Monday, July 23, 2007

Potter! (and your electronic bookshelf)

So this little book came out at midnight on Friday, something called Harry Potter. Maybe you've heard of it? Since I didn't have to work it this year--and I'm still trying to weasel my way out of any reading promises I may have made in the mistaken belief that book seven would take a lot longer to come out*--I attended Hairspray instead of any HP parties and then went home, but I know many people didn't given the 8.3 million sold statistic being quoted by Scholastic.

How many of you bought a copy this weekend? Did you do so at a midnight party, the next day, or without a reservation at your local grocery store?

Have you finished it yet?

I want to hear your stories (not spoilers) on who gave the best party, who totally forgot your reservation (and how they handled that), and whether or not it was worth it. In return I'll see if I can get my hands on a picture of me dressed as a witch for our HP 6 event.

In unrelated news, I've joined Facebook and have been playing with its new Shelfari application to keep track of the books I've bought, received for free or read here at the Publishing Institute. I'm interested to hear how people think Shelfari measures up to LibraryThing.

*I was basing my assumptions on Jordan's track record, bad me.


Diane P said...

My story is pretty boring-I ordered it on Amazon and it came Sat. afternoon. My friend who is visiting from NY had hers sent here.

I did notice a couple of our teenagers with their copies in church. Not all churches have banned HP. ;)

Lauren said...

Borders lost my on-line reservation - so I was stuck to non-pre-order status which was horrible. Borders would not guarantee me a copy that night, so I had to go over to B&N who did.

However, the catch was that I was last of what felt like all 8.3 million people.

Jason and I ended up picking the book up from Ralphs after I took Jason out of the B&N environment, where I was afraid he would start beating people.

The Book Lass said...

By any wild chance, have you tried they are like myspace, but with a purpose.

daverino said...

Thanks for mentioning Shelfari. I work on the web site and love the community there. You'll see my shelf at

Don't know if you saw the Harry Potter contest on Shelfari though. You could win an author-signed first edition of Sorcerer's Stone. Just submit your review and have your friends vote for it.

quiche said...

I didn't work that night but the brave souls who did said we closed our doors at 2:30 AM and they stayed until 4:30 trying to straighten up. We had a big reserve list but by Saturday morning we chucked it. Anyone who wanders in with $22.75 can have a copy.

I'm trying very hard to avoid spoilers since I won't get to read it for another week.

Marianne McA said...

"Not all churches have banned HP."

Local church here not only wrote a fantastic pamplet based on HP, but served the queue with free coffee, and gave out bookmarks.

I was very impressed. (Though it's a mistake drinking coffee that close to midnight - v. hard to get to sleep afterwards.)

David de Beer said...

not so big on Potter mania, so skiping that,

>I'm interested to hear how people think Shelfari measures up to LibraryThing.

don't know Shelfari, but am liking Librarything. Do a follow-up post in a couple weeks, maybe? compare the two.

Facebook is stupid, IMO; gives me an opportunity to interact with people I know in real

Writer, Rejected said...

Harry Potter? Never heard of him. Just kidding. I'm waiting my turn, as we are passing around the book. My God-child (who waited on line at midnight to purchase it) has it now and is almost finished. One other person in the queue next, then me. I wonder how long I can go a-blogging without stumbling across the ending.

Melanie said...

I work at a Waldenbooks in NY, and our Harry Potter party was fantastic (despite the overwhelming number of loud, loud, children, but I suppose that's how they are). I was impressed to see so many adults in costume with or without kids in tow. Our reservation list was almost picked up completely within the first 36 hours.

When another store closed, their reservation list transferred to us, and we had a lot of people drive in to our Potter party from the area of the other store. Since there's not a B&N near us (or a Borders Super), our only local competition was Wal*Mart & the grocery stores--most of whom were sold out by Sunday morning (we still had plenty).

As a bookseller, the actually event was fun (I was on register all night), but the preparation for it was miserable.

Miri said...

We went to the one chain bookstore in town (I know, power to the indies, but I'm not even sure if we have an indie), a Books-a-Million, and it was fantastic. Maybe a third of the people there were under-eighteens.

They didn't do reservations at the BaM: in the month leading up to it, you could buy a voucher. Then, on release night, you just handed in the voucher and got the book. My mom was near the end of a line that snaked through the entire store and we got out of there in less than thirty minutes.

We went around 9:45 just to be involved in the Pottermania, and at 11 I busted out the video camera and asked people who they thought would die and whether or not Snape was evil. The atmosphere was pure fun, little kids weren't screaming any more than big guys dressed as Slytherin Quidditch players, and I think we waited longer in line for mocha frappes than we did for the book. Apparently two of my best friends were there, but it was so crowded I never saw them.

I know, as far as costumes go, we had an amazing Dumbledore, an equally amazing Voldemort, two very good Trelawneys, a hilarious Mad-Eye, and several rather halfhearted Tonkses. But it was a blast.

RandomRanter said...

I've been happy with library thing, but would be interested to hear what people like about Shelfari.

La Gringa said...

I am a pariah. Alas! I have never read a Harry Potter book.

::: ducks head in shame :::

Elsandra said...

I went to my first Harry Potter party in Northfield, MN. They blocked off four blocks of the main street downtown and had their own version of Diagon Alley. There were alot of people dressed up, I even brought along a cloak from my renaissance costume and wore it later when the evening began to cool. There are pictures here:

The children on the right (boy & girl) in the first photo are my friend Kirsten's kids who I was with. I had a lady borrow my cloak for a picture because it was her 70th birthday that day. We watched the first movie on a large blow-up screen in the middle of the street until almost midnight. Kirsten, who had gotten her ticket in line earlier in the evening, waited to get her copy of the book that night. I went home and bought mine the next day at Target in Northfield, even though I had one delivered to my home too. I started it Saturday night after getting back from my high school reunion and finished it in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Little Willow said...

I'm on goodreads - let me know if you're there!

Joia said...

I was thinking about you as Kath, Angel and I stood in line for our book that night! I told them all the story about you having Book 5 thrown at your head by an angry customer. *happy sigh* Why is it that story amuses me so much?

Lauren and I also reminisced about how you helped us get through that last day or so before Book 6 was released.

I bet that night you were sitting around thinking, "Gee, I miss dressing up like a witch, working till 2am, and then coming in again early the next morning to sell more Harry Potter books!" Admit it.

marineko said...

I work in a bookstore in Malaysia, but wasn't working on the release date. The night before I did go to a pre-launch party hosted by a rival bookshop, though. They had lots of games in which you could win HP goods, and a Best Dressed Witch contest. I didn't stick around, but I noticed that there was a really impressive Mad-Eye Moody in the crowd. As for my own store, on the release date we had the Fat Lady at the entrance, and the first 13 people to give the correct password (hints were given in the local paper) get free books. The first 1000 customers get a quill pen, and I'm sure there were more stuff, but I was just too eager to go home and start reading by then.

Blue Tyson said...

Shelfari doesn't measure up, to me.

Import functions don't work. They don't answer queries, etc.