It's a 'Harry' situation
July 3, 2008 · Updated 2:55 PM
This weekend promises to be magical for many people. Its summer solstice the longest day of the year. School is out. Squadrons have returned. And Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix goes on sale.
The fifth book in a promised seven by J.K. Rowling has set sales records even before its official release. At 870 pages, the latest book in the spellbinding series will provide weeks of beach-blanket reading as people follow the boy wizard and his classmates Ron and Hermoine at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry somewhere in England.
In Oak Harbor, the book goes on sale at one minute past midnight at Wind and Tide Bookshop.
For the fourth Harry book, we opened earlier than usual, owner Diane Sullivan said.
The response for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was so great, Sullivan decided to open at midnight for the fifth Harry book. At the witching hour, Lucius Malfoy, the evil father of Harrys nemesis Draco Malfoy, may deign to apparate for a special appearance. The store will open for business as usual at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Sullivan and Jennifer Roberts said they have never seen such an interest in a childrens book until Harry Potter came along. And since the series began, with Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, theyve seen an upswing in children reading.
Its not just Harry Potter, Sullivan said. Kids are finding books of all types.
So many kids werent reading before Harry came out, Roberts said. Now they read everything.
The long-time booksellers wonder if Harry Potter will stand the test of time and remain popular 20 years from now. Of course, they add that J.K. Rowling may still be working on the last book then.
Sullivan wont reveal how many copies of the book she ordered but does admit its a lot. Several customers have ordered multiple copies to circumvent wizard duels between family mmbers. There will be plenty of books; those who didnt pre-order wont have to resort to hexes or jinxes to get a copy. Dont even think about crying Accio, as a summoning spell, Sullivan said. Copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix are under lock and key, as safe as if they were under Diagon Alley in Gringotts Bank.