As we all know, the new Harry Potter book came out this past Saturday and it sold 17 bazillion copies the first day (give or take a few kajillion), but I will admit — I am not one of those 17 bazillion who marked off this weekend in a red pen as “Harry time.”
I read the first Harry Potter when I was in remote Alaska one summer long before I became a literary agent. What’s interesting about this is 1) I read it mostly between the hours of 11:00 pm and 1:00 am BY DAYLIGHT (take that, electricity), and 2) even then I was wondering if I would have been able to read that book in manuscript form and have said, “Yup. This one is going to sell five gazillion copies.”
I mean, I definitely liked it. It sort of reminded me of a sweeter Roald Dahl without that sinister edge. But even though I always meant to get to the sequels, I haven’t read any since, and given that I just requested seven partials and a full yesterday I don’t think Harry is in my immediate future.
So — what’s your take on Potter mania? I’m so curious about what fuels this phenomenon. For the die-hards, what is it that gets you to the bookstore at midnight the day it’s released? Is it the books? The characters? Knowing you’ll have something to discuss with strangers on a plane? And for the skeptics, why aren’t you at the bookstore at midnight the day it’s released?