Thousands German Harry Potter fans storm the shops as last book goes on sale

27th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

26 October 2007, Berlin (dpa) - The Harry Potter magic was worked for the last time in Germany early Saturday when tens of thousands of fans laid siege to bookshops in the major centres, waiting for the witching hour to strike.

26 October 2007

Berlin (dpa) - The Harry Potter magic was worked for the last time in Germany early Saturday when tens of thousands of fans laid siege to bookshops in the major centres, waiting for the witching hour to strike.

Publishers Carlsen predicted that a million copies of the seventh and final volume in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, would pass over the shelves by the end of the day. The first print run is a record 3 million.

Berlin's Dussmann was offering refreshments to 1,500 queuing customers from 10:00 pm.

"It was a colourful affair," said company spokeswoman Bianca Kroemer, with entire families turning up, the younger members all dressed in wizard attire to make clear their distinction from the "muggles."

Within 30 minutes, 1,000 copies had been sold.

Potter parties were held across Germany, with the Berlin fan club celebrating in a steam train, and in Essen in an old coal mine.

Bookshop chain Hugendubel threw "magical midnight parties" in eight German cities.

The contents of the book were well known in advance, as the English original went on sale in July.

The German release coincided with an interview with author JK Rowling published in the country's homeless newspapers.

"I will make sure that no stranger ever writes Harry Potter books," Rowling said. "Harry Potter is mine."

"I'm the only one who understands him," she said, adding it was a mistake to think that any half-ways talented author could write a sequel to a famous work.

Rowling admitted that that it had not been easy writing the final Harry Potter book.

"Particularly gruelling was the day on which I wrote the 35th chapter, the one in which Harry prepares for his death. All the emotions that had stored up inside me after years of writing about Harry suddenly poured out," she said.

Rowling admitted that on a few occasions she found it hard going during that time but had never resorted to creative assistance from others.

"Even if someone had proposed a better end for Harry Potter, I could not have used it because it would not have been my ending," she said.

Rowling, who spent a decade writing about the Hogwarts School pupil, said she had often been asked whether she would now turn her attention to books for adults.

"But I've already done that with Harry Potter," she said. "The books have been read by many, many adults. But if I think of something that will work just for adults, then I will write about that as well."

Asked whether the final Potter book with lots of killings made it suitable for young children, she replied: "I know what you mean, and it filled me with unease to hear that Harry Potter is read aloud to 5-year-olds. They should be at least 7."

It was the second time that Rowling had helped German newspapers sold on the streets by the homeless and socially deprived.

The last time was four years ago when she allowed them to publish the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix before it hit the shops.

Rowling herself lived off social security in Britain before making her breakthrough in 1997 with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

DPA

Subject: German news

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