Potter time again

EXCITEMENT replaces the agony of anticipation today for Harry Potter fanatics who will finally get the chance to get their hands on JK Rowling's new book.

EXCITEMENT replaces the agony of anticipation today for Harry Potter fanatics who will finally get the chance to get their hands on JK Rowling's new book.

Two years after Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix hit book shelves, the latest instalment in the worldwide literary phenomenon will go on sale from midnight.

Some bookshops and supermarkets are opening throughout the night to give devotees the chance to snap up the first copies of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince.

Enthusiasts are ready to stay up all night to get a copy and spend the early hours finding out what perils await the young wizard.

First-day sales are anticipated to top the 1.7 million copies sold of The Order Of The Phoenix, based on pre-orders.

Jamie Lawrence, from Capel St Mary, who helps put together the MuggleNet website, which is devoted to Harry Potter, has flown to Edinburgh to take part in the official Half-Blood Prince celebrations.

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He said: "With events taking place into the night around Edinburgh Castle and Jo Rowling inside reading an extract from the new book, it's clearly the place to be.

"On the sleep issue, if I doze off for even the tiniest time I shall consider the episode a disappointment.

"Potter releases and sleep deprivation go hand in hand. Without sleeping, I hope to finish the book by mid morning. My first reading of a new book is always over pretty quickly. That way I can say 'Oh my God, that was amazing!', and then settle down to read it again at a significantly slower pace, taking in all the details."

Jamie, 18, admits the two-year wait between novels has been especially agonising.

He said: "If the Harry Potter phenomenon could be described as a rollercoaster journey, the period in between releases is the dip in the track. As a fan, you're stuck in a rut of no new material, but you know that more surprises and adventures are waiting for you on the release date."

Sainsbury's at Warren Heath is opening throughout the night tonight. The book will go on sale from one minute past midnight.

Emily Goldthorpe, Sainsbury's Books Buyer, says: "We're opening throughout the night so avid fans can get their copy as soon as possible."

Weblink: More information on JK Rowling and Harry Potter can be found on her official website: www.jkrowling.com

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