There are various levels of Pottermania: those who are interested but aren’t going to kill themselves to get Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in the first few days; those who will make a point of getting their copy on Saturday, one of an expected 10.8 million copies to be sold in the first 24 hours of release; those who will stay up past midnight on Friday to get their copy at (mostly) bookstore Potter Parties and dance around the mandrake bush with their HP6 clutched tightly in their willow-whomped hands.
Want to attend with the other loons? PotterParties.com has a list of (at the moment) 2327 parties worldwide, including 1917 in the U.S., 215 in the U.K., and a hot one in the United Arab Emirates.
The site helpfully suggests that, “Even small touches can go a long way toward enhancing your environment to be more Potteresque. For any decoration display, clustering your props together makes more of an impact … A small end table can have some books added and maybe an example spell drawn out on a scroll or on a black paper ‘chalkboard’ to become a Transfiguration classroom … Another small table can use a globe light fixture cover turned upside-down on a 3-wick candle-holder with a teacup and saucer over a fringed scarf ‘tablecloth’ to be Divination class. Add a copy of ‘Unfogging the Future’ or other Divination books if you like.”
In addition to private shops, a number of chains have joined the Potter Party cabal, including Borders, Barnes and Noble, and Books a Million. For an event to be officially included on the site it has to take place at a public place and be sponsored by that public place – the site staff will stop accepting submissions at midnight tonight.
A couple of examples: Northern Lights Books in Duluth, Minn., will hold a party at the city’s historic train depot. Store owner Anita Zager told USA Today a train will pull into the station at midnight, and “Harry Potter” will be on board. Platform 6, she says, “will be transformed into Platform 9-and-three-quaters.”
Peninsula, Ohio, will become “the world of Harry Potter,” said Debbie D’Andrea, owner of The Blue Heron Bookstore. “We’re doing it up and having so much fun.” Her store will be transformed into Flourish & Blotts, the Diagon Alley wizarding store.
Potter on, party people.