Monday, July 16, 2007

Potter pandemonium

Anticipation builds over book’s final installment
by Siva Ramesh and Alison Woo

In the Charlotte area, the signs have become clearer as the end draws near. The bookstores have laid out their witch hats, wands and brooms. Bookstores around the Queen City are barely suppressing excitement over nothing less than the most coveted book this year—the seventh and final Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Potter pandemonium begins this week with the release of the “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” movie. In the meantime, bookstores around the area are getting ready to party.

Bewitching night
In Charlotte, Barnes & Noble at Sharon Corners on Fairview Road will fill a model train with Berts jellybeans to prepare for the release at midnight on Friday, July 20. Local Borders also will have a midnight celebration with a Harry Potter costume party and potion-making classes. But the largest event in the Charlotte area will be Joseph-Beth Booksellers’ “Marauding at Midnight” party.

The signature event will include a concert with Seth Boulton & the Dream Machine, in an homage to a band Dumbledore selected for a concert. Other attractions include a hedgemaze and kits that determine who is a dark wizard. Bronte’s Bistro will offer treats for adults including Hufflepuff muffins and Butterbeer.

At the 2005 event to promote Potter scribe J.K. Rowling’s previous tome, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” the store had more than 1,000 visitors – at least that many are expected this year. “Charlotte readers tend to make their decisions at the last minute but we encourage people to buy tickets before the event,” said Jamie Thurman, the store’s public relations coordinator.

If staying up late isn’t your thing, consider Park Road Books who will open at 8 a.m. Saturday . “We think more people will want to be fresh and ready to read Saturday morning. We’re planning to be the place for those readers,” said Park Road Books co-owner Frazer Dobson, who plans to have plenty of copies on hand.

Most branches of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County will hold Harry Potter-themed events, ranging from showings of Harry Potter movies and costume parties to a huge release celebration at ImaginOn, where fans can purchase copies of the book, learn about owls and play a Harry Potter trivia game.

For more information on any of the stores mentioned in this article, visit the following:
Joseph-Beth Booksellers,; Park Road Books,; Borders,; and Barnes & Noble,

If you are interested in visiting a library branch for a Harry Potter event, go to Some events require registration.

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