By LISA MEYER TRIGG, Editor
It was a much-anticipated night for many fans awaiting the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the seventh and final volume of J.K. Rowling's all-conquering fantasy series.
And Friday evening, the children and adults participating in the pre-Potter release events at Putnam County Public Library eagerly awaited their turns to buy one of the 8.3 million copies sold in the book's first 24 hours on sale in the U.S.
"We bought 10 copies just for the library," PCPL librarian Margot Payne told the BannerGraphic while talking to library patrons drinking "Fizzing Whizbees" and eating "Licorice Wands," two Potter book trreats.
"For us, that is large," Payne said of the order. Five of those books went into the children's area, and five went into the adult department. As of Friday night, more than 30 holds had already been placed by patrons wanting to find out whether boy wizard Harry Potter vanquishes the evil Lord Voldemort, or if the fantasy world is destroyed
Eleven-year-old Mary Owens, 11, said she had read all of the Harry Potter books and watches the movies.
She and friend Sydney Harmon, 11, both dressed as witches-in-training for Friday's event.
Harmond said her favorite of the series is book five, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix," which just hit U.S. theaters two weeks ago.
Several young people, as well as adults, dressed the part for the book party. Sondra Kuras, 13, Cloverdale, won the teen-age costume competition dressed as the evil Bellatrix LeStrange.
Kuras said she's not much of a Harry Potter fan, but the party sounded like fun, so she attended.
Following the library event, book fans went to Fine Print Bookstore on the courthouse square to pick up the seventh book, which went on sale at midnight.
Reviews for "Deathly Hallows" have been almost universally ecstatic, and reader enthusiasm apparently intact despite, prerelease "spoilers" that proliferated on the Internet.
And in confirmation of rumors circulating in recent weeks, the books were printed under heavy security at R.R. Donnelley and Sons in Crawfordsville.