Last night, I accompanied G as she waited in line for the new Harry Potter. Equipped with iced coffee, we stood in line from 11:30 pm until 1 am on 7th avenue in Park Slope at the Community Bookstore. The line stretched past the end of the block and wrapped around the corner, about halfway to 8th avenue. There were lots of parents with kids, many adults. Just a lot of people. The bookstore shot off fireworks in the street and the costumed characters kept everyone entertained as did the teenage boys on bikes heckling the line with cried of HARRY POTTER HARRY POTTER HARRY POTTER!!!!!!! The folks who bought their books at Barnes & Noble were able to take advantage of the bank of cashiers (one lone person served as cashier for the Community Bookstore) and folks drove down the street, waving their copies out the window. Everyone cheered and clapped when they did this. It was really wild to see people so excited about a book. As the night wore on, kids started to have meltdowns. Parents talked about "muggling" a book away from the folks who were ahead of us in line. A mother stressed to her children, "Guys, I just want you to know, I am throwing the wand AWAY."
The bookstore itself was decorated a la Hogwarts and there were many treats to be had. Once one paid for the book outside the bookstore, one received a coupon for the book. An open door within the bookstore was papered over to resemble a stone wall and there was a hole cut out at the very bottom. A gloved hand took your coupon and replaced it with a book. G was vaguely embarrassed that I took her picture, but something tells me that she'll be telling her grandkids stories one day and the photos will be appreciated then.
G said goodbye to me at Union Street as she needed to run home and start the book. We could see spotlights in the air, coming from the library where a party was also held. I have no intention of reading the book (admission: I have read Harry Potter 1-4), but I had to be there for an event that got people out of the house to buy a book.