Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Friday, July 20, 2007

Harry Potter (sort of ) seen on platform 9 3/4

On the way home tonight from central London at 10pm after what's been one of the most exhausting week's I've ever done at work (90+ hours at work), I came across a bit of Potter-mania at Kings Cross.

When I'm working in London (which isn't every day) I travel in via Kings Cross which isn't normally the most exciting of travel destinations, but tonight on the eve of the launch of the final Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows" of course the world has gone potter-mad, especially as Kings Cross is the home of platform 9 3/4 for the Hogwarts Express.

As well as the usual bemused commuters (like me) and drunken Londoners (not like me) there was more than the usual fair share of muggles, wizards, camera crews and Harry Potter look-a-like's. There was a queue of wizard hopefuls waiting (some in fancy dress) outside of WH Smith for the midnight book launch and I spotted a Harry-a-like and a Witchy sort of person who were posing for the tourists (mainly Japanese) who were obviously somewhat bemused by all the attention that Kings Cross was receiving at such a late hour.

Several camera crews were filming the action (such as it was) and I was particularly amused by the German TV crew and presenter that had setup home in the bookstore and kept on rehearsing their excited pitch in front of the camera whilst dodging the normal shoppers.

In case you hadn't realised (or had been sleeping under a rock for the last year or so), the seventh and supposedly final (unless JK Rowling gets a bit short of cash I guess) book in the Harry Potter storyline (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) goes on sale in just over an hour (at time of writing on the train). Doubtless by Monday the papers will be full of analysis as to how good the book is but it's been well promoted (to say the least).

According to my newspaper, sales of the Potter phenomenon have been over 21 million in the UK alone:
BookHardback salesPaperback sales
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997)193,1653,667,302
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)187,0423,050,953
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)507,6912,657,726
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)1,318,1842,097,870
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)3,468,610643,791
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince3,618,278286,550

I have to admit to being in the 'not bothered' category as regards HarryP but I wouldn't miss the £545 million JK Rowling's worth so far from the massive phenomenom it's become, 65 languages and 325 million worldwide book sale's isn't bad for someone who was rejected by 8 authors and sold the initial rights for £3,000.


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