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Harry Potter madness hits local bookstores

"Oak Harbor has Harry Potter fever, too.Saturday marked the release of the much anticipated fourth book — “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” — in the J.K. Rowling series.More than 140 people reserved “Goblet of Fire” at the Wind and Tide Bookshop in Oak Harbor in advance of its Saturday release. With 100 copies available at the store, something had to give.“A kid was here at 7:45 a.m., waiting to buy a book,” said customer Chris Markle. “I appreciated his resolve, so I sold him my copy.”Markle was one of the lucky ones to have his name high on the list. About 30 people lined the street Saturday morning outside Wind and Tide, and the book quickly sold out. More copies are scheduled to arrive soon.Like bookstores nationwide, Wind and Tide went all out for the event, with staffers dressed as characters from the books, including Sibyll Trelaunay, a professor at Hogwarts, the school which Harry Potter attends; Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts; Neville Longbottom; and toad Trevor.The main excitement of the event, however, was the book itself. Tyler Sprague, 11, sat in a chair and began reading his copy right away — and was on page 105 within an hour.“My grandma dropped me off to get my book,” he said. “I was really eager for this Harry Potter thing.”Tom O’Leary was there with his son, Ryan, and said he and his co-workers were discussing possible casting for the upcoming Harry Potter movies, already being planned in Hollywood.“Everybody is attracted to this book,” he said. “The only thing is, I don’t want to get through it too quickly because you don’t know when the next one comes out. It’s that riveting.”His son agreed. “Basically, it takes your mind off everything,” Ryan O’Leary said. “Once you read one chapter, you have to read another.”Carol Rice, the children’s librarian at the Oak Harbor Library, said more than 500 people have signed a reserve list to read “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”As the Harry Potter craze sweeps the nation, the books have also drawn detractors. Some people believe the magic and witches depicted are inappropriate for children.“People who think it’s evil don’t have an imagination,” Ryan O’Leary said. “You have to have a good imagination for this book.”Joan Little, Tyler Sprague’s grandmother, said anything that gets children to read is wonderful.“People say it’s bad for the witches and things, but what’s more violent than Hansel and Gretel?” she said."

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