BEIJING, -- Thousands of Harry Potter fans in China swarmed into book
stores in Beijing on Saturday to get the seventh and final volume of the boy
wizard's adventures after standing in line for several hours from the mid-night.
Chinese book stores opened their doors for sales of "Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows" at 7:01 a.m., Beijing time, together with the world.
More than 200 books have been sold in Wangfujing Book Store within 40
minutes. The Beijing Book Building has sold 2,301 books till 6:00 p.m. Saturday,
statistics show, 700 books more than the first-day sales of the sixth version.
"The previous versions did very well here, and we expect the seventh book to
create a new selling record among the Harry Potter series," said Yang Xinyuan,
manager of the original version books department of the Beijing Book Building.
"I didn't have the opportunity to get the previous books at the same time
with other readers in the world, so I have to catch the last chance to read it
at the first time," said Zhu Shengtao, 19, who arrived at the Beijing Book
Building at around 9:00 p.m. Friday.
Liu Jiangeng, a junior college student, was lucky enough to be the pioneer
leading the queue by arriving at the Wangfujing Book Store at 8:00 p.m. Friday.
"I spent the rest hours wandering around the store, waiting for the sky lit
up. I don't feel tired," he said.
Shi Miao and her mother trotted breathlessly to the store, saying that "we
don't want to miss this historic moment,"
Although not as lucky as their English counterparts, who may have the author
J. K. Rowling on the spot to read for them some of the chapters, Chinese fans
have got their own pleasure and surprise.
Guo Xuan, 19, a girl from central China's Hubei Province got a collection of
the English version for previous six books of the series during the lottery
drawing session scheduled by the Beijing Book Building.
"I've already got the six books in Chinese. It's so lucky that I could get
all of them in English today," Guo said, with a big smile.
Her friend pre-ordered the book online, which sells the book at a cheaper
price than book stores, however, Guo said she couldn't wait to find out the
final destination of Harry Potter.
With invisible cloaks and big glasses, four little Chinese "Harry Potters",
who won in a mocking competition, were awarded the copies of the final book at
Wangfujing Book Store.
Lei La, 23, a die-hard Harry Potter fan skimmed through the 607-page book as
soon as she had it in hand and found the ending is the same as the version
leaked on a foreign website one week ago.
"I'm not disappointed as it's J.K. Rowling's decision," she said.
The leaks in various versions have caused big headache for Harry Potter
publishers, who spent millions of dollars on safeguarding to prevent the content
from being stolen.
Some Chinese students read the Potter stories to improve their English.
"I started to read the English version four years ago when many words were
strange to me, but I love the story so much that I looked up every new word in a
dictionary," said Zhou Mengyan, a junior college student.
She said her mother used to worry that the book might distract her from
However, "when I translated some English paragraphs while she checked the
Chinese version, it matched. Then she began to support my reading of Harry
Potter," she said.
A total of 38,000 Harry Potter books had been transported to Beijing on July
15 and Shanghai got some 20,000 from the English publishers.
The seventh volume of Harry Potter series also goes on sale in big cities
like Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu simultaneously with the world.
China began to publish the original version of the series in 2003 when the
fifth volume came out.
Others who prefer to read the book in Chinese have to wait for another three
months till late October for the translated copy in their native language.
More than 10 million of the previous six volumes have been sold in China,
22.5 million in Britain and 27.7 million in the United States, statistics show.
About 270 million U.S. dollars has been invested in the publicity of
Potter-related products including movies and toys since 1998 in the U.S.