Fans frantically clamour for final book of series



vince talotta/torstar news service


Children of all ages cheer, dance and listen to the music of a disc jockey at an Indigo Books in Toronto on Friday as they await the release of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.


The numbers are new, the story old: No book has sold like Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.

Bloomsbury PLC, the British publisher of J.K. Rowling’s fantasy series, announced yesterday that the seventh and final volume sold a record 2.65 million copies in the United Kingdom in the first 24 hours. The previous high was for Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, which sold 2 million in its first day of release, in 2005.

In the United States, Barnes & Noble, Inc. also reported all-time sales, saying yesterday that 1.8 million copies were purchased in the first two days, including 560,000 in the first hour, a rate of more than 150 copies per second. The audiobook is a record breaker, too: 225,000 copies in the first two days, according to Random House Audio’s Listening Library.

On Sunday, Scholastic Inc. said 8.3 million hardcovers sold in the United States during the first 24 hours, easily breaking the old high of 6.9 million, for Half-Blood Prince. Scholastic spokeswoman Kyle Good said plans for increasing the 12-million print run for Deathly Hallows were “in discussion.”

The frenzy for the new Potter, released Saturday at midnight, carried over to all Potters. Barnes & Noble said besides Deathly Hallows, 213,000 copies of other Potter books sold at its stores over the weekend.