Jamie and I went to our local Borders tonight to wait for the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at midnight. We got to the store around 9:45 pm. There were quite a few people already in the place, but not as many as the last time we did this.
All the staff were very much in to the spirit of the event with lots of costumes and hats. They put on a little entertainment including a Harry Potter quiz. At eleven we had a reading of the last chapter of the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix so we could remember our place in the saga. Has it happens, Jan, Jamie, and I have all re-read the fifth book in the last couple of weeks.
Around 11:30 the queue had started forming and I decided to stake my place so as to not be too far down. Jamie joined me about 15 minutes later. I must say, standing in a queue for 30 minutes without moving is rather dull! We did get talking to a nice chap and his daughter who were just in front of us.
The Borders staff had been announcing regularly the time left before the ‘arrival’ of the book. At five minutes to go they started announcing every minute, then 30 seconds to go, 15 seconds, then a count down from 10. There was a round of applause and two head high palettes, encased in black plastic wrap, were brought from the back of the store to the front of the queue. Without any more ceremony, the wrap was removed, the boxes inside opened, and the staff started handing out books at a frantic pace.
We got our two copies quite quickly and we were out of the store and on our way back home by a quarter past midnight. Now Jamie and Jan are both in bed feverishly reading the book; I have to wait for the first one to finish — again. If Jan finishes as quickly as she did two years ago, I should be able to start it by the end of Sunday!
Update 16/07/2005 17:00 Jamie finished the book a short time ago!
Further Update 16/07/2005 11:00 Jan finished her copy around 10:30. I start reading it tomorrow.