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New York Daily Photo: Pottery
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Saturday, 21 July 2007


I imagine by now most have heard of the release of the 7th Harry Potter book. There were events worldwide for this yesterday, with bookstores participating in numerous ways - contests, raffles, street parties, costuming, face painting, wand and potion making, performers etc.. And the biggest fete of them all was the block party put on by the publisher Scholastic themselves. An entire city block was closed off to traffic - Mercer Street between Prince and Spring Streets in SOHO - with a huge banner that proclaimed it to be Harry Potter Place (click here). The Scholastic building (click here for previous posting) runs through from Broadway to Mercer, so the street festival abutted their Mercer Street entrance - very convenient for this mega-promotional event. There was a range of activities and performers - jugglers, stilt walkers - and the requisite countdown clock. There was a stand displaying a copy of each volume in the series including the newest one, all under glass (click here). People were in line for nearly three city blocks from early evening for the 12:01 AM (Saturday) release of the book. Waiting in line half of the day to buy a book (which will be easily purchased today I am sure) seems like sheer lunacy to outsiders, but when it comes to cult phenomena, excessive behavior is to be expected. This event parallels the iPhone release which I previously wrote about. Add to the mix the fact that this is essentially a children's book along with indulgent parents and you really add some fuel to the fire. Ultimately, fun was had by all, and this event fills the desire many have to be part of something and make connections with others who share a passion ...


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