Harry Potter madness hits South Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Harry Potter madness hits South Georgia

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July 15, 2005

Albany- It's the first sneak peak of the actual book, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Books A Million unsealed a case earlier on Friday.

"You guys are the only ones, none of the staff has seen it, we have not opened it before now," said Sue McPherson, General Manager of Books-A-Million in Albany. The case was quickly resealed until, 12:01 Saturday.

"When they say strict on sale date, that's exactly what they mean," said McPherson.

The countdown is almost complete before the highly anticipated book hits the shelves. The Dougherty County Library also has 60 copies of the book that will be available starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

"Very popular, the book is one of our most popular," said Teresa Cole, Assistant Director Dougherty County Public Library.

Library representatives say they were shocked by the Pope's recent statements about the book not being good for children. "We have found it to be a very helpful tool to get children away from the television and back into the habit of reading," said Cole.

They say the popular series is bringing more children back to the library. "We do find some children that might not be in the library, might not be reading otherwise, are becoming more interested in books again, just because of Harry Potter," said Cole.

Some who have read the books and don't particularly care for J.K Rowlings writing style say the Pope may have a point.

"It could have some influence on certain children who are very impressionable. For older kids maybe who could make their own decisions, maybe not so much," said an avid reader.

If you haven't preordered a copy, you may have to wait until many stores get their second shipment. "Right now I have enough to cover all that we've already sold on vouchers with a little to spare, but I don't know what's going to happen tonight, if we have a big crowd tonight I may not have any extras to do tomorrow," said McPherson.

Books-A-Million and Waldenbooks here at the mall will both start selling the book at 12:01 Saturday morning. Both will open early tomorrow at 8:30 with the books on sale for those who didn't wait up Friday night to get their copy.

Scholastic Books anticipates selling a record-breaking 10 million copies, and that's just within the first 24 hours. This is the sixth book in the Harry Potter series. Author J.K. Rowling is currently working on the seventh and likely final book.

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