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Last Updated: Friday, 11 April, 2003, 04:14 GMT 05:14 UK
Potter tops library loans
Still from Chamber of Secrets DVD
The Chamber of Secrets is a hit book, film - and now video
The second Harry Potter book has topped the library lending league to become the most popular library book in the UK.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - the second in JK Rowling's best-selling series - was borrowed more than half a million times last year, records have shown.

The news came as the DVD and video of the Chamber of Secrets was hitting the shops - and looked set to become the biggest seller of all time.

Despite her success Rowling was way down the list of most borrowed authors on library shelves, only making number 42.

And she was only the 15th most popular children's writer, according to an analysis of library visits by Public Lending Right, the body which pays out royalties to authors on the strength of loans.

The second film has a darker edge than the first but it is the extra features, justifying an entire disc of their own, that really impress

Most borrowed author for the 17th consecutive year was Catherine Cookson, with just below three million loans.

Second place was Danielle Steel and third place was Josephine Cox, with just over a million loans each.

However, Rowling has published far fewer books than them, with only four books to date and the fifth, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, expected this summer.

Box-office record

She has previously seen Chamber of Secrets take the title of top children's book, but can now claim the most borrowed book generally.

The top lending children's author is Jacqueline Wilson, according to the figures which cover the period to June 2002.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second in JK Rowling's best-selling series
The film took 53m at the UK box office
More than 500,000 advance copies of the DVD and video have been sold
It was the most popular library book by June 2002, borrowed 500,000 times
As for the DVD and video, more than 500,000 advance copies have already been sold.

The first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, shifted 1.25 million copies on its first day and the second adventure could do the same.

The Chamber of Secrets film took 53m at the UK box office and recorded the most successful opening weekend in UK cinema history.

Potter fans who buy the DVD will get 19 additional or extended scenes, guided tours of Hogwarts and Diagon Alley, and a chance to take a look inside the Chamber of Secrets itself.

In the film, Harry - played by Daniel Radcliffe - receives a visit from Dobby the elf warning him of impending doom if he returns to Hogwarts.

The schoolboy wizard, together with friends Ron and Hermione, must defeat the evil force which is threatening the school.

Filming has already begun on the third Harry Potter film, The Prison of Azkaban, which is due for release next year.

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