Sunday, June 22, 2003

Potter fans swarm bookstores



By Maggie Downs
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A 15-year-old boy has the world under his spell with Saturday's release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

However, a more apt title for the eagerly anticipated volume might have been Harry Potter and the Swamping of the Booksellers.

The fifth installment in J.K. Rowling's fantasy series, detailing the education of a young wizard, was the biggest release in book history.

REVIEW THE BOOK
Its your turn to be the critic. Once you've read Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, review it here:
The embargo on the carefully guarded book was lifted at midnight Saturday, with devout readers descending on bookstores like a flock of owl messengers.

"Yeah, we've been busy," sighed Angel Sutton, a manager at the Borders Books, Music and Cafe in Springdale. "It's the only thing people are coming in for."

At Joseph Beth Booksellers in Norwood, sales of the book began at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and lasted until 1:30 a.m.

By 9 a.m., those looking for a Harry fix were back again.

"People were waiting outside before we opened the doors," said bookseller Jeff Bentle.

The store sold about 750 volumes by noon Saturday, with about 750 more in stock.

The Blue Marble, a children's bookstore in Fort Thomas, began sales at 6 a.m. By that time, about 180 of their 300 books were reserved for advance orders.

The U.S. publisher of the book, Scholastic Inc., commissioned a record 8.5 million-copy first printing for the 896-page book. An additional 4.6 million were printed for foreign markets.

Online bookseller Amazon.com received 1.3 million worldwide advance orders.

E-mail mdowns@enquirer.com




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