Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
January 29, 2008 Issue
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THE HARRY POTTER craze has hit Sullivan County again. With the chance to enjoy the book early Saturday morning, young and older readers alike, will be rushing to find their own copy of the last novel in the series by J. K. Rowling.

Bookworms Ready For 'Pottermania'

By Jeanne Sager
SULLIVAN COUNTY — July 20, 2007 — The secret to Platform 93⁄4 won’t be necessary for the folks who want the first crack at the world’s wiliest wizard.
The world-wide release of the final book in the popular series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” has created a crescendo expected to reach fever pitch when publisher Scholastic releases its clutches on the 784-page hardback at 12:01 Saturday morning.
Even Sullivan County has fallen under the spell of the boy wizard with week-long celebrations at local libraries and midnight magic sessions planned in Narrowsburg and Livingston Manor.
Tonight costumed Muggles will queue up at the Western Sullivan Public Library in Narrowsburg at Hamish and Henry Booksellers in the Manor.
Each location is promising a movie and Hogwarts high jinx leading up to midnight.
“Then we’re going to breathlessly break open the boxes of books and start breaking children’s hearts if Harry does indeed meet his end,” said Hamish owner Jeff Christensen. “We certainly hope J.K. Rowling does not inflict mortality on Harry at this tender age!”
The shop has ordered 100 copies, with one promised as a prize to the best costume of the night and the other 99 up for grabs.
A list of “pre-orders” was hovering just above 50, but Christensen said there’s no guarantee the others will remain unreserved for long.
“You don’t know what will happen by midnight!” he said. “The funniest thing to me about this is there will be all of these unread books running around on Friday night, and by Saturday at 10 a.m. there will be a lot of these totally-read copies because people stay up all night to read it!”
The tale won’t go unread for long in Narrowsburg.
At exactly 12:01 a.m., Deathly Hallows will be pulled from “warlock and key,” and the first chapter read aloud at the Tusten-Cochecton branch of the Western Sullivan Public Library.
This is the library’s first foray into Potter parties, but Branch Manager Mary Paige Lang-Clouse said the week-long celebration has proved so popular she had to drop the age limit.
The plan was to limit participants to 10 and up – in part because of the late hour of tonight’s unveiling.
But Lang-Clouse didn’t have the heart to turn away 8-year-olds who were clamoring to be involved.
“The books have created such excitement for kids who wouldn’t otherwise be interested in reading,” she noted.
J.K. Rowling’s characters appeal to such a variety of readers, Lang-Clouse said, that it’s enabled librarians to draw that “borderline young adult crowd” back into the library, back into reading.
“You get a second chance,” she said.
Potter’s certainly cast his spell on librarians everywhere.
Melanie Olson, head of the children’s room at Ethelbert B. Crawford Library in Monticello said there will be 11 copies available “first come, first serve” when the library opens at 11 a.m..
Another has been set aside for the winner of the Harry Potter trivia contest that has been held all week long at the library.
In 2005, when “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” hit the shelves, Olson said the first few minutes after the doors opened were crazy.
By the end of the day, nine of the library’s 10 copies were gone.
“Within a few minutes of opening Monday morning, the last was gone too,” she recalled. “But we had several copies back on Monday from kids who sat and read all weekend!”
That’s the spirit librarians want to see when children tackle a book.
“It’s wonderful,” Olson noted. “If we can carry that over into another book… anything that gets them into the library is wonderful.”
There are other books out there for Potter fans who can’t get their hands on “Hallows” right away.
Rowling pulls from Scottish and English folklore, Olson said, and there are nonfiction titles that would give readers more insight into her creatures.
Of course there’s always the hope that Potter fans will pick up other mythical adventures and fairy tales while they’re checking out their wizarding guide.
For the families who are opting to get a good’s night rest for a weekend of reading, there are other options.
The Jeffersonville and Callicoon branches of Western Sullivan will both be open on Saturday, with one hardback in Jeff and another hardback and book on CD at the Delaware Free branch.
Branch Manager Audra Everett said a list has already been formulated for Potter fans, so the copies are already spoken for.
But she said anyone can stop by to sign their name to the list.
Fallsburg’s library doesn’t have a list, but they’ve got a copy on order. It will be on the shelves when the facility opens Sunday.
The Roscoe and Livingston Manor libraries are deferring to the festivities at Hamish and Henry just down the road, but both have their orders in for two copies each of “Hallows” and both will be open to the public at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
The same goes for Liberty where five copies will be available at 10 a.m. Saturday morning – three hardcovers and one each on CD and cassette.
The Daniel Pierce Library in Grahamsville will be open bright and early Saturday at 9 a.m. with two copies in hardback plus one each on cassette and CD available to patrons.
Like many other local libraries, Daniel Pierce will code its Potter books so they won’t be available through the Ramapo Catskill Library System’s inter-library loan at first, allowing Grahamsville area residents first crack.
The folks at Sunshine Hall Free Library in Eldred said they aren’t expecting to receive their copies in time for Saturday, but there will be a Potter scavenger hunt at the library next week.
The first allowed to borrow the book will be determined by a battle of wits between Muggles and wizards – no sorting hat necessary!
But no one in Sullivan County has been able to summon the spell to get their hands on Harry before Saturday.
“You almost had to sign your life away!” Lang-Clouse said with a laugh. “If you dare crack the book or let it go before 12:01 you almost will never get a book from Scholastic again.”

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