Marc Bence/metro Edmonton
Harry Potter fans intensely waiting for the final book in the fantasy-adventure series to hit store shelves July 21 could turn to independent bookstores offering launch parties and entertainment.
Audreys Book Store will be offering an exclusive party for Harry Potter fans at Capital Ex in order to sell books and compete with big-box bookstores such as Chapters that commonly discount new titles if they’re pre-ordered online.
“By offering unique parties and other incentives, store owners — like us at Audreys — can successfully sell the book,” said bookstore owner Sharon Budnarchuk.
Independent bookstore owners also have to compete with grocery stores and gas stations, because the book is such a hot commodity thanks to the movies, said the store owner.
“(The Harry Potter books) are not an ordinary book where you would see them sold at a bookstore anymore, said Budnarchuk.
“Since it has been discounted to death, it’s no longer in the confines of the bookstore. It will be everywhere. It’s going to be like buying laundry detergent.”
Audreys customers who pre-order the book will receive a 25-per-cent discount and a Harry Potter VIP Entertainment package that will include free admission to Capital Ex.
Once at Capital Ex, Harry Potter fans who ordered the book can enjoy interactive booths, magical acts and fireworks at Bonanza Park before getting the books at 12:01 a.m. July 21.
The series has played a huge role in getting younger people into reading, says Budnarchuk.
“Once they have latched on to those books, it’s very easy to get them interested in something else,” she said.
“Boys that are between eight to 12-years-old do not read as much, but since the first few books in the Harry Potter series, that has changed.”