It was a day many Harry Potter fans never thought they’d see again. The eighth story – told nineteen years from where the series left off – was released to fans eagerly waiting on Sunday.
The Greater Victoria Public Library sent all of its copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to Langford’s Goudy branch for last Sunday’s release. Goudy is the only branch in the GVPL system that is open on Sundays and library officials didn’t want fans to have to wait until other branches reopened Tuesday, after the long weekend, to borrow a copy of the book.
“In a different way all ages can enjoy this book,” said Andrea Brimmell, the GVPL’s West Shore district co-ordinator.”We hope this one will live up to our expectations.”
Brimmell was raising her own children when the first books in the series came out and noted how much it brought families together. She’s hoping this book will be no different, with families reading to each other from the story’s pages. “I remember all that excitement. It really turned so many children on to reading.”
The GVPL has 30 copies of the book, 15 of which went to patrons that had placed a copy on hold. In an effort to speed up borrowing times, and see more patrons get their hands on this story faster, the other 15 copies have been marked as “fast reads” meaning they have a borrowing period of only 14 days, compared to the typical 21 day period. They also cannot be renewed or used to fill the hold list. As these copies are returned to the library they will be distributed across GVPL’s 11 branches.
“There was about 150 people that put holds on them,” Brimmell said, noting that is actually pretty low for a Harry Potter release. “This book hasn’t had as much hype… Nonetheless a lot of people are excited, very excited.”
The demand for the title will be monitored with more print and digital copies added as needed. Brimmell noted right now the 30 copies meets their demand but added “I’m sure there will be a lot more interest.”
Ebook versions were also available Sunday at 9 a.m. on the 3M Cloud Library platform. A mobile app is available free with a GVPL library card.
In typical Harry Potter release fashion, the Goudy branched welcomed those of all ages on Sunday toting robes, broomsticks and wands. The branch also had colouring sheets and a big cutout of the book cover to take pictures with.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage and had its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30. It is based on an original story by Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling with Jack Thorn and John Tiffany.
The Goudy branch, 119-755 Goldstream Ave., is open Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. as well as from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Monday to Wednesday and Saturday, and from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. For more information go to gvpl.ca.