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Retailers Prepare for Release of Final Harry Potter Book


Fans of the Harry Potter book series are anxiously awaiting the release on Saturday of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The book will be the seventh and final in the popular series from author J.K. Rowling about a boy wizard. VOA's Barry Unger has more on the upcoming release. Sean Maroney narrates.

It was quite a scene two years ago upon the release of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Young people -- and some not so young -- lined up in bookstores around the world to purchase the book, which was the sixth in the popular series about a boy wizard. A similar scene is expected Saturday when the final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, comes out.

The release cannot come soon enough for some Harry Potter fans. Andreas Haayak is one of them. "It is very exciting. [There is] much drama."

"It is so exciting I don't know,” adds Kaliee Klipp. “I guess it is just one of those stories you can just fall into and it is so satisfying when you read it and I love the way she writes. The characters are so lovable."

The popular book series has sold more than 325 million copies in more than 60 languages since the release of the first Harry Potter book in 1997. The stories take place in a magical world of wizards and witches where young Harry battles an evil wizard who killed his parents.

The release of the final book comes little more than a week after the international release of the movie version of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the fifth book in the series.

The anticipation has led book retailers to increase their security measures to avoid leaks before Saturday's official release date.

Laura Porco is the director of merchandising for Internet retailer Amazon. "The books are being kept in a special area that is patrolled 24-hours a day, seven days a week,” she explains. “Only certain employees with special credentials are allowed in these areas and they are only allowed to handle the books as necessary to pack and ship them."

Not even Harry Potter himself knows what will happen in the final book. Actor Daniel Radcliffe recently said, "I have, of course, asked and got very cryptic answers which just make me more anxious to find out what happens, but I really have no idea what goes on it, unfortunately."

It has been reported in recent days that the entire book has been leaked online to file-sharing sites throughout the Internet. But that is unlikely to dampen the enthusiasm of fans to find out how the book – and the series – ends.

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