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Eleanor Bradford reports
"Seven in the morning and 2,000 copies go on sale at a Glasgow store"
 real 56k

Saturday, 8 July, 2000, 18:07 GMT 19:07 UK
Pottermania works its magic
Harry Potter sleepover
The McLeod sisters from Killearn wait for their books
Thousands of children have been savouring the latest instalment in the Harry Potter story after author JK Rowling's eagerly awaited fourth book in the series went on sale.

There was a rush to bookshops in Scotland to buy the first copies of Harry Potter And the Goblet of Fire, which went on sale at midnight on Friday.

Some children, including 50 at Waterstone's store in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, took part in a sleepover to be among first to get their hands on the young wizard's latest adventure.
Harry Potter
The book is proving another Rowling winner

Stores also sought to heighten the excitement for youngsters as staff dressed up as characters from the book and one store staged a special "Hogwarts Banquet".

Book store staff gave up many hours of sleep as they prepared for the flood of requests for the book.

Kim Hardie, events manager at Waterstone's, said the emphasis was on fun and a sense of occasion.

She said: "At midnight we opened for an hour and there was a queue. Today we've had a face painter, a magician and an owl in the store."

There was no attempt to contain excitement as the young Potter fans took possession of the Edinburgh-based author's new title.

Colleen MacKay, who took her daughter Stephanie to get her copy, said: "Every time a book comes out we try to be among the first people to buy one.

Worked through night

"My daughter just loves them, she reads them over and over again."

Internet bookseller Amazon.co.uk said it has sold 65,000 copies already - out of 400,000 copies also sold through its American and German sister sites.

It estimated that its site alone was sending a copy of the book to one in every 150 children aged five to 14 in the UK.

Staff worked through the night at the company's Milton Keynes HQ to make sure the copies were ready for posting.
Scott Henderson
Scott Henderson enjoys the fun

The Royal Mail was also facing a challenge on Saturday - with Amazon expected to supply 53 tonnes of Potter novels.

The release of the book has been surrounded by unprecedented publicity for a children's publication.

The title was a secret until publishers Bloomsbury revealed it last week and only a chosen few at the company have been allowed to read the book before its launch.

JK Rowling is believed to have made 14.5m from the previous three books, which tells the story of an orphan who finds he has inherited magical powers, which are developed at the wizard school Hogwarts.

To mark the publication, the author was at King's Cross station in London on Saturday to start a book-signing tour.

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See also:

08 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Wait over for Potter fans
07 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Harry Potter beaten to top award
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