The waiting doesn’t end at midnight

That was not the experience I expected. After deciding to support a book shop rather than a supermarket I popped down to my local midnight opening Waterstones in Greenwich. Joining the queue at just gone midnight I finally got my hands on the final instalment of Harry Potter at 1.45. There were still people waiting behind me. It was all screams and shouting at the start – “What do we want? Harry Potter. When do we want to read it? Now”, but that died away to leave just a queue of people, some policemen and plenty of drunks. At times it felt like you were being accused in a slurry voice of being a freak for wanting to read a book. At others it felt like you were part of something rather extraordinary and you can’t help but wonder if this sort of mania over books will happen again in the near future.

I probably won’t even read the book for months and by then the details of the plot will have long since been revealed. But I’m glad I went tonight just to see the crowds, breathe in the excitement and be able to look back and point to the power of a good book. Let’s just hope as someone in the queue in front of me said that after waiting almost two hours it was worth the wait…

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