Manager: ‘Harry Potter’ flying off shelves

CNJ staff photo: Tony Gutierrez Denise Adams of Clovis looks at a copy of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” for her grandson, Bryan McCormick.

By Tony Gutierrez: CNJ staff writer

Between 250 and 300 people waited at Hastings in Clovis until the clock struck one minute past midnight Saturday to buy “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” according to store manager Fernando Garcia.

The evening started at 10 p.m. Friday with trivia contests where winners received gift cards. Next was a costume contest, where the winner received a free copy of J. K. Rowling’s latest book on the boy wizard.

“We were here until 1:30 in the morning selling books,” Garcia said.

Toward midnight, managers had pizza delivered to the store and held a drawing where the winners would be first in line to buy their books.

“There was pretty much everything.” Garcia said. “The little girl that won it was dressed up as Hermoine,” who is one of Harry’s friends.

Throughout the evening Hastings had a booth where people could buy Harry Potter-like treats such as chocolate frogs, chocolate-covered wands, sausage wrapped in breading known as “troll bites,” gelatin jigglers with gummy worms inside of them known as “slugs,” Oreo-based “dirt” and “butter beer” made from a mixture of butterscotch and Sprite.

“I went home and read the first four chapters before I absolutely had to go to bed,” said Jeremy Gardels, Hastings book manager. “So far it’s actually really good. I didn’t even know what to expect. I just know J. K. Rowling’s going to do a good book.”

Gardels said Hastings’ sales of the final Harry Potter book have surpassed the two-day mark from the previous book released in the series and is still selling.

“We’ve been selling them quick. I have to keep restocking the shelves,” Gardels said. “I go over there, leave, come back and there’s gaps.”