Monday, June 23, 2003

Harry Potter Book craze hits Pasadena

Only minutes before midnight on Friday, the anticipation was palpable at the Pasadena Barnes and Noble. Hundreds of people pressed toward the front cash registers, knowing the prize for which they had waited so long was almost within their grasp.

"Everybody's got to be civil about this, all right?" a bookstore employee standing atop the counter called out.

When the clock hit 12:01 a.m., the lucky first group rushed to the registers, wallets open. A payment of $17.99 plus tax got them what they desperately wanted - "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the fifth book in J.K. Rowling's best-selling series about the wizarding world.

The Muggles, as Rowling calls them, hung around the store all day to be first in line for the magical book they had preordered possibly months ago. Since noon, Shauna Parsons' sister had stood in line, making 18-year-old Shauna one of the initial people to happily walk out of the store.
She just as happily waited, however.

"All the people and all the little kids over a book - it's fun," she said. "Not selling it until 12:01 just adds to the excitement."

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