Last night I went to my local independent bookstore, Annie Bloom's in Portland, for the Harry Potter release party at midnight. I wanted to see the "scene" and take some pictures. The store handed out numbered tickets to mark people's order. I got there at around 11pm and was given the number 76. By midnight there were several hundred people there. A lot of people dressed up for the occasion. Some were dressed as witches or wizards, others wore bathrobes or pajamas and carried brooms. The candy store next door to the bookstore had stayed open late, so I bought some truffles and hot chocolate to enjoy while I waited.
The crowd was friendly, with a lot of people striking up conversations with strangers about the books. Some of the people near me had come from the other side of Portland because they thought that the crowd here would be better, with more adults.
When my real digital camera had run out of batteries, I started taking pictures with my Sony Clie. This attracted the attention of some other Harry Potter fans, and I gave them a demo of the Clie and explained its features. I should be a Clie salesman.
While I was still waiting to get in and get my book, I saw some kids come out of the store with their copies. They stood against the wall, opened the book, and immediately turned to the last page to see how it ended! Some in the crowd didn't want to know the ending, but they wanted a hint. "What's the last word?" they asked, and the kids yelled out "wake!" I checked, and "wake" is indeed the last word in the novel. But I haven't read any more than that yet, so I don't know what it might mean.
It was cool to see so many people excited about a book.