While the release of the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” is still three weeks away, the buzz has started. Last week, when Scholastic, the publisher of the series, chose the Chantilly Regional Library as one of 37 stops nationwide on the Knight Bus Tour, 600 people showed up for a chance to see the purple, double-decker vehicle familiar to readers of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”
The Fairfax County Public Library has ordered more than 500 copies of the book in various formats – 390 in regular print alone. As of yesterday, there were 1,285 holds on that regular print edition. When Scholastic announced the July 21 release date for the new book on February 1, 2007, 216 people had placed holds on the regular copy by the end of the day. More copies may be ordered as the ratio of copies to the number of people on hold increases.
Copies of the book will be kept secured in the receiving section of the library’s cataloguing department until several days before the release date. The boxes will then be opened and the books processed. They will be placed on carts and sorted by branch. Staff from each branch will pick up copies early Saturday, July 21 and deliver them to each location to be distributed to those who are on the waiting list for the book.
There are also Harry Potter-related activities at a half-dozen library branches this summer, including a Harry Potter Midnight Release Celebration at the Patrick Henry Library. (See below for details.)
July 9, 7 p.m. ‘N2 Reading: Book Discussion Group. Vote on which characters will meet their doom in the next Harry Potter; enter a drawing to win a book. Age 9-12 with adult. Centreville Regional Library, 703-830-2223.
July 12, 2 p.m. Harry Potter Party. Activities and fun as you wait for the arrival of the final book.
Age 8-12. Kingstowne Library, 703-339-4610.
July 16-19, 6:30 p.m. Wizard Film Festival. Magical movies on four consecutive nights. All ages. Patrick Henry Library, 703-938-0405.
July 20, 9:30 p.m. Harry Potter Midnight Book Release Party. Enjoy a costume show, Quidditch and other activities before the midnight sale of the new Harry Potter book, courtesy of Borders-Tysons Corner. Age 8 & up. Patrick Henry Library, 703-938-0405.
July 21, 11 a.m. Hogwarts Library Open House. Games, snacks, crafts and a costume contest. All ages. Herndon Fortnightly Library, 703-437-8855.
Aug. 3, 2 p.m.
Harry Potter: Editio Septimus. What does Harry Potter mean to you? Age 12-18. Centreville Regional Library, 703-830-2223.
August 11, 2 p.m. Wizard Rock. Enjoy live music from the Whomping Willows and the Remus Lupins. Age 8 & up. Patrick Henry Library, 703-938-0405.
REMEMBER: The sign-up for these popular events begins two weeks prior to the activity. Call early.