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Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, July 6, 2000

Huge isle reception
awaits Harry Potter

Bookstore employees are taking
reservations, staying late
and opening up early

By Betty Shimabukuro


A British kid on a broomstick flies into town at midnight tomorrow, and for all the fuss he's causing you would think he was the king or something.

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," the fourth installment in J.K. Rowling's fantasy series about a boy wizard, is scheduled for nationwide release Saturday. Publisher Scholastic Press' initial press run is an unprecedented 3.8 million copies.

On Oahu, bookstores report that interest in the book exceeds anything they've seen. Border's Books and Music has received more than 1,200 orders at its stores in Ward Centre and Waikele, with more coming. Barnes & Noble Bookseller in Kahala Mall has more than 500 reservations; Waldenbooks is averaging several hundred at each of its six Oahu stores.


Who are the characters in the "Harry Potter" series and why are they so popular? See the Today section.

"It's just phenomenal," said Al Young, manager of Barnes & Noble.

Young said he could not recall such fascination with a book in his 17 years with the company. By comparison, Thomas Harris' "Hannibal," the widely hyped sequel to "Silence of the Lambs," drew only about 60 advance orders, he said.

Young said he should have books left over to accommodate walk-in customers, but other stores say they can't be sure they'll have enough for buyers who don't pre-order.

Lehua Lilinoe, community relations associate with Borders Waikele, said the store's first expected shipment is 650 books, with at least 500 already reserved. A second 900-book shipment is expected by the weekend, she said, but the store is still encouraging buyers to make reservations.

Because of the high interest, Borders will hold reserved books only through Sunday, instead of the usual week, Lilinoe said.

Both Borders stores will be open late tomorrow so they can distribute the first books at 12:01 a.m. Barnes & Noble is re-opening at midnight, holding a Potter party until 1 a.m. Borders stores are also opening early Saturday, at 8 a.m., holding breakfast parties for buyers who reserved books. Several Waldenbooks stores are also opening early that day.

Kenrick Yoshida, Lilinoe's counterpart at Border's Ward Centre, said he already has 200 reservations for the Saturday breakfast. Orders for the book started arriving in April, he said.

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