Harry Potter magic hits Asia as fans celebrate new book

Singapore—Harry Potter magic hit Asia on Sunday, as aspiring witches and wizards crowded into bookstores to get their hands on the first copies of a new play that imagines the hero as an adult.
Nearly 300 fans rushed through the doors of Kinokuniya bookstore on Singapore’s Orchard Road at 7:01 am (2301 GMT Saturday) to become one of the first people in the world to see the new script.
Student Samantha Chua, 24, who along with her friend was first in line, said she had been waiting outside the fourth-floor bookstore since 5am.
Widely seen as the eighth Harry Potter installment, the play is set 19 years after the end of the last book and features a grown-up Potter working at the Ministry of Magic.
In India, fans began lining up outside shops which had opened early especially for the script’s release.
“It’s been amazing to see 10-year-old fans and 70-year-old grandmothers turn up at our shops,” Shilpi Agarwal, a spokeswoman for Om book shops, said in New Delhi.
In Bangkok, around 40 fans, many wielding wands and other wizarding paraphernalia, gathered outside a large downtown mall overnight.
Sanpipat Huangsawat, 29, was first in line and had started queuing at 6:30pm on Saturday evening. He finally got his hand on the book some 11 hours later.
Sheryans, 16, said he was not sure he’d ever get the chance to see another Harry Potter book launch.
“I’ve been following the Harry Potter series since I was eight years old.”
Dozens gathered at a downtown bookstore in Hong Kong to get the new title and try on Harry Potter costumes provided by the store.
Ten-year-old Adele Leung, who came with her mother, was anxious to crack into the latest Potter tome.
“I love Harry Potter and have read all of the last ones. I think I will read it in a few days,” she said. — AFP

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