Harry Potter fans throng bookstores bright and early for new release

During the launch of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City on July 31.
During the launch of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City on July 31.ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
Undergraduates Samantha Chua, 24, and Jeremy Liu, 25, were first in line at Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City. They were there since 5am.
Undergraduates Samantha Chua, 24, and Jeremy Liu, 25, were first in line at Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City. They were there since 5am.ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
Fans at the launch of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City on July 31.
Fans at the launch of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City on July 31.ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
A pair of young fans reading their copies of the latest Harry Potter book in Kinokuniya. 
A pair of young fans reading their copies of the latest Harry Potter book in Kinokuniya. ST PHOTO: DON WONG
A young fan of the Harry Potter books reading her copy at Kinokuniya.
A young fan of the Harry Potter books reading her copy at Kinokuniya.ST PHOTO: DON WONG
Stacks of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child books during the launch on July 31.
Stacks of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child books during the launch on July 31.ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
The newly released Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.
The newly released Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
Tan Yi Min, 17, dressed as Luna Lovegood, her favourite character from the franchise.
Tan Yi Min, 17, dressed as Luna Lovegood, her favourite character from the franchise.ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
Mavis Tan, 24, reading the book the moment she got her hands on it.
Mavis Tan, 24, reading the book the moment she got her hands on it. ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
At the release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City on July 31.
At the release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City on July 31.ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
The sorting hat game being played during the release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Popular bookstore at Bras Basah on July 31.
The sorting hat game being played during the release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Popular bookstore at Bras Basah on July 31.ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
The Harry Potter themed food at the launch party of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Popular, Bras Basah on July 31.
The Harry Potter themed food at the launch party of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Popular, Bras Basah on July 31.ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
The Harry Potter themed food at the launch party of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Popular, Bras Basah on July 31.
The Harry Potter themed food at the launch party of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Popular, Bras Basah on July 31.
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child on display at Times, Waterway Point on July 31.
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child on display at Times, Waterway Point on July 31.ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
Chong Koh You, 34, popped by the Times outlet in Waterway Point after a run to buy the script book.
Chong Koh You, 34, popped by the Times outlet in Waterway Point after a run to buy the script book.ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
Tarot card reading during the release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Times, Waterway Point.
Tarot card reading during the release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Times, Waterway Point. ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
Temporary Harry Potter tattoo station at Waterway Point on July 31.
Temporary Harry Potter tattoo station at Waterway Point on July 31.ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR
(From left) Leroy Teng, 2, dad Alvin Teng, 33, Lucas Teng, 5, and Serene Tay, 28 at the book release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Waterway Point on July 31.
(From left) Leroy Teng, 2, dad Alvin Teng, 33, Lucas Teng, 5, and Serene Tay, 28 at the book release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Waterway Point on July 31.ST PHOTO: GURVEEN KAUR

SINGAPORE - Harry Potter fans awoke bright and early on Sunday (July 31) to get their hands on a new story on The Boy Who Lived, nine years after the release of the supposedly final volume in the series.

Major bookstores Popular, Books Kinokuniya and Times opened the doors of all or some of their outlets  at 7.01am to coincide with the international release of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Parts I and II, a script book of a new London play based on a story by the creator of the magical world, J.K. Rowling, director John Tiffany and playwright Jack Thorne.

Besides officially launching the sale of the books, the booksellers got in on the Potter frenzy and with plenty of fringe activities for fans too.

Some early-bird customers at Kinokuniya's Ngee Ann City queued up from as early as 5am. The spokesman for the bookstore said approximately 200 people were in queue when the doors opened.

All of Popular's 28 outlets opened at 7.01am  but only its Bras Basah outlet hosted a magical party, complete with games and door gifts. Some 120 fans queued up for the launch party.

Fans got to take part in a Sorting Hat ceremony, played Quidditch Pong, and also munched on Harry Potter themed food inspired by the broom stick, the golden snitch ball  and cauldron.

 

The book is retailing at $39.90 at the bookstores but

 

Kinokuniya is offering a 20 per cent discount for just Sunday. Times has a 20 per cent discount on the book from Sunday till Aug 31. Pre-order prices varied for each store.

Polytechnic student and self declared diehard  fan Tan Yi Min, 17, came to Kinokuniya's Ngee Ann City branch dressed as Luna Lovegood, her favourite character. She participated in a cosplay contest in store later.

 Her shopping basket was filled with  Harry Potter badges, a Quidditch set, folders.

 "I just grabbed whatever I liked. I didn't even look how much it costs."

Marketing manager Melissa Foo, 38, woke up at 5am and  went to Kinokuniya before visiting the Popular outlet at Brash Basah.

 "I'm not sure how this book is going to be since it's in a different format but I'm glad that there is something new," she told The Straits Times.

At the Times outlet in Waterway Point, a temporary Harry Potter tattoo station was set up, with delighted fans walking away with a tattoo of the lightning scar on the boy wizard's forehead.

Teacher Chong Koh You, 34, popped by the Times outlet in Waterway Point after a run to buy the script book. "I was pleasantly surprised that they opened early," he said.