Monday, June 23
Harry Potter fever: Are you part of it?
BBC News. June 23, 2003
After a three-year wait, Harry Potter fans finally got their hands on the fifth book of the series at midnight on Friday.
Keen readers have been flocking to grab their copies of what is likely to be the fastest selling book of all time.
Are you caught up in Harry Potter mania? How did you get hold of your copy this weekend? What do you think of the Potter phenomenon?
The fifth book is a lot darker and has appealed to me that way since I am Harry's current age and can understand his emotions which are so different from the previous books in the series. I enjoyed it immensely; at many points I found it difficult to put down. It had everything a book has never before done to me: it managed to make me worried, make me laugh and make me cry. I have to dismiss the criticism it receives. It's true that many of the Harry Potter books have main aspects from other well-known novels, but it is still in its own nevertheless.
I took my 18 year old daughter, Philippa, to buy the book at midnight on Friday. By 12.30 a.m. we were home and at 12.45a.m. she started to read unable to contain her excitement. The rest of the family went to bed but by 4.20a.m. she had finished the book. She loved the emotional ups and downs and the way Harry has matured. That's all she can say as she is banned from talking about it until the rest of the family has had a chance to read it.
Anne Norman, England
I was in Brent Cross on Saturday at lunchtime. Every shop had stacks of books including special retailers like the record shops. Does anyone really imagine that this would be a book you couldn't get hold of? Amazing hype brilliant, spin, a bit cruel for kids what with all the merchandise that comes with a new book. I suspect many parents dread the release of this book more than they dread a new Man United strip being released. It is so manipulative I think it is almost bad taste. This is about selling not about the virtues of encouraging literacy. Lets be clear, it is only a book, like Mr Beckham is only a footballer.
Mark Wilson, England
Reserved my copy online at Amazon then got cold feet in case it didn't turn up so queued at my local ASDA store from 11:00pm on Friday evening to be one of the first to get it. Amazon copy arrived at 7:30 next morning - No worries though, it meant my daughter and I didn't have to fight over it. Trouble was, my wife felt left out so by Sunday morning had gone to ASDA herself to buy a third copy (thankfully all three copies were purchased at half the cover price). Well worth the wait - so far I've only read up to Ch.16 but as with the previous four I'm hooked once more. Nice one JK, let's not wait so long for book 6!!!
David Atkinson, UK
The Harry Potter series must be some of the most over-praised, over-hyped books in history. The fact is that they are ably told amalgams of other more skilful and imaginative writers' ideas. At a very basic level, mix Anthony Buckeridge's Jennings series (about boarding school life and shenanigans) with Ursula Le Guin's 'A Wizard of Earthsea' and you will find Harry Potter's tired formula. I'm just glad that it's getting kids and adults reading a bit more.
Our rural Postman normally delivers from a Ford Escort sized van. When he delivered our copy of "Phoenix" on Saturday morning, he was in a 2 ton Mercedes! He had over 50 copies to deliver just in our tiny village, and said he'd never seen so many children watching for his arrival! Am I part of "the fever"? Absolutely!