My Harry Potter book buying story

Like millions of people my wife has really enjoyed Harry Potter and last Friday after my wife went to bed I decided to brave the crowds to try to pick up a copy for her to have it sitting on the breakfast table in the morning. I simply didn’t realize how crazy things were going to be when I made it to Border’s in downtown Santa Cruz. I’d reserved a copy a few weeks ago but my first clue came when I hit Bookshop Santa Cruz and I had to slow down to drive through hoards of people leaving with their copy with some even carrying the empty cardboard boxes the books were shipped in. I made my way to the parking garage and walked over to Border’s. The street was full of people and Border’s itself was packed wall-to-wall with avid fans either waiting in line or seated on the floor reading the 700+ page book.

There was a wrist band system in effect though it wasn’t explained anywhere so I muddled through the crowd looking for clues of how to proceed until I finally ran into an employee who clued me in. I made my way to the wrist band line and after half an hour I got a small purple wrist band and was told that I’d probably get my copy around 2:00am, it was 12:40am. After wading through the crowd trying to assess the accuracy of that timetable I reached the conclusion that even that was probably optimistic so I headed home. I should have snapped a few pictures with my cell phone but I always seem to forget that I now have a camera wherever I go.

Anyway, the next morning we went to the farmer’s market and on our way back to Scotts Valley we decided to run by Costco since they had the book too. We parked and I ran in and found a palette of books right next to the 300 flat panel TV’s (if you’ve ever been to Costco you know what I’m talking about). Anyway, I ended up with a copy of Harry Potter for $19.74 tax included. The retail price was $34.99 and my wife mentioned Border’s had a 30% discount so we saved a little money.

Anyone else succeed where I failed?

8 thoughts on “My Harry Potter book buying story

  1. Well, I simply ordered my copy through Amazon and had it delivered by 8:30 am on Saturday morning. 🙂

  2. Steve —
    My daughter and her two pals braved the line and the crowds and got their books. (She went with her friends mom.)
    My wife took them to get wristbands on Friday morning, and they got to Borders around 9:00pm. They got their books in the first wave, and were home by 1:00am.
    Piper then read the book straight through, finishing at 0430 Sunday morning.
    Yikes.
    Nick

  3. I love reading the Harry Potter series. However, I think the English version shipped and sold in China is too expensive so I am now waiting for the Chinese version due to out in October.
    Although I can read English without troubles, I prefer to buy a cheaper book. On other hand, I bought other six books published in Chinese, so this time I won’t break the rule.

  4. It always amazes me what hype will make seemingly normal people do.
    Remember, its just a childrens book about wizards, etc.

  5. BTW in the UK, all the big supermarkets had it for £4.99 (~$10) so it must be one of the few things cheaper over here!

  6. George,
    I’m not into the HP books, this was just something I thought my wife would appreciate. Regardless, Borders was crazy that night and I’d guess if anyone from the Fire department showed up they’d have shut it down.

  7. I couldn’t face the midnight scene. A 3 year old gets me up between 5:30 and 6am every morning regardless of the day, so I have to have my brain on for her first. 🙂 I am the HP fan in our family and so had it reserved at Borders at the mall. I found out they opened at 10am on Saturday morning and so made my way over there with my little one, spoiled her rotten with Dora the Explorer Books that she loves so much and picked up my book. I was in and out in 10 minutes. Naturally all the weekend work has to be done first, so I didn’t get to sit down and start in until about 1pm when said little one took a nap. Finshed it by Monday evening even with interruptions 🙂 Really a great book.

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