Monday, July 11, 2005

New book no kid stuff for these Harry Potter fans

New book no kid stuff for these Harry Potter fans

Who can say whether Harry Potter would be as successful without those fans old enough to order a martini?

Sarah Blair can.

“Absolutely not!” says the 26-year-old Potter fan from Gladstone. “All the fans I know are adults.”

The Kansas City Star has tracked down other weirdos like me:

With childlike enthusiasm they stick lightning bolt tattoos to their foreheads, collect wizard capes and foreign-language Potter books and spend hours chatting online.

This week is like Christmas Eve as they wait for the stroke of midnight Saturday morning and the arrival of the sixth book in the series — Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. You’ll see them at the more than 5,000 Harry Potter book-release parties around the world.

An incredible number of adults come to the midnight parties, says Jennifer Pasanen, a Scholastic executive in New York City. “Granted, they are parents … but also at these midnight parties in the New York area we saw a lot of adults without kids, 20-somethings, 30-somethings. At one store the first woman who came racing with her credit card had to be 50.”

More on the parties:

More than 660 Barnes & Noble stores across the country will also host 'Midnight Magic' parties on that evening. Potter fans young and old will be treated to everything from wand-making lessons and face painting to live magic shows. In preparation for these parties, Barnes & Noble has:

  • Purchased one million commemorative Harry Potter bracelets.
  • Printed one million in-store posters.
  • Purchased one million pairs of Harry Potter glasses.
  • Inked one million temporary lightning bolt tattoos.
  • Plucked 370,000 feathers.
  • Rounded up numerous live owls, snakes and magical critters.

  • Hopefully the magical creatures do not include blast-ended skrewts.

    Barnes & Noble expects:

  • 375,000 magic wands to be made.
  • 250,000 children to take home a photo of themselves with Harry Potter.
  • 100,000 chocolate chip cookies to be sold.

    Well, at least I have the excuse of being a dad so I can say the glasses are "for my daughter" (though, with my green eyes, they WOULD look pretty sharp...) But I get to read the book first. And maybe I'll have a cookie.

    So all this begs the question: why, Deeth, why? And the only answer I can think of is I always wanted to believe in magic. Sure, the marketing is overblown and overwhelming - but it's also very easy to forget once you open the book. And Jo Rowling, who in this day and age has made millions of children want to read, is truly a powerful magician.
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