"Pottermania" has hit the U.S. as the suspense builds before the release of the seventh and final installment in the J.K. Rowling book series. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" will be released on Saturday, July 21 and has already sold more than 325 million copies worldwide.
The pre-orders alone have broken sale records online for sites like amazon.com. Amazon.com says the company has received over one million book orders to date. Barnes and Noble books also received more than one million orders in online presales for the book.
At the Amazon shipping facility, the books are being kept in a special area that's patrolled 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Only certain employees with special credentials are allowed in the areas and they are only allowed to handle the books as is necessary to pack and ship them.
Fans around the world are anxiously awaiting word on whether the boy-wizard hero lives or dies.
Author J.K. Rowling has said that two major characters will be going to that great library in the sky. And she's been begging readers who grab the first copies not to spoil it for others.
Some people already have, or maybe they have. U.S. publisher Scholastic Incorporated, has been scrambling to kill dozens of purported versions that have been popping up on the Internet. One contains digital images of what are claimed to be all 36 chapters and an epilogue, photographed as the book lay open on a carpet.
Scholastic says the versions all look convincing but notes that they are all different. The company, of course, isn't saying which, if any of them, might have it right.
The Colorado College bookstore is hosting a Harry Potter Midnight release party. The party will start at 9 p.m. Friday, July 20. People who wear a Harry Potter costume will get 10 percent off the book purchase.
Both Borders stores in Colorado Springs are hosting parties as well. The "Grand Hallows Ball" will have a kiddie carnival, face painting, costume contest and a Potter spelling bee starting at 9 p.m. and ending after the books go on sale at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
Barnes and Noble stores have a similar release party planned starting at 9 p.m. with games, giveaways and face-painting.