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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Harry Potter fever: Are you part of it?
After a three-year wait, Harry Potter fans finally got their hands on the fifth book of the series at midnight on Friday.

Keen readers have been flocking to grab their copies of what is likely to be the fastest selling book of all time.

Are you caught up in Harry Potter mania? How did you get hold of your copy this weekend? What do you think of the Potter phenomenon? Is the book worth the wait and the build-up? Send us your comments and reviews.

Don't worry if you haven't read it yet - no spoilers will be published.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

Too much hype and not enough good story
Julie, England
I have just finished reading the book I don't feel that it is as good as the last four books. Too much hype and not enough good story, and the death of a major character, well I'm still waiting for it as I wasn't aware that they were a major character. Better luck next time.
Julie, England

I read this book in 6 hours...enjoyed it but it isn't the best book of the bunch.
Susanne Anderson, Netherlands/ Scotland

It's a shame that HP seems to have a virtual monopoly on kids' fiction, but at least it gets them away from the playstation and into a bookshop.
Brian, Scotland

We queued at Tesco's from 11.30pm... it was definitely well worth the wait and there were lots of very excited adults at 12.01 when the book went on sale!!
Ali, England

The fifth book is the best of all the Harry books
Mickael, France
I'm really keen on the Harry Potter books. I'm very happy to be able to read the English version. I think the fifth book is the best of all the Harry books. JK Rowling gives me a passion for reading, she's incredibly fantastic and I love to be involved in the adventure of the young wizard. Very Good!
Mickael, France

Brilliant from beginning to end.
Kilam, Malaysia

I am a librarian in Edinburgh and this wonderful woman has got children reading books even boys! At the beginning of the school holidays. If that isn't magic, I don't know what is.
Debbie Irving, Scotland

I ordered the Harry Potter book from the internet. I couldn't put the book down once I started. Although it was very long I was very surprised when i got to the end. It was worth the money I paid and cannot wait until the next one! Let's hope it isn't another 3 years though!
Taniko, Tonga

Did nothing but read, finished in 7 hours. Very dark book - any book where a child is forced to carve words into his hand is not up there with the Brady bunch of happy books. But Petunia, Snape, Neville and Ginny are revelations. Harry's halo slips quite a bit which makes a (welcome) change.
Jo, NZ

The Harry Potter books are the BEST! I practically didn't get any sleep, but even at midnight I was completely entranced!
Connor Tann, England

I actually became a fan of the Harry Potter books before they became popular in the US. I was living in England in 1998, and my father picked up a copy. I was pleasantly surprised to see how popular it became. I did go out to a local bookstore to pick up a copy, and I was not disappointed by what I read.
Jesse Holmes, 16, Idaho, USA

It devastated me, brilliant, breathtaking and hooray to Rowling for getting the kids of the world to read again
Dylan, Australia
I was meant to be studying for my uni exams but I wanted to be there for the opening (9:01a.m). I managed to grab the first copy from this particular store; I read the book the same day even though I said I would not. It devastated me, brilliant, breathtaking and hooray to Rowling for getting the kids of the world to read again. The scene with Dumbledore and Harry at the end was heart breaking.
Dylan, Australia

I have read the first book and wasn't impressed. Moreover, what's so special when everyone is reading the same book? What interesting conversations they might have? None. Because they all have the same thing to talk about and only voice out their opinion instead of learning to listen for once.
Jason d'Eon, Montreal, Canada

I think the 5th book drags on a bit. I couldn't wait for the words: Dumbledore lowered his hands etc, so I could find out about Harry's history. Instead we are just told that there was a prophecy? I also don't think the death was very dramatic.
Charlotte, UK

I reserved my copy at Waldenbooks, which decided to open at 7:00 AM, Saturday, which by the way was the day after my birthday. The fifth book is the best in the series so far, due to massive character development, particularly Harry, and JK Rowling's writing style, which is at its peak. Comments terminatus!
Daniel J. Hamlow, USA

I am definitely a part of the Harry Potter fever. The books remind me of the awesome Enid Blyton books I read as a kid growing up in India.
Amit Tonse, US

Anything that gets children to read can only be a good thing, no matter how good or bad you think these books are
Rhona Millar, Singapore
This book has made children read. Surely anything that gets children to read can only be a good thing, no matter how good or bad you think these books are. If JK Rowling hooks children on reading with Harry, then they are sure to go on to read other things while they wait for Harry's next adventure. Personally, I love the books, and am desperate to read the new one (my brother is getting it for my birthday). A child who reads Harry Potter has a much better chance of getting hooked on reading and enjoying more serious literature than a child who doesn't.
Rhona Millar, Singapore

Well worth the wait even if I have to read the American edition I couldn't get it at the book store .I got it at a computer supply store.
Hannah Matthews, usa/England

I think the HP phenomena is good in that more people are reading.. but no one has mentioned fantastic books I read when I was young, like Mr Galliano's Circus and the best of all, The Magic Faraway Tree... these are the books I will buy for my children when they are into reading!!
Louise, N.Ireland

I might be one of those few people who never read Harry Potter but I managed to read JK Rowling's biography. She had an interesting and struggling life with her daughter in Portugal and the UK. When I was in England in summer 2000 I have seen everybody in train reading HP I guess now it is the same thing happening in British rail.
Javhlan Byamba, Mongolian in Portugal

I have read all 4 books many times over. I was at the bookshop at 8am for the pre-Harry party! I got the 5th book out of the box and was home in 40 minutes. I started reading at 10.30am and was finished at 5pm that same day. I loved it! The last 120-150 pages were edge-of-your-seat stuff and there was no way I could have put it down! I am now reading it again and loving every word of it! It was more than worth the wait and I can't bare to have another 3 years before the 6th book comes out!!!
Sarah Somers, Australia

The fifth book was very enjoyable but I have to say that in all the Harry Potter books, including this one, I am always disappointed by the last few chapters. I find the battles in the end particularly silly; the mysteries and the setups are more interesting that the answers in the end. I also don't think the fifth book has much gravity to it but it's a fun read.
Jim, Canada

I haven't read the whole book yet, it hasn't come out in Venezuela; however I've got relatives in the US who read a few chapters to me
Juliana, Venezuela
I haven't read the whole book yet, since it hasn't come out in Venezuela; however I've got relatives in the US who bought the book for me. They've read a few chapters to me and I think it's awesome! It's a very exciting saga... Definitely a darker one, but that's what makes it suspenseful and fun. I just want to say Congratulations JK Rowling! No matter how far we are from you (being Venezuela and all)we remain your #1 fans down in the south! YOU ROCK!!!!!!!
Juliana, Venezuela

The mania surrounding Harry Potter has ensured that I will never take part. I find this gross commercialism sickening!
Shawn, Eugene, OR, USA

I arranged to have the new book sent to my grandchild 3 months ago. He is a "reader", but he better hurry, cause I like them too!
Bonnie, US

I used to think the HP books were really bad because it involved witches and stuff. But then the forth book came out and my big brother was reading it and I couldn't help my curiosity, what was all the fuss about? I picked up the first book and started reading. Ever since I loved the hole series. I realize that books are using the imagination and that doesn't mean the stuff is real. I think some HP fanatics are a little bit too crazy though. I ordered the fifth book but it still hasn't come. I can't wait!
Gwenny, New Zealand

Harry Potter is good but the marketing hype has gone overboard. I can only hope that JK Rowling will use some of the vast financial rewards she is receiving to benefit children's charities.
Jason L, USA

I am 20, a well-read history student, and I've been waiting for this book to come out since Goblet of Fire- I pre-ordered it the day I heard the publishing date. In my hometown, the Potter phenomenon is huge. I drove around at midnight that night and saw crowds of hundreds lining up outside of even the smallest bookstores. Adults and children were dressed up everywhere, carrying around wands and wearing hats. And I think the wait was worth it.
Cynthia Hornbeck, USA

I resisted the temptation to read it till 8.30pm on Monday; only put the book down at 2am, having missed eating dinner entirely!
Phoebe Lin, Singapore
Bought a copy on Sunday, resisted the temptation to read it till 8.30pm on Monday; only put the book down at 2am, having missed eating dinner entirely! An great read although the ending was a tad too muddled (similar to the ending chapters of book 4). I got the idea JK Rowling was trying to cram everything (to tie up some loose ends and create more for books 6+7) in the last few chapters.
Phoebe Lin, Singapore

As a book dealer, I received copies early, but dutifully kept them boxed until the morning of the official sale date. I actually came into work two hours early so I could begin reading it. Since it has been three years since I read book 4, I can't directly compare them. It certainly fleshes out some of the characters and adds new depth. It really did not seem "darker" to me than previous instalments, though maybe some will get that impression from Harry's more frequent anger. It was a relief that the character who dies wasn't one of my favourites, though I was more sympathetic to him/her in previous books.
Lee Dittmann, U.S.

I remember reading chapter one from the fourth book, and after seeing the second movie I decided to buy the four books. I got really hooked on the very first paragraph. I was reading all of them 6 days straight. On the day the fifth book came out I was there when they were counting down to 9:01am. It was massive! There were little kids running around in wizard costumes, and there were also musicians. So it was a great morning.
Tracey, Australia

Absolutely loved the book, got sunburnt Saturday due to being enthralled. The only problem now is that I can't wait for number 6. Get writing JK.
Susan Greenwood, England

Is HP really a good book worth reading? Informative or instructive? Does it really embed lots of entertainment? I doubt.
Brian, Australia

I'm amazed at how much Harry Potter has influenced people
Adrian Tan, Australia
Honestly speaking, I have never read a Harry Potter book. But ever since I saw the movies, I get so hooked to the story, that I decided to read the 3rd book from where the 2nd movie left off. I've been reading it from Book 3 onwards ever since and I got Book 5 as soon as it came out in Brisbane. There was a bizarre huge crowd at 9:01 am Australian Eastern Standard Time. I'm amazed at how much Harry Potter has influenced people.
Adrian Tan, Australia

I was at the front of the queue at Waterstones, Piccadilly I wouldn't have missed the opportunity to meet so many like minded people and to be part of the phenomenon that is Harry Potter. Even though I was expecting a book by post I still wanted to get one on the night. I was able to met up with people whom I have previously only discussed Harry Potter books online with. It was great to join in with all the media hype to see the camera's and give interviews for all the international newspapers. It is due to J K Rowling and her Harry Potter series that I now speak to other book fans across the globe, from Argentina to Australia from El Paso to Wolverhampton. I hope that we won't have to wait three years for the next book but in the meantime I now have another book to discuss with my online friends.
Rowena (Jessanndi), England

The fifth book is a lot darker and has appealed to me that way since I am Harry's current age and can understand his emotions which are so different from the previous books in the series. I enjoyed it immensely; at many points I found it difficult to put down. It had everything a book has never before done to me: it managed to make me worried, make me laugh and make me cry. I have to dismiss the criticism it receives. It's true that many of the Harry Potter books have main aspects from other well-known novels, but it is still in its own nevertheless.
Lauren, England

I couldn't pick it up!
Scott Whitehead, Germany

On Friday night I went to 2 different HP parties
Sarah, US
I just finished reading the book this morning and it was fantastic! It was hard waiting, but the good thing about the Harry Potter phenomenon is that there is a whole community out there to discuss your theories with, and read fan fiction. It made the wait easier. On Friday night I went to 2 different HP parties, and at midnight there was a mad rush for the books, but I had mine preordered so I got it in a matter of minutes. One of my friends who didn't preorder was told it would take several hours for her to get her book that night. She had to come back next morning. I had never seen the bookshop so full. I think it is really amazing how many HP fans there are, My parents wanted to read it together out loud as a family, but 200 pages in they gave in and let me read it by myself. I stayed up until I had finished it. The book was fantastic; I like it better than any of the others. The book was definitely worth the wait, and I am willing to wait 3 more years for the next one. ! Great job JK!
Sarah, U.S.

Unfortunately I will only get my hand on the fifth book tomorrow. I am so excited that I don't think I will able to sleep. All those who give bad comments on HP books are all envious and disillusioned. Why can children and adults have fun again. Why does it need to be written in Dickens style? These books are supposed to be those who want to switch off and get their imagination to work. In our country it is also top favourite. Anyway tomorrow I will have fun I think I will read it in one sitting as I did with the previous four. I read them in three days. Thanks Rowling that I can be child again.
Mariann, Hungary

It's hard to be critical of a book that kept me interested enough to finish it in one go. But I must say that at the end of this book, everything is very much like at the end of the previous one (with one exception, of course). Which makes me suspect that the secrecy about the content may have been as much for safety from savage reviews as for marketing hype.
Alex, England

I hope we don't have to wait another 3 years for the next one
Hannah, England
'Just because you've got the emotional range of a teaspoon' said Hermione ' doesn't means we all have' That is one of my favourite sentences in the book. I read it in one sitting which took me about 13 hours to do. I didn't get to bed until 2 in the morning, but it was worth it. It is not my favourite because I think book 3 is the best one so far but definitely better then the fourth. It made me laugh out loud a few times and the new characters we're a joy to read also the amount one character in particular grew I found wonderful. (not revealing anything, because I wouldn't want to have somebody spoil it for me). I give it 4 stars and I hope we don't have to wait another 3 years for the next one.
Hannah, England

Personally I'm not part of it, but I am delighted that children can still get excited about a book. Even more so, apparently, than even the latest computer game releases! I think parents should always encourage their children to read a lot, and I JK. Rowling's work is keeping children's interest in literature alive.
Andy R, UK

I'm sorry to say that reading Harry Potter has become a trend, like the Rubik's Cube. However, I would like to know how many of the adults who read Harry Potter have also read Dickens. Quite a small number I would expect. To read some people's comments, it's as though books have only just been invented. As somebody who has read upwards of 30 or 40 books a year for all his adult life, let me remind you that books have been around for a long time, and anybody on these pages who thinks Harry Potter is the most amazing thing ever, may I point you in the direction of 'Great Expectations'. It's a book, published 150 years ago. Yes, amazing but true.
Andy Hutchcraft, UK

I ordered the "Order of the Phoenix" in January, it was delivered Saturday morning, I've now read just under half of the book, and I'm not at all disappointed, JK Rowling is at her best as usual, can't wait to get home from work and read, read, read.
Elaine Robinson, west midlands, UK

I don't know what I expected, but it exceeded all expectations
Rachel, UK
I don't know what I expected, but it exceeded all expectations. I finished it at Midnight on Sunday and just sat and thought 'wow' for a moment. A marvellous book- I shall be reading it again once it has been passed around the family!
Rachel, UK

These books are aimed at children and it's wonderful that so many kids are getting excited about reading, but as an adult I have absolutely no interest in the continuing adventures of Harry Potter. There are many more books out there which tell great stories in an intelligent and challenging way. Leave Harry Potter to the kids. (And yes, I have tried reading one. I got about two chapters in before giving up from boredom and frustration).
Graham MacDonald, Scotland

I am glad that the 5th book is out but very unfortunately I have to wait a week for its arrival in Pakistan... I'm really upset so I am planning to get it posted here from my friends in UK... I love those books and JKR ROCKS!!
Saleha, Pakistan

I love the blatant, outspoken and damning attack on the government interference in the (British) education system! An author who has it right at last. Are you reading this, Mr Clarke?
Tim, UK

Before reading Order of the Phoenix, I decided to get up to speed by reading Prisoner of Azkaban. I never usually read but was so engrossed by the book, I read for seven hours and finished it. Absolutely brilliant. Detractors should read the books.
Christopher Williams, UK

It is very costly here... about $80
Ashis, India
People must think that the Potter Mania is not in India but they are wrong. Harry Potter is most welcomed here. It is very costly here (rs800 - which is about $80). Well I got my copy as a present from my uncle who lives in London. The day I told my friends they all wanted to borrow it. I had to decide it by lottery. The book is excellent (need I say it). I have read half of it - it's gonna be gr8
Ashis, India

It's a real double edged sword. Yes I preordered a copy as soon as it was available - but that was because it was half-price. Yes I have been looking forward to it - but I've become intensely irritated by the sheer overblown nature of the hype surrounding the book. Yes, I'm enjoying it - but I can't say it's gripping me. Good - but not great.
Chris, UK

I could not put the book down. I had to force myself to go to bed. A brilliantly worked story with a few very well delivered twists and turns. Well done J.K. Rowling.
Brian McDonnell, Netherlands

My partner is very keen on the books from an adult perspective. However for me, I believe that anything that will drag kids away from the tv or computer games is a blessing in disguise. Well done Ms Rowling and all other successful childrens authors, your hard work ensures todays children are given captivating brain-enticing medium as opposed to bright graphics.
Simon Chriscoli, UK

...One of those rare instances of fiction that appeals to children of all age groups, interests and abilities
Kate, UK
As a school librarian, I can say that the Harry Potter series is one of those rare instances of fiction that appeals to children of all age groups, interests and abilities. Children will read it again and again, engaging each time with a different aspect of the book. It is always good to see children who don't enjoy reading really getting into it, and talking animatedly about it! I've read all of the HP books, including Order of the Phoenix, and loved every one!
Kate, UK

I loved the other books so I bought it first thing on Saturday morning and didn't put it down until I finished it. It had to be read and it was a necessary book in the series but it did not need 766 pages to set up the next two books. The ending was clumsy and confused. However, there were some moments of comedy. Will they be classics in 50 years time? Doubt it. Not a patch on CS Lewis. If he was writing them now, he would be worthy of Rowlings millions.
Helen, Scotland

When I was 10, my teacher started to read the Hobbit to the class. I was so enthralled by it that I rushed to the library after school to borrow the book. Today I'm getting the same thrill from reading Harry Potter's books - even though I'm now 51. Extremely well written, I'm delighted that so many children find them exciting and are unable to drag themselves away from the book until it's finished. Hopefully they will discover a love of books that will last them a lifetime...
Linda Doughty, England

I took my 18 year old daughter, Philippa, to buy the book at midnight on Friday. By 12.30 a.m. we were home and at 12.45a.m. she started to read unable to contain her excitement. The rest of the family went to bed but by 4.20a.m. she had finished the book. She loved the emotional ups and downs and the way Harry has matured. That's all she can say as she is banned from talking about it until the rest of the family has had a chance to read it.
Anne Norman, England

I suspect many parents dread the release of this book
Mark Wilson, England
I was in Brent Cross on Saturday at lunchtime. Every shop had stacks of books including special retailers like the record shops. Does anyone really imagine that this would be a book you couldn't get hold of? Amazing hype brilliant, spin, a bit cruel for kids what with all the merchandise that comes with a new book. I suspect many parents dread the release of this book more than they dread a new Man United strip being released. It is so manipulative I think it is almost bad taste. This is about selling not about the virtues of encouraging literacy. Lets be clear, it is only a book, like Mr Beckham is only a footballer.
Mark Wilson, England

The Harry Potter series must be some of the most over-praised, over-hyped books in history. The fact is that they are ably told amalgams of other more skilful and imaginative writers' ideas. At a very basic level, mix Anthony Buckeridge's Jennings series (about boarding school life and shenanigans) with Ursula Le Guin's 'A Wizard of Earthsea' and you will find Harry Potter's tired formula. I'm just glad that it's getting kids and adults reading a bit more.
Dravin, UK

I was not convinced about the books at first, but was persuaded to read at least the first one last week; I have now read all five! I have to say I have not enjoyed a series so much for a long time, bring on 6 and 7, only do not rush them, with the series building so nicely I am looking forward to a few real good twists.
James Stratford, UK

Our rural Postman normally delivers from a Ford Escort sized van. When he delivered our copy of "Phoenix" on Saturday morning, he was in a 2 ton Mercedes! He had over 50 copies to deliver just in our tiny village, and said he'd never seen so many children watching for his arrival! Am I part of "the fever"? Absolutely!
John, England

Where have we gone wrong when the most popular book among adults is a book for children?
Jim, Scotland
I hope this is a case of over hyped consumer frenzy. The alternative is to examine the emotional health and depth, as well as the educational standard of the country. Where have we gone wrong when the most popular book among adults is a book for children, indeed would have to be considered light and simplistic for all but the most backward of the age group that the book is supposedly targeted at.
Jim, Scotland

I've almost finished reading it and must admit, Rowling has me quite unsettled. In Goblet and now Order, Rowling has departed significantly from the light-hearted reads that were Stone and Chamber. Character development is spot on; her understanding of the way kids work is incredible (I'm not so far from those days of being 15 myself). And I'm surprised to find such strong undertones - politics undermining truth and judgement and the highly unsettling idea that our role models are not always what we make them out to be, to name a few. Excellent book, but I almost feel as though I've been hoodwinked into morality lectures and feelings of guilt for my failings as a human with this latest one.
Marie, USA

The build up to the event at Borders bookshop was great for my young son - staff dressed up and HP themes all over. However I was dismayed by the behaviour of a large number of persons fighting for copies from the first trolley to be unveiled and shouting and screaming. I was genuinely afraid that my son would be trampled. The Me Me Me Me Me attitude prevails. God help us all.
Anthony, England

I can re-visit childish escapism
Terry Harris, UK
Well, I would love to say I bought The Order of the Phoenix for my daughter, but at 7 months, she hasn't quite got Potter-mania yet. I however, have! I have always been an avid reader, mainly of Fantasy novels, any escape was good. As a child I remember being limited in what was available, you had Narnia, or Roald Dahl, both excellent series and authors, but not much choice. Now with Pullman and JK Rowling writing such fantastic novels, it is with great joy I can re-visit childish escapism, and revel in the simple pleasures of their books. I am not interested in if they have a message, if they are real 'literature', they are a wonder to read and enjoy. So a big thank you to JK Rowling for opening up the world of books to a whole generation across the globe.
Edd Crutchington, UK

Its wonderful - like meeting old friends again, although I am desperately trying to read it before I hear who dies from the media - I am not buying newspapers or listening to the radio/TV until I've finished!
Terry Harris, UK

My daughter, now 14, is an avid reader and has always been surprised by the books' popularity. As far as she's concerned it's all been done before, i.e. the 'Worst Witch' series. She's into Phillip Pullman and David Almond among others. We won't be buying a copy.
L. Bentinck, UK

Reserved my copy online at Amazon then got cold feet in case it didn't turn up so queued at my local ASDA store from 11:00pm on Friday evening to be one of the first to get it. Amazon copy arrived at 7:30 next morning - No worries though, it meant my daughter and I didn't have to fight over it. Trouble was, my wife felt left out so by Sunday morning had gone to ASDA herself to buy a third copy (thankfully all three copies were purchased at half the cover price). Well worth the wait - so far I've only read up to Ch.16 but as with the previous four I'm hooked once more. Nice one JK, let's not wait so long for book 6!!!
David Atkinson, UK

I wonder if this time I was too caught up in the hype
Robert Bush, UK
A 34 year old librarian, I only read the books for the first time last year, and very much enjoyed them. I got my copy on Saturday morning and have just finished it, and I have to say that while it was good, it wasn't as good as books 3 and 4, and I wonder if this time I was too caught up in the hype. I can't put my finger on any one thing in "Order of the Phoenix" - maybe some parts of it seemed a bit too forced, maybe the whole thing didn't seem to flow quite as well as, or maybe it was just because the build-up led me to hope for more than I got. All I know is that with no hype I enjoyed the first four and with the hype I didn't enjoy the fifth as much. Nevertheless, still a good read and roll on book six.
Robert Bush, UK

I think it's great that people are enthusiastic enough to queue for a book. Read on!
Munzar Sharif, UK

I'm wondering how long the film will be when it is made. The first two books are a third of the size of this one, and the films were 2 and a half hours long! Perhaps this one will have to be in a Matrix-like two parts????
Ian Parker, UK

Just finished the book, felt it was a little longer than it needed to be, never-the-less enjoyable. Still doesn't knock 'Prisoner of Azkaban' off the top spot though, still the best book of the series.

Excellent read. It was delivered Saturday morning by a very excited UPS woman. I spent all weekend reading (which is pretty much how I spent my entire youth) and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Still not as good a Neil Gaiman's "Books of Magic," though.
Catherine Penfold, UK in USA

We had to buy 2 copies as neither of us wanted the other one to read it first!
Jo Thornley, England
I may be 30 but I am enjoying the Harry Potter books as much as my 11 year old son. It has been a real thrill this weekend avidly reading the book that we have both waited so long for. We had to buy 2 copies as neither of us wanted the other one to read it first! Can't wait for the next one. Well done JK Rowling!
Jo Thornley, England

Bought the book the first morning it was available but waited until a reasonable time, I wasn't queuing at Midnight. Having read roughly half the book so far I like it despite the fact it is definitely different from the first four, but events near the end of book four necessitated changes. I'm 29 and was leant a copy of book 1 by my aunt and I was hooked. It's nice to see lots of people on the train reading it (most with the 'children' cover)
Dan Weinberg, UK

I pre-ordered off the web and couldn't wait until the post-man delivered at about 9.30am. I think these are wonderful books and I am going to keep them all for my daughter for when she is old enough to read them. I am just concerned about what I am going to do when I have finished reading it as it will be a long wait again for the next one.
Julie Boulton, UK

A real generation bridge
Helen Betteridge, UK
Having pre-ordered I was up very early just in case it was delivered really early. Can't put it down, a much heavier read and less childlike but just as good. My 68 year old Mum keeps ringing to see what happens and will be the first to borrow it. Can't wait for the next one. A real generation bridge.
Helen Betteridge, UK

It's just a book - and hundreds of books are printed every day. Why all the hype? There must be more important things to read out there.
William, UK

I'm 19 and I started to read the Harry Potter books last year after watching the first film and I think they're great! Had I had books like these to read when I was younger, I would have read a lot more!
Amy Clement, England

The book is brilliant! I just finished it and having read some of the online comments, I think that it's unfair to compare Rowling, Pullman, and Tolkien. They're all wonderful in different ways and we're all really lucky that we've had three such extraordinary writers to grow up with and stimulate our imaginations! I'm about to go back and re-read it today!

My book hasn't been delivered yet, and I'm about to start crying just out of excitement and anticipation for Harry's adventures to continue. And I guess I'm one of the few Potter-fans who doesn't know who of Harry's close friends dies in the fifth book.
Julie Backer, Norway

It's going to make my seemingly endless tube journeys pass in no time.
John Davies, London, England
My three boys are still too young to read but as a 38 year old company director I'm hooked on Harry Potter books. I started to read the second book after seeing the film and quickly read the next two. The last year has been a long wait for this book. It's going to make my seemingly endless tube journeys pass in no time. You'll probably find me at the end of the line with my head stuck in the Order of the Phoenix, roll on Monday morning!
John Davies, London, England

I love these books! I'm 14 and a lot of my friends think that me obsessing over getting this book for such a long time was stupid. But this book has even exceeded my expectations and I can't wait for Potter Six and Seven.
Lindsey, United States

I am a great Harry potter fan i waited for the book at 12:00. I was the first one in the shop to get a copy. The book came on to sale at 12:01 and i got it at 12:01 and 11 seconds. So far I have read the beginning and I think it's great
Martyn Smith, England

My son is just about to turn five yet he is already captivated by the Harry Potter mania and has begged me to buy him the latest book even though he can barely read. This truly is reading-mania!
Ingrid Mellor, UK

After watching the launch of the new Harry Potter book I went to our local Tesco and bought it. I started reading and 2.30am, this morning I fell asleep, when I awoke up I started again. Very good so far. I've listened to the spoken word books before and have not read one but even though it will probably take me months to finish I have really enjoyed what I have read so far. Well done JK Rowling and thank you for getting so many children and adults alike reading.
Lin Jones, UK

Six hours of solid reading and I've just finished it
Samantha Marshall, Croydon, England
Wow JK Rowling has surpassed herself with this one. Six hours of solid reading and I've just finished it. Brilliant, with plenty of surprises. Can't wait for book 6 - has she started writing it yet?
Samantha Marshall, Croydon, England

I guess i don't need to say that this book is great. It's a lot more than that. Thank you so much JK Rowling and Bloomsbury for this book and for making it available for us who are far away from England and USA. I thought that I'd get to read this only around August or something - I jumped and screamed for joy when I got to know I'd get my copy on 21st. Books take a lot of time to come to countries like Sri Lanka. Thank you so much for understanding that there are Harry potter maniacs in here too. Thanks a lot JKR.
Rashmi 15, Sri Lanka

Wow, the line for Harry Potter's 5th book was so long, one would imagine that they were giving out Free Books instead! This has certainly boosted the reading culture here in Malaysia. It's definitely rare to see so many people gather in the name of a book. But here we are! Halfway through, sinking feeling about who dies, but the book certainly has the teenage angst and frustration in it! Clearly Harry is growing up!
Fiona Chin, Malaysia

I have all the Harry Potter books and the audio cassettes of the books read by Jim Dale. Hearing the stories read with all the different voices of the characters is the BEST! It makes the stories seem real - even better than the movies since it follows the book and doesn't leave anything out.
Graham, USA

It is VERY different to the other books
Claire Munro, UK
I bought the book last night, and have nearly finished it. It is VERY different to the other books. The way the Goblet of Fire finished meant that this book could not follow the same formula as before. The characters have all changed, and do not act as you expect. I still think it is a wonderful book, I have greatly enjoyed the entire series, can't wait now for the next one! I am 22 by the way.
Claire Munro, UK

I woke up this morning to a parcel sitting on my doorstep. There were a couple of owl feathers nearby, so I'm assuming that the Royal Mail have taken a couple of lessons about mail delivery. So far I've read the first two chapters. I had to fight very hard to pull myself away from the book. All that I can say is that the wait for this book has been worth it. Brilliant.
Colin Dawson, UK

I am about four chapters in. I can't believe that so many people have finished it already. It still has the same magical page turning quality of the other books. It will probably take about a week to read but I think I will savour it. Nice one JK, and lets not wait another three years for the 6th please.
Helen Longhurst, UK

These books are just formulaic; every single one is identical in virtually every manner. This is the fifth version of the same book - guaranteed. I think children (and adults!) are increasingly being fed a diet of fictional books and movies, and should try and learn a bit more about the real world.
Colin, UK

It's been a long time since I picked a book up with such real enthusiasm!
Nisar Zaker, Germany
I pre-ordered mine through Amazon in January 2003! And was delighted when the postman knocked on my door to deliver it! (English books are difficult to get in small towns in Germany). I have so far read about 150 pages and can't wait to get back to it! Thank you, J K Rowling! It's been a long time since I picked a book up with such real enthusiasm! I don't want to finish reading it too quickly because I know I'll have to wait longer until the next one comes out!
Nisar Zaker, Germany

As a typical teenager, I am obsessed with Harry Potter. The magic and mysteriousness of it all is beyond amazement. I have read all the other books. I think the huge phenomenon that J.K Rowling has created in her stories is brilliant. There is some truth though, in the first book, professor McGonagall said that "there isn't a child in the world who doesn't know his name" and this is clearly true. The new book is a joy and profound pleasure to sit on a Saturday morning and read. I am nearly half way through already.
Laura Brown, Norfolk, England

In an age when the variety of entertainment for children is so diverse and in many cases so much less demanding than literature, it is a wonderful thing that a book can still catch and hold their attention. The issue really is not about whether the books are great works of literature but simply that a book can still compete in a world of Playstations and digital television.
Matt Newman, Wales

I got a copy of the book at about 10:00am and have been reading it since, I have read almost half of it and my hat goes off to J.K Rowling, the book is fantastic.
Alex Micheals, Australia

Harry Potter has opened a fantastic world for me and my son
Sharon Smith, Wales
Harry Potter has opened a fantastic world for me and my son. My son has got reading difficulties but we have spent many wonderful hours reading the books together and living in the magical world of Harry. My two sons share a room which is decorated in Harry Potter stickers, my youngest son wares glasses and is constantly called Harry Potter by all he meets. I send a big thank you to JK Rowling for writing such brilliant books and letting us have a glimpse of the wonderful world of magic that she imagines.
Sharon Smith, Wales

Normally I am against all the hype and "must have" marketing - however I believe that if in the end it encourages children away from TV and gets them back to reading and using their imagination then its more than worth it.
Ian, UK

Hi! Yes, I caught up in the HP mania. I went to the Waterstones yesterday night and I got my copy at 0:36. It was worth because this is a brilliant book. I like the Harry Potter books though I am 27. I think these books can help to find a way to like reading. When I hear about the wars, bad people... I just take out my books and I will go in the magic world where you have chance to win.
Eniko, England

I was outside the bookshop before it opened eagerly waiting whilst praying that it had arrived in Kenya. I was not in the slightest bit perturbed by being the only adult at the shop. I expect tonight to be a sleepless night spent reading.
Andy Hill, Kenya

After all the hype I think I will be fighting my daughter to read this book first
Martin, UK
I took my daughter to the local bookshop last night and it was brilliant. I have never read any of the Harry Potter books and have only seen the films by default - but after all the hype I think I will be fighting my daughter to read this book first. The only problem is that I need to catch up on the first four books first.
Martin, UK

I'm afraid so. I'm not going to start reading it today, I'm going to reread "The Goblet of Fire" first but I am keen to know what happens, she's a great writer!
Elaine James, UK

I would only consider the Potter books a good step for the youth of today, if they were cheaper. It's all well and good releasing a book that is going to be loved by thousands of children, but spare a thought for the hard-up parents who are going to be pestered to death to buy it. Just like designer clothing, it needs to be cheaper for what it is.
Andy, UK

I am 60 years old and confined to a wheelchair and I love Harry Potter books. They take me back to the land of make believe. I am going to my local shop this morning as soon as the home care dresses me to get my copy of the latest book I am very excited.
Norma Cail, United Kingdom

My whole family has read all the books and I have just started my 65 year old brother on them. The effect on this single woman on the literacy of a generation of children is incredible and in excess of many government initiatives. Local schools are fulsome in their praise. Added to this she appears to set an incredibly good personal example by her generosity and conduct. I just hope she is allowed to be herself and not subsumed by public adoration.
Jeremy Blatchford, England

I think the hype and security surrounding the latest book has been a bit over-the-top and has kind of destroyed the magic surrounding it
Darryl LeCount, Hannover, Germany
I'm not a keen reader but I've only heard good things about the series thus far. However, I think the hype and security surrounding the latest book has been a bit over-the-top and has kind of destroyed the magic surrounding it. Let's just hope that the hype was not to cover up the prospect of a "sequel not living up to original"
Darryl LeCount, Hannover, Germany

I think Harry potter is fantastic and I wish people would stop criticising it. I think it's the best thing for kids to be doing right know. It's better than watching TV.
Liam, England

I've just got my copy this morning after a 7am dash to Waterstones. I'm on page 49 and it is amazing! The suspense is fantastic and it's a million times better than the previous ones so far.
Aubrey, 12, England

I will borrow the book from my mom after she finishes it. However, I am travelling to England in a couple weeks, and I will pick up the book while I am there so I can get the original English version instead of the Americanised one.
Brian, USA

I ordered three copies: two for nieces, nine and 17 years old, and one for myself. I love the series, it's a well-written tale and that translates to any age group.
Brita Theard, USA

I only like this for the fact it's pushing JK Rowling up on my Celebdaq!
Dominic Lund-Conlon, UK

My daughters ordered a copy at the local Ottakars (20 miles away and further than Tesco, Safeway and Asda!) We will collect it sometime during the next day or two but what is the point of going to a grocery store at midnight tonight to stop a bookseller from making a living?
John Puw, Wales

I will be there at midnight simply to beat my sister
Ed, UK, Exeter
I will be there, at midnight to get my copy simply to beat my sister to finish reading it! It's all a bit of fun, let people go out at midnight for a book, if that's not your thing fair enough, but good for Bloomsbury and their hype marketing, bit like New Labour is it not?
Ed, UK, Exeter

I've had mine pre-ordered since it was first available to pre-order. I'm itching just to get my hands on my copy. In fact I'm going to a Harry Potter party so I can get a peek at the book. But once I have my own, I'll probably be in my room for a couple days, so don't bother knocking.
Sharon, US

As an English teacher, I think that for a book to get this much hype can only be positive! I am awaiting my postman in the morning with my long-yearned-for copy which I am sure will be read by Sunday! I will also be speeding up to Scotland with my mother's copy so that she too can catch up with the news from Hogwarts (and she is 70 this year)!
Marie, UK

I've read the Potter books and I think they are a bit boring. Literature has taken a serious drop since the days of Narnia. I agree with Andy H. Let it go. Read some unique books. Maybe kids should get excited about Animal Farm. At least it has a message.
Dion, UK

I don't see anything wrong with adding a little mystery and anticipation
Eve, Schomberg, Canada
I will be at the bookstore at midnight tonight for the release party with my 10-year-old nephew who's had his name on the order list for a year. It's fantastic to be so excited about the continuation of a great story. I don't see anything wrong with adding a little mystery and anticipation to the continuation of a wonderful fantasy series.
Eve, Schomberg, Canada

I have ordered mine over the internet so I will be getting it around 9.00 in the morning so I don't have to worry about fighting for copies in the shops. Plus I got it MUCH cheaper!!
Sian Clarke, England

I used to love the Potter books. I doted on them and have copies of every book, plus spoofs etc. But I think that JK has just waited too long to release this book. I was 11 when the last book came out, but now I am reading the classics as well as Shakespeare and work by Daphne Du Maurier. I'm not going to rush out to buy the book this weekend however I may read it when I have the time. Until then... well no thanks JK, you've lost an old fan.
Emma (14), UK

I will be at my local Borders at 11.15pm with kids and adults alike. I am 29 and love the classics (Jane Austen is my favourite) but I am just as caught up in Harry's world. JK Rowling should not feel guilty about the wealth she enjoys. She has given us something special and something that will make generations happy. Many less worthy people are wealthy.
Cindy Dudek, USA

It's getting as bad as the Beckhams
Andy H, England
Oh for Heaven's sake! Can we have a bit less of Harry Potter, please? It's getting as bad as the Beckhams. A sense of proportion please, before I set off for the nearest book warehouse with paraffin and matches!
Andy H, England

I am not a fan, I have not read one book, and I only saw bits of the first movie and have not seen the second. But, I still love it because it's encouraging the youth to love books!
Soreah Sans, USA

This is a case of cynically induced panic buying, and very distasteful. It's teaching the children who want the books a set of very undesirable attitudes. They may or may not be good books, but really good literature does not need this sort of marketing. Or maybe literature has nothing to do with it.
Fiona, Scotland

I'm not rushing out to buy the new Harry Potter novel because I'm in the middle of Patrick O'Brian's excellent Aubrey/Maturin series. Since I'm only on book nine (out of 20), Harry is just going to have to wait.
Nancy, USA

I pre-ordered my... ahem... I mean my son's copy way back in February. We were a little late in coming to Potter mania though. We didn't read the first book until after we had all seen the first film. If these books had been around when I was young, I probably would've read more!

You have got to be joking, that's why I shop online, I only ordered it a week ago. I'd rather get up early for the post than stay up late - but I understand how it makes a nice night out for fanatics.
Flynn, England

Which summer blockbuster are you most likely to see?
Charlie's Angels 2
Finding Nemo
Pirates of the Caribbean
Terminator 3
3645 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Harry Potter: Ask the experts
20 Jun 03  |  Have Your Say


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