Potter fans out in force for debut of fifth book

Children everywhere begged their parents to take them out to a book store late Friday night for the debut of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix,” the fifth in a series of books about a boy wizard and his adventures at Hogwart’s, a boarding school for the magically gifted.

Emily Harley, 9, picked up her copy of the book on Saturday when her father, Jeff Harley, took her to Borders Books on Prince William Parkway.

“We talked about it and we decided it would be better to come in the daytime,” Harley, 42, said of their decision to forego the midnight bookstore madness.

“He wouldn’t let me do it. I would go out at midnight,” said Emily, of Lake Ridge.

Emily, who wore a pair of the trademark round black Harry Potter eyeglasses and her hair short, said she has been anxious for the latest novel.

“I finished the fourth book and was beginning to wonder when they were going to get out the fifth book,” she said.

“I’m a big fan,” she said, “I mean my room is Harry Potter. I’m thinking about making my bunk bed look like a Hogwart’s Castle.”

Her father, who said he had the necessary skills for the remodeling job, has also read the books and recommends them to all.

“I think they’re excellent. They have enough elements to appeal to everyone,” he said.

Amber and Lauren Kingrey were among the fortunates who were able to stay up past their bedtimes.

Their mother, Kim Kingrey, a Harry Potter fan originally from England, took the girls to the bookstore.

“The whole place was packed,” said Kingrey, of Woodbridge.

“There were Harry Potters running around everywhere like you wouldn’t believe,” she said.

“They just started lining us all up,” Kingrey said of the Border’s staff when they finally brought out the new books. “There were tons of people lined up outside, but it was really good. There was tons of stuff for the kids.”

“It was crazy,” said Lauren, 12, as Amber, 8, nodded.

“There were kids running around and there was trash on the floor,” she said

“People were coloring and there were coloring pages all over the floor. There was popcorn, cookies, drinks, candy and bubble gum,” Lauren said.

Stephanie, Brittany and Lindsey Hurst, of Centreville, picked up their copies of the book Saturday afternoon at Barnes and Noble Booksellers on Sudley Road, outside of Manassas.

The sisters were unable to attend the Friday night festivities.

“I bugged my parents a lot,” Stephanie, 11, said.

“We were going to go to the party, but our mother wouldn’t let us. She said she was really tired,” Lindsey, 19, said.

The girls reserved two books, so attendance Friday night was not imperative, Brittany said.

“We could get them today, so it was fine,” Brittany, 14, said.

The sisters bought two books to share. Brittany and Stephanie split the cost of one and Lindsey bought one of her own.

“It’s difficult trying to share a book with 800 pages when you’re all trying to read it at the same time,” said Lindsey, who plans to take the book when she returns to Virginia Tech.

Lindsey said she initially resisted the books, because she is not inclined to follow the crowd, but was hooked on her first reading of a Harry Potter book.

“At first I thought it was just a craze and I was really annoyed with the craze. I thought, ‘This is just obnoxious,’ but I decided to read one see if it was really true, that these books were all that great. I read one and it was just awesome,” she said.

Brittany said if the books could impress her they could impress anybody.

“I’m not really much of a reader. These two like reading. I’m really picky about books. I don’t really like that much, but when I read Harry Potter, I really liked it,” Brittany said.

“It’s just a great story line,” Lindsey said.