Saturday, July 21, 2007

Witching (and Wizarding) Hour

I'd never been to the mall at midnight until last night. Only one of the four or five doors at the entrance was open for the Harry Potter fans trickling in to pick up their copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Security guards on Segways eyed those entering the building, watching to make sure they headed straight for the escalator that would take them to the Borders Express upstairs.

The mall was dark and warm, the air conditioning having been turned up a few degrees for the night. Silence reigned, except in the small area outside of the bookstore, where chaos seemed to have taken control. There had been a celebration leading up to the witching hour, and salespeople dressed as witches continued to call out numbers for prize drawings. Since I was there only to pick up my preordered copy of the book, I didn't try to snag one of the little blue tickets needed for the prize drawings.

Mistake.

At the stroke of midnight, the crowd (not huge, but still too much for the small mall store) massed together to find their way to the registers to make their purchases. Incomprehensible instructions were given, which seemed to cause shifting of the crowd, but still, no clear lines were formed. Then, an imperious security guard began ordering people out of the store. A young girl nearby explained to me that customers were being taken in order of the numbers on their little blue tickets.

It was 10 past midnight at this point, and only a few people had left the store with book in hand. I had no idea where to obtain a ticket. Even if I came up with one, I'd be the very last customer served. While I could have abided an orderly line, the chaos in the store and the ill-will of the security guards made staying unpalatable to me.

I left.

I drove across the highway to Walmart, where peace and order marked the early moments of the new day. A simple line had been constructed outside. Bookmarks, posters, cupcakes, candy and wristbands were distributed to all who waited to enter the store, just a few people at a time. I waited no more than 5 minutes before gaining entrance. I was guided to a customer service desk where 2 clerks with stacks of books assisted with purchases. 5 minutes later I was home and beginning my journey into the final tome in the Harry Potter series.

As for Borders Express, I'd probably still be waiting in that mob right now...

7 comments:

mommanator said...

I went to Walmart today around 6pm, there were no lines and I could have purchased as many as I could afford, so much for first in line, but I know how avid you are about it. I can't believe you had time to post or are you done it already!

Merci said...

Mommanator-
Wal-mart was a breeze when I was there, too. And I could have bought as many as I wanted, as well.

As of this morning, I'm on page 533. There are 759 pages total. I expect to finish it today.

I have a canine visitor this weekend, and I can't leave him home alone (he'll bark), so I figured I'd read my way through the weekend.

Virginia Gal said...

Merci - we went to Barnes and Noble, but got our wristbands early Friday morning. It was fun, but yes if someone had not gotten an early wristband number they would have probably been there till at least 1:30 -2pm.

I'm majorly sad the book is over...how did I get so sucked in??

pissed off patricia said...

I haven't read any of the books, but I am so excited to see kids so excited about reading. They are actually turning off all the gadgets and reading. How good is that!

Zelda Parker said...

Hppy reading Merci...You're probably done by the time you reaad this.

Mommmonator, is the big guy reading it? Or, is it the #1 grandchild?

You both missed a great time at Pax's. We were talking about how the M grills new people sometimes to Mrs. Fredian Slips. All she could do was laugh. You were missed by the birthday boy.

POP,
I'm happy that seomething gets kids of any age to read. Could not agree with you more. I'm hoping the movid will renew interest in Nancy Drew as well. Haven't bought them for Christmas gifts yet....

CS said...

I got mine about 11am the next morning at Target. No muss, no fuss. But boy, I still feel a little sad about being done with the series.

Merci said...

I'm glad that kids have started reading again, too. It is more magical than any movie or game ever invented.

I live next to the mall and across the street from Wal-Mart, so it was easy to mosey over and get my book at midnight. It wouldn't have been worthwhile if I didn't live so close. It was nice to dig in right away, though. I was about 1/3 of the way through the book before I went to bed.

I'm sorry it's over, too, but I am satisfied with the ending.