A no-spoiler Harry Potter thread: Tell us what happened when you bought the book!

For some people, this’ll be a very boring thread. “Uh, I opened the Amazon box that showed up at my door.” OK, that’s fine.

For others, though, such as those who braved the crowd at 12:01 AM on the 21st, I’m sure you have some interesting stories to tell. I think I do.

At around 11:00 PM, I put on my robe and grabbed my walking stick, looking rather convincingly like a Dementor once I had the hood up (being 6’6" can help sometimes). My eldest daughter also wore her black robe, while my 8-year-old daughter wore a Harry Potter t-shirt, as did a friend of the family we had staying over. My youngest daughter (2 and a half) wore her favorite wizard cap.

And so we, the family of geeks (me as Head Geek), set out for Barnes and Noble to brave the crowds.

We arrived at about 11:45. The parking lot had overflowed into neighboring parking lots, and had begun to fill up the mall parking across the street. We parked over there, and I pulled my hood over my head and walked my family across the street. Several people noticably shied away from me as I flowed across the street in my long black robe with hanging sleeves.

Entering the store, my first thought was that all the people filling it had been brought together by this one book… that was pretty cool. My wife’s first thought was that it had to be a fire code violation. I’m sure she was right.

After milling around a bit, and getting my photo taken by one “big fan,” we found the end of the first line. This was the line where people who pre-ordered The Book would receive a numbered ticket. The number on the ticket would define when that person could stand in the second line, where they would receive their book and then proceed to purchase it.

After ten or fifteen minutes in the first line, I had our ticket. It was now after midnight and numbers were being called in series. It was going to be a long wait. My daughters had disappeared in the crowd, and I felt sure my wife would go back out to the car shortly. Within minutes, she did. I stayed to listen for our number, and shop around.

There were many kids dressed up in various sorts of “witchy” clothes, from grade-schoolers to teenagers to… well, me. Very few adults had dressed up, though, which made me something of a celebrity. I got my photo taken yet again, and a couple of teenage boys asked me to cast a Level 9 Fireball or Dimension Door on them. I obliged with a Magic Missile.

Walking around, I passed a lovely woman about my age who looked at me and smiled every time we walked by one another. Finally she asked if I had made my costume. I had to confess that I had purchased it the previous year. She told me she made costumes, and suddenly I recognized her. When I had last seen her, she had had pointy ears, a stunning white flowing dress, and an ornate silver pendant, and had been standing in line on front of me for popcorn. This had been last November, and I still recognized her… she was gorgeous as an elfen princess, and was still lovely in her “mundane” clothes. We chatted about costumes, renaissance faires, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Harry Potter for a bit. This alone made the evening worth it. Never let it be said I pass up a chance to chat up a pretty, engaging young woman who happens to share many interests with me.

Meanwhile, the B&N employee calling out ticket numbers was obviously losing some of her previous enthusiasm for it, though when she saw me she laughed and gave me a high five.

“Heeeyy! You’re a… thing!” she said.


“Yeah, that!”

Oh well… I think most people got it. And I have to give her credit; her job had to have been exhausting and very trying.

The clever technique of keeping people in the store worked for me; while wandering around I found a cheap sketchbook for myself. Finally, my number was called and I got in the second line. While moving steadily through the store (it stretched most of the way across), I talked to an 8-year-old girl who had just had her ears pierced, and the girl’s mother. We talked about piercing, and how my eldest daughter was still afraid to do it. I said the girl was very brave for going through it. She was obviously very tired and very excited about the new book. So was her mother.

The ticket-takers at the end of the line were pretty mean, playing jokes on tired kids at 1 AM. I saw a little boy hand one of them a ticket, and the woman took it and said “Thanks.” The boy stared at her, not knowing what to say or do. She stared back for several seconds… then dropped the other shoe. “Oh, you want a book?” Mean, mean. I threatened her with my heavy walking stick and I got my book straight away.

The young man who rang up my new purchases looked like he was about to fall over. “How’s it going?” I asked.

“I’m here,” his only answer. I completed the purchase and left.

End result: I was made to feel like a celebrity because I took a few extra minutes to throw on a recycled Halloween costume and wear it to the store. I was more social tonight than I usually am in a given week, even talking at length to the prettiest woman in the room (even without pointy ears) about a great many things. I got to be vaguely menacing without even trying. I picked up a new sketch book for myself, so I can ease back into drawing. And, oh yes, I became a statistic for the next day’s news, because I got the new Harry Potter book!

I went to Barnes and Noble last night and a bunch of kids were dressed up for the “Midnight Magic Party”, and I was jealous that I wasn’t that age and I probably would’ve looked weird being there. Apparently I was wrong!! I should’ve just dressed up and stayed!!

But I preordered the book months ago, and B&N notified me I would get the book the day it came out (today). I was thinking about it this morning, about what time of day it would come when I heard a knock on the door. I answered it and the delivery dude was there. I said "Oh! I was just thinking about that! The new Harry Potter book, right?. He said “Yeah, we gotta bunch of 'em”.

So that’s what happened when I got it. Kinda boring, but exciting for me. I called my mom to brag. Heehee

Ms. Undhow and I decided to go on a lark. Got to B&N at about 11:15, didn’t get out until 12:45. Not much in the way of costumes or anything, though the B&N was giving out these plastic Harry Potter glasses to the kiddies. There were some games over in the kiddie section for the younger ones.

Anyway, I realized last night what marketing genius these midnight-vigil things are. I’ve never seen a B&N so crowded, and everyone there had to wait an hour or more (first for midnight, then for your ticket number to be called). Since every store in the area was closed, the only thing to do was…shop for more books!

We dropped over a hundred bucks, and that was after putting several selections back on the shelves. And almost every person on line had a couple of books in addition to his or her Harry Potter claim ticket. I bet they did a week’s worth of sales in one night.

My copy shipped from overseas at about 4 AM. biting nails I don’t know how long it’ll take to get here, though it’ll only be a few days at the worst. biting some more

Well…I did try and find the book yesterday, while shopping at Fry’s for blank cdrs and VHS tapes and other stuff I had run out of, and asked about 5 different clerks if they had the book, and they all pointed me in different directions…At last, I wound up at a manager’s podium, where the smartly-dressed Asian woman told me that it doesn’t come out until Saturday. D’oh!! (Actually, I had forgotten what DAY IT WAS, i.e. Friday not Saturday…but I didn’t tell her that. :slight_smile: )

I’m not getting why so many people pre-ordered it if you had to go to the store and stand in line anyway?

We watched a bit of the coverage on the news last night and I couldn’t help how great that would be to be a kid for that, and I liked that they touched on how excited some of the parents were that their kids were BEGGING to go to a bookstore. What a relief that must be with all that goes on in the world today.

Me, I’m cheap. I can wait until it shows up at the thrift store or the library has a copy in. I should probably go back and re-read the others since I don’t hardly remember any of the details.

My nine-year old daughter and I showed up at Barnes and Noble at about 11:25. I should have known better when the parking lot was completely full. This B & N is located in a strip mall with Best Buy and Petco and restaurants. It as almost impossible to find a spot.
It was pandemonium in there. I thought it was supposed to be a party. People were dressed up, but there were no activities.
They had a system where they gave you a ticket and you waited until they called your number, then you went up and got your book.
The numbers started at 6001 and I got 7997. I felt like I was in that scene at the end of the movie “Beetlejuice.” where Beetlejuice was in the waiting room of Hell and they were on number 4 and he had number 4 million something.
The guy who was calling numbers didn’t have a microphone so he had to shout. Because he was shouting, he sounded very angry, which always turns me off.
I felt like the whole thing could have been better organized.
I didn’t want to stay there until 4:00 a.m., so my daughter and I left and drove to the Walmart which is about 5 miles down the road, walked in, purchased the book, and left.
The book was probably cheaper at Walmart, too.

I was out with a friend celebrating her 21st birthday, and she announced that afterward she & her boyfriend were going to camp out at the nearby B&N. Everybody else eventually split, but I hung out with them for a little while.

There was a big line out front, a woman in black and a witch’s hat passing out thick glasses and a guy trying to organize the line. My friend had her name on the pre-order list but we still had to wait to get tickets. There were people in all kinds of costumes, but this was on Rockville Pike, in the center of suburbia, so it was all kids & families.

The B&N and neighboring Starbucks was totally packed. DCU is probably right, whoever planned these midnight book releases is a marketing whiz. The music section had employees playing all kinds of games with kids in the CD department, constant updates over the PA, and a big sign saying where people were supposed to line up. As I understood it, the order would be determined by the number on the ticket anyway. So my friend & her boyfriend pull up a chunk of floor… she grabs Garfield books, he reads about the history of heavy metal, and I just wander. By 11:00 they’re announcing that those who are not buying Harry Potter should make their purchases now. Since I wasn’t, and had an hour drive ahead, I wished my friends good luck and left.

Any stats on sales so far?

My S.O.'s bookstore had planned activities, but so many people showed up around midnight that they weren’t able to do most of them – too many people, too much noise, too little room. The staff was bummed, because they’d spent a lot of time planning the activities.

He got home this morning about 5:00 am.

At his store, I think they sold almost 700 copies last night, and may be sold out of their initial shipment today.

My phone just rang, it was the outside door with a FedEx person with the book. I am now going to disappear for the rest of the weekend. Or, at least, the rest of the day.

Did anyone else find this at first confusing, and then reaaaally suggestive?


Still haven’t picked mine up yet (**voguevixen]: I pre-ordered it becaue you get a nice discount, you only have to wait in line if you had to have it at mikdnight). But I can say that I was driving home from the bar last night at around 12:30 and decided to drive by Border’s and yes there was a line so long I couldn’t see the end of it.

Just picked mine up. No line, no waiting. I did pre-order for the discount. Going to start reading it after dinner.

I preordered mine through Amazon and since I had my credit card out, I went ahead and picked up a couple of books more in order to qualify for free shipping, so I guess the add-on effect isn’t limited to shopping in the store.

My copy arrived in today’s mail, so I’ll be ripping through it today.

I fail to understand why people preorder from a brick-and-mortar store if you have to go through such ridiculous rigmararole just to pick a book you’ve already paid for.

Preorder? Wait in line? Bah.

I checked my clock at 11:50pm Friday, drove to Albertson’s supermarket, and picked it up at 12:01am Saturday.

I wonder why everybody insisted upon going to Barnes and Noble when they could have just gone to your average 24-hour supermarket and had the book quicker. At Albertson’s it was even on discount.


I didn’t pre-order it or anything; I was planning to get it later on, when the hype slowed down, and all.

But today my parents surprised me by picking it up at Costco. They said there were no lines, and there were pallets full of the book; they just walked over and grabbed one.

In fact, I just got it about 10 minutes ago. Haven’t even cracked open the cover.

I’m very grateful, though.

I…um…gave in and went to buy it, even though I’ve got the UK copy on the way. The B&N sold out just as I walked in, so I made it to another bookstore, at a nearby mall, as quickly as I could; they told me that the B&N had just called to tell them they were out, so it’s a good thing I got there when I did. Something tells me THEY’RE going to be out before long!

I guess I can always donate this copy or something when I get the other one, right? When my mom said it wouldn’t be getting here before Wednesday, I said the hell with it, I’m getting it NOW.

I’m terrible at delay of gratification.

Ordered it about 2 weeks ago.

According to UPS package tracking, it shipped the 16th from Nevada. Nothing has changed since. I can only hope it arrives in the next 3 days, so I haven’t left yet, going on a trip, don’t ya know.

Since I had to be at work at 06:00 this morning I wasn’t going to brave the crowds at 12:01. Instead I went over to the local Barns & Noble at 3:30pm where I had pre-ordered the book. With only one person in line ahead of me, I was in and out in 10 minutes. That included the clerk showing me his ‘wizard glasses’. I was back at work by 3:50pm. Now I am counting the minutes ‘til 6:30pm when I’m off and can start reading.

I pre-ordered at Amazon.co.uk.
I got a mail last night saying my credit card had been refused.
This is not surprising since my card is empty :frowning:

I thought I had pre-paid.
I haven’t had the energy to look into it and see what I can do to remedy the situation. The card will have money on it in about 5 days, but I am going to ring up to town and see if the bookstore here has an english copy, if so I will get it there and cancel my Amazon order, if not I will have to read and understand the mail.