worth it. 2 people in front of me in the queue. Finished book a few hours ago.
I'll have to finish the book tonight. Too bad I had to work this morning. I should have just called in sick!
can't wait to get my son the book
Absolutely brilliant book!! Thanks soo much to J.K.Rowling for making people read! Hope you all enjoyed the book as much as I did!
I left our Books A Million last night with mixed feelings: excited because I could not wait to see what happens and sad because it marks an end of an era in our family. I have read all 6 previous books aloud to my husband and son. My son turned 13 just this month; the Harry Potter books have been part of his childhood and our family. Reading this one will be a bittersweet event - the end of Harry's adventures and the beginning of my son's own journey to adulthood. (Of course, I finished it myself last night because I could not wait!) I still will savor these 700 plus pages with my family as we share together what happens. Thanks to J.K. Rowling for her gift to us all.
i.e.harry potter.....who cares??
Awesome book -- a fabulous read! JK Rowling crossed the finish line at full stride!
I don't think New Orleans has ever seen so many people out in robes, house sweaters, and Weasley sweaters in the middle of July. The heat wasn't going to stop me donning my Hufflepuff best on Friday night either. I've just woken up from my recovery sleep after reading straight from 12:01 to 9:30am... would have been finished sooner, but my son just insisted on having to eat... some kids, eh? :-) It was fantastic. I just want to give JKR a big hug and tell her Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for this magnificent series, these wonderful characters, this beautiful universe that you created. The world is a better place, a place more full of hope with Harry in it.
I must admit, i been waiting for the final book for a long time. but it is bittersweet. I stood in line for hours waiting for it to come out, it took me a little over two days to finish it being I had to work both days. Every minute I was free my head was buried between the covers of this fascinating book. Now that it's over, I am saddened by the ending of the series. JK Rowling is awesume, thanks for offering this great adventure to the world.
We had a great time this weekend at the events held in downtown Naperville, IL. They estimated that 70,000 people showed up Friday night. My 13 year old daughter stayed until midnight with her froends to get a copy of the book. It was a lot of fun.

The only disappointing part of it all was the Fundamentalist Christians that felt like they had the right to shove thier beliefs down everyone's throat. While I am all for free speech and freedom of religion, I thinkthat freedom also comes with the responsabilty to use judgement...much like yelling fire in a crowded theater or highjacker on a plane. This was just very un-Christlike activity and border line illegal, since this event was mostly populated by minors. As a parent, I have the right to choose what religious path my children take and ther is case law to support that and to support that preaching to minors without parental consent is illegal.

I mean come on...this was a fun event. If you think that J.K Rowlings was engouraging witchcraft and the occult in her books...don't buy them. But don't get in the way of everyone else who just thinks its a great series of kids books. What about my right and my kids' right to enjoy an event with ingnorant fundies trying to shove thier particular brand of relion down thier throat. In response to a Jesus love you comment, I responded, well he thinks you are an idiot...try reading the bible and follow his instructions for a change.

This attitude is why people react so negatively to the intrution of Christianity in our lives, governemtn, workplace, etc. While not everyone is a fundamentist religious fascist, those that are tend to not know wher to draw the line between thier right to follow thier beliefs and the right of others to not have to participlate in beliefs they do not believe in. As oliver Wendal Holmes said, (to prarphrase): You right to swing your fist ends when my nose begins. I think the same applies to religion.

Eric Roberts
Naperville, IL
someone earlier said it takes huge skill to read the book...um if 10 year old kids can read it in less than 10 hours it doesn't take much skill...

read something meaningful like john grisham novels...you might actually learn something(you adults, not kids, kids wont comprehend grisham books).
Oh gag! John Grisham? I've read almost all of them and prefer Harry Potter. I rarely re-read Grisham. (I refused to read the Christmas one and the one about the house was downright dull.) And even you say his audience is for adults only. The HP books get more grown up with each progressive book. When I was growing up, the only thing that could compare, in length, to the HP novels was Little Women, and as far a series goes, many read Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys or Ann of Green Gables. Hardly as vocabulary challenging. My middle son reads all the Star Wars Books. My youngest son reads and re-reads Harry Potter. John Grisham? You compare them to John Grisham?
"3,440 pages read. Only 784 to go," read the cards from the photo booth.

Well, the US hardcover book is only 759 pages. The UK hardcover is only 608 pages. No page listing for the deluxe hardcover.

That's 25 missing pages if the cards available from Barnes and Noble are to be believed.

Is there a missing Chapter or part of the Epilogue that will be published later? Was the book initially supposed to be 784 pages but trimmed/edited after the marketing cards had already been printed and shipped?

In all the excitement of getting and reading the book, I want to know if there is more yet to come. At least, I want so badly to believe there are 25 more pages yet to be revealed.
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