Pottermania

On my way back from the British Museum earlier today (about which I shall have more to say later), I passed by a massive Waterstone Books in London, in front of which a hundred or more kids and teens had lined up for the last Harry Potter book, which goes on sale at midnight tonight. There were news crews there filming the line, and the kids were all singing songs.

Oh, did I mention is was raining buckets at the time!

I went into the bookstore to buy Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I have read only oone Harry Potter book, the first one. But I have seen, and enjoyed all of the movies, and between the latest movie, which I saw here in London a few days ago, and the fanfare behind the final book, I simply couldn’t resist. It will give me something fun to read on the long plane ride home on Monday.

Anyway, people were crowding under the awning of the bookstore to get out of the torrential downpour, and then amusing themselves watching these kids in line. They were getting soaked, but they seemed happy as clams. And then, in front of the news cameras, Waterstone’s pulled what I believed was a major marketing coup. One of the store managers came out with a bullhorn and standing there in the rain, announced that everyone in line who had been given a number (I presume they all had), was going to be allowed into the store to get out of the rain. A massive cheer went up and the kids in line began singing a song about how great Waterstone’s was. And all of it was caught on camera, of course.

For the next two days, I have all-day tours of England planned, but I’m curious enough to consider heading over to Waterstone’s tonight at midnight just to say that I was part of all of the hubbub. Oh, and if they haven’t sold out of all of their copied in the first 30 seconds, maybe I’ll even pick one up.