Book casts midnight spell

  • By Chris Collins and Yoshiaki Nohara / Herald Writers
  • Friday, July 15, 2005 9:00pm
  • Local NewsLocal news

The Tekriwal family had it all figured out.

Priya, 9, would be the first in the family to read the sixth Harry Potter book after it was released at midnight until as long as her mother would let her stay up.

Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

Ethan Cook, 6, of Lynnwood waits Friday for the release of the sixth Harry Potter book at Borders bookstore at the Alderwood mall.

Then she’d be up bright and early this morning to read the book until 12:30 p.m.

After that, it was her 13-year-old sister, Ruchi’s, turn. She would have “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” until 5 p.m., then the two Bothell sisters would trade off in two-hour shifts.

At some point, their mom, Rajani, would get a turn.

“That’s the only way I could keep them from fighting over it,” Rajani said, laughing.

The Tekriwal daughters were sitting down carefully coloring chopsticks – soon to be wands – at the Alderwood mall’s Borders bookstore Friday evening.

The daughters seemed calm among the crowd of other Harry Potter fanatics sitting at the same table and about to burst, ready to declare July 16 a summertime Christmas.

“It’s mysterious,” said Talia Bennett, 13, of Mukilteo. “I’ve heard a lot about it. Hopefully, it’s surprising.”

Talia, who was wand-crafting at 6:30 p.m. and said she would hang around the Borders’ Harry Potter party until she gets her reserved book sometime after midnight, said she’s probably going to read the new book through the night.

She reserved the sixth book in January.

The latest release, which had 1,300 reservations at Borders, set off a string of Harry Potter bookstore parties in Snohomish County.

Mary Sneeringer, owner of the Edmonds Bookshop, said her store had 170 on reserve.

University Bookstore at the Mill Creek Town Center reported it had 200 Harry Potter books on reserve. Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park said it had 700 set aside.

But that figure dwarfed in comparison to the nearly 2,000 books the Woodinville Barnes &Noble said it stacked for its midnight release.

Local bookstores weren’t the only places flooded by Harry Potter mania. The U.S. Postal Service reported Friday that it will deliver almost 1 million copies of the book.

Down the street from Borders, Stephanie Hare, the store manager of Barnes &Noble bookstore on Alderwood Mall Parkway in Lynnwood, said three boys first came to the store around 10 p.m. Thursday and spent a night outside.

On Friday evening, a line of people stretched around the store and kept growing. Hare didn’t say how many reservations the store had received for the book, but said the number was the eighth largest among all the Barnes &Noble stores in the county.

Tammy Hemion joined the waiting line around 4:45 p.m. with her son, Randy, 9.

“It’s for both of us,” Hemion, 35, of Mountlake Terrace, said.

Randy, who usually goes to bed by 9 p.m., said he’s determined to stay awake until midnight to receive the book.

“This is the only fiction I read because I read a lot of nonfiction,” he said. “Mostly because it’s really popular.”

Amanda Delaney, 23, of Everett showed up in a black gown, dressed as a character in the book called Moaning Myrtle. Delaney said she’s been hooked on the Harry Potter series since 2002, but was at a loss for words to explain why.

“I don’t know. It’s just the characters are great,” she said.

At Borders, boxes of the new release were under lock and key.

Donna Strain, a special orders clerk at the bookstore, said it was a “firing offense” for any bookstore employee to take a peek at the new book.

When Matt Christianson, 24, of Everett walked by a booth staffed by Strain, he asked, excitedly: “Who’s the half-blood prince?”

Strain just smiled.

“We can look at the boxes, but we can’t look at the book,” she said.

Reporter Chris Collins: 425-339-3436 or ccollins@

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