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Harry Potter anticipation grows feverish

Courtesy illustrationBook fans are wild about Harry, Potter that is.
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As the Saturday release of the seventh Harry Potter book grows closer, both fans and bookstores prepare for the end of what might end up being the most popular series ever published.

To satisfy avid Potter fans as well as boost sales, the Bookshelf stores in both Truckee and Tahoe City will stay open until after midnight Friday.

The official release of Deathly Hallows is 12:01 a.m. Saturday.



The local version of the Harry Potter craze is apparent in the expected number of sales of the final wizardry-adventure book. The Bookshelf in Truckee ordered 500 copies of Deathly Hallows and nearly 200 of those copies have already been reserved. Manager Lydia Sparksworthy said she expects to sell around 100 copies at midnight.

The Tahoe City Bookshelf has close to 25 percent of their copies reserved already. The store ordered 370 books and nearly 100 have been reserved ahead of time.



But the bookstores aren’t the only ones gearing up to make the novel available in a timely manner. Children’s Librarian Teri Rinne of the Truckee Branch Library said she has 108 names on the waiting list for the book, although the Nevada County library system purchased only 30 copies for all of the county’s branch libraries.

Placer County libraries, including the Tahoe City branch, will not accept reservations, and will lend out the novel on a first-come, first-serve basis.

By Wednesday morning, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows held the number-one spot in sales on both Amazon’s and Barnes and Noble’s Web sites.

With 3,411 pages in the series’ first six novels read and only 784 in the final edition to go, dedicated Potter fans who did not pre-purchase online will line up at area bookstores to buy a copy as soon as the book materializes on bookshelves.

Harry Potter aficionado Nicole Teshara of Kings Beach predicted it would take her only three days to complete reading the book.

Teshara said she will make an effort to avoid spoilers about Potter’s ultimate fate.

“I already told all my friends that I’ll be locked in a room with no contact to the outside world while I read it,” she said.

But avoiding spoilers may prove difficult as the book appeared online on Monday, four days before its official release. An unidentified culprit posted pictures of the pages on the Internet, according to the Associated Press. It is still not clear whether the pages were authentic or not, but a subpoena from the U.S. District Court in San Francisco forced the Web site hosting the images to remove them.

Indeed, security is tight when it comes to the seventh and final installment.

“Apparently they printed it in the dark so the workers couldn’t read the pages,” said Susan DeRyke, who manages the Tahoe City Bookshelf.

But even with all the security, time zones will still be a factor for some readers. The book will be released in each time zone at 12:01 Saturday morning. With the Internet’s rapid sharing of information, secrets could be passed from one continent to another hours before the release.

And although there has been a second-by-second countdown until Harry’s final escapade, the fact that it will be the final chapter is not lost on the book’s faithful readers.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Teshara, “because it’s ending and [J.K. Rowling’s] not planning any other books.”

While predictions mount and spoilers threaten the surprise, fans will finally learn all the secrets that Rowling and her publisher have created.


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