As i watched the news this morning and saw all those people queuing outside the bookshops (already!!! - by the time they get the book, some of them will have been there for nearly 58 hours) to be able to lay their hands on the latest book at midnight, my mind wandered two years back in time to another Potter book release.
It was around the same time in July and this was the book release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We were in Edinburgh and the book was being released at midnight - and there was a special book-reading by J K Rowling, organized at the Edinburgh castle. It was lovely, the castle was lit up in a soft glow and it was a bit chilly. The castle overlooks Princess Street and we (Shrirang and I) were queuing outside the Waterstones book store - eagerly waiting for the book and debating on who should get to read the book first. And there we were, at around 10.30PM, miles away from the bookstore door, queuing up with like minded people and discussing with others what would be happening in this book. At one point, i remember, it started drizzling and as part of the Potter promotions, they distributed some black coloured raincoats - that looked like the cloaks that the students would wear to Hogwarts. At this point, the Burger King joint next to where we were standing did some rapid business selling steaming tea and coffee. I was quite excited by it all. Children around us had come all dressed for the occasion wearing pointy hats and carrying wands. And as part of the promotion, the book store had arranged for some people to be dressed as Dumbledore and Hagrid. It was fun. We quite enjoyed our wait there - but the debate on who gets to read it first continued. Finally at midnight the doors opened and the queue moved surprisingly quickly - in around 15 minutes we were in the shop. And as we got to the counter, we decide to resolve our fight - we finally bought two copies of the book.
Sadly, this time around, we haven't yet decided on whether we will be going and waiting outside the book store, and in either case, here in London, it will not be the same - we will miss the towering presence of the Edinburgh castle. So for all you know, like staid grown-ups, we might just get our books tomorrow afternoon - from the supermarket. But i am pretty certain - that this time around as well - we might end up buying two copies.