‘Muggles’ mob stores to get latest Potter book

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 17 Jul 2005

KUALA LUMPUR: She beat off more than 500 “muggles” (a person without magical ability in “Harry Potter language”) in the mad scramble for the launch of J.K. Rowling's sixth instalment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Ilham Umar, 18, was the first to queue up as early as 4am, making her eligible for a free copy of the much-awaited novel which was given to the first six to stand in line.  

“We were running like mad to get to the front of the line,” she said, sitting cross-legged on the floor with her two friends, Raudhah, 17, and Aziza, 18, also huge fans of the children's series.  

The “Harry phenomenon” at the Kinokuniya bookstore in Suria KLCC caused a wave of attention when it was announced the first 300 customers would get a 25% discount and a magic wand. 

Even parents were not spared of the craze – some sacrificed their morning sleep to come and line up while their children snoozed at home. 

FAN FUN: Teenagers and young adults participating in the Harry Potter launch at Prangin Mall in Penang yesterday.

Avid reader Daniel Rajasingam, 11, who came with some friends said: “We came very early only to be stuck in the fire exit.” 

Jamie Chang, 17, was seen clad in the trademark scarf and robe of the Potter series' Hogwarts magic school. 

Kinokuniya merchandising department deputy chief Abby Wong had not slept for over a day, being busy preparing for the launch since the book stocks' arrival on Friday.  

She described the Harry Potter craze as a “blessing” and said:  

“It is much better for them (children) to read books than indulge in other activities such as playing computer games.” 

At least 1,500 copies were sold at the bookstore.  

The MPH bookstore in MidValley Megamall had a much smaller turnout, as 5,000 copies of the book had already been pre-ordered by customers.  

Retailers around the globe synchronised the release of the book at 2301 GMT (7.01am Malaysian time), which is known as the “witching hour”, when the veil between the living and the dead is most transparent, according to pagan religions. 

In Penang, EMMELINE TAN reports that the launch of the book was greeted by diehard fans at the Prangin Mall concourse area.  

However, only 50 books were sold almost an hour after the launch. 

Popular Book Company, the host of the launch, cooked up a bewitching time for fans by seating them according to the four houses of Hogwarts – Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin – before running through some Potter trivia.  

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