Fans turn out to buy 'Harry'
Emilie Hanson could hardly contain her excitement. The 21-year-old from Fargo had been waiting since February to get her deluxe copy of the book "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," which went on sale at 12:01 a.m. today at Barnes and Noble ...
Emilie Hanson could hardly contain her excitement. The 21-year-old from Fargo had been waiting since February to get her deluxe copy of the book "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," which went on sale at 12:01 a.m. today at Barnes and Noble bookstore in Fargo.
"This is the most excited I have been in my life," said Hanson, who, dressed as the character Tonks, sported spiky pink hair and a black cape. She was one of the first people in line.
"I'm going to read it all night long," Hanson said.
As midnight approached, the excitement built with every passing minute.
With lines extending well into the back of the store, the scene looked more like a rock concert than a book sale. Barnes and Noble employee Sadie Anderson estimated the crowd at more than 500.
A dairy farmer from Lynchburg, N.D., Jeff Cummer and his family joined hundreds of fans at the bookstore's party for J.K. Rowling's penultimate installment of the adventures of schoolboy wizard Harry Potter.
"I had a little boy say hello and twice I've been photographed," said Cummer, who dressed as Hagrid, the groundskeeper at Hogwarts Academy.
Cummer and his wife, along with a friend and her two children, wore costumes of characters for the bookstore's three-hour party, which featured a costume contest and mask- and wand-making activities.
Fans who pre-ordered the book - and there were hundreds, said Anderson - were given yellow wristbands for higher spots in line. Those who didn't pre-order were given orange wristbands, and Anderson said more than 200 were handed out as of 10 p.m.
"We should be able to get through the weekend," without running out of copies, Anderson told a customer.
At Media Play in Fargo, fans slowly trickled into the store for its 9 p.m. book party, which featured food, drinks and prizes before the 12:01 a.m. sale.
Courtney Evans, her fiance, Thomas Punton, and their friend Ellie Berrett were among the early partygoers, each dressed as a character.
Evans spent $260 on fabric for her costume - a black and dark green Slytherin quid worn by character Narcissa Malfoy.
"We're obsessed with Harry Potter," said Berrett, who spoke in a British accent and also dressed as the character Tonks.
At B. Dalton bookstore in West Acres mall, Jacki Brophy and her three daughters joined the store's Harry Potter party, which featured movies, activities to earn a wizard's passport and wand-making.
Brophy's 20-year-old daughter pre-ordered the book months ago, and Brophy said she didn't decide until Thursday night to bring her family to the store's bash.
"The girls have enjoyed it, especially my oldest and youngest," said Brophy, who lives in Fargo.
The book was selling for $19.20 at Barnes and Noble ($17.24 for people in its membership program), which was 40 percent off the book's list price of $29.99.
Scholastic Inc., Rowling's U.S. publisher, is releasing more than 10 million copies of the book. As of late June, Barnes and Noble received more than 750,000 pre-ordered copies nationwide, said.
Since Rowling first introduced Harry and his fellow students at Hogwarts in 1997, the books have become a global smash, selling 270 million copies in 62 languages and inspiring a series of movies.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Joe Whetham at (701) 241-5557