Harry Potter returns at the stroke of midnight

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 17, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Bookland began taking presale orders for the adventurous book in November. General Manager Renay Henderson expects more than 100 copies to be sold for the release.

Magic in the newest Harry Potter book, &uot;Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince&uot; will hit Natchez shelves Saturday.

The popular series has Natchez booksellers getting a piece of the action from sales. Turning Pages owner Mary Emrick said a customer called six months in advance to reserve the book.

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&uot;He called to say he would be out of town, he said ‘but please hold it there’,&uot; Emrick said.

Turning Pages ordered 20 copies of the book and expects to sell all of them Saturday.

Besides avid readers of the series, excitement for the release is also behind bookstore registers.

&uot;We wanted to open at midnight, but the mall wouldn’t do it,&uot; Henderson said.

Bookland is scheduled to open at 6 a.m. Saturday for the release.

&uot;Kids are saying they’ll be here at 6 a.m.,&uot; Henderson said.

Henderson said 100 books have been pre-sold at Bookland.

&uot;If you get a child to read, it’s worth it,&uot; Henderson said.

Armstrong Library Director Susan Cassagne said the series has sparked an interest in reading. Since the series she said new readers have come to the library because of

interest in Harry Potter.

10-year-old Colton Webb’s favorite Harry Potter book is &uot;Goblet of Fire&uot; because of the vivid fighting scenes and tournament matches. Webb said he predicts the new book will be just as good. Among the other four Harry Potter books he owns, he is planning to add &uot; Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince&uot; to his collection.

&uot;It’s adventurous &045; it’s fun to read,&uot; Webb said of the series.

Cassagne previously ordered five copies for the library and other branches.

&uot;I realized that wasn’t going to be enough,&uot; she said.

Her new order includes seven copies and one tape version of the book.

Wal-Mart will start selling the book at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. Co-manager Pat Glancy said he hasn’t seen a craze for the global phenomenon at Natchez Wal-Mart since he’s worked there.

&uot;Manufactures are keeping this real tight,&uot; Glancy said of the recent leak in premature sales of the book at other retailers.

He said it was hard to guess how many people would show for the release.

&uot;If they want the first issues (of the book), they better get here at 12:01 a.m.,&uot; Glancy said.