Waterstones stores in the region have celebrated the launch of the new book in the Harry Potter series.
The book, titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, was released at midnight on Sunday, July 31 for the wizard’s birthday.
Stores in Newcastle, Gateshead (Metro Centre) and Durham had parties to celebrate the release while the Waterstone’s book shop in Sunderland opted for opening an hour earlier on Sunday for Potterheads to grab their copies of the book.
Some also had parties during the opening hours of their stores to fully celebrate the release.
Joanne Frankland, an events co-ordinator and children’s bookseller at the store in Newcastle, said: “Events like these are very important for the store, because not only does it mean we can deliver a fantastic event for customers to enjoy and have fun in store, but it means we will get more people coming into the store.
“The thing I love most about the launch is seeing the customers interact with each other, they all know they love Harry Potter so you get strangers talking to each other a lot more and having a good time together; it’s wonderful to see.
“It’s also amazing to see the sheer enthusiasm some people have for the books; it’s just incredible.”
Faye McClurry, a bookseller at the same store, added: “I’m really glad we got to do something like this.”
Staff and customers across the stores dressed up as their favourite Harry Potter characters and some held competitions to find the best dressed.
The book is set nineteen years after the finale of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and follows a now grown up Harry Potter as an employee at the Ministry of Magic.
It follows a script format as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part play, co-devised by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, written by Jack Thorne and directed by John Tiffany.
It opened at the Palace Theatre on July 30, the night before the release of the book, after nearly eight weeks of previews.
The special rehearsal edition of the script, which is available to the public in hardback for £20, was used by the cast during the preview period and is now the fastest-selling book of a script.
Kate Skipper, buying director at Waterstones, said: “Our sales for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book have been phenomenal; we saw our biggest first day figures since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in 2007 and after just two days’ sales Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is already our biggest-selling hardback since Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol in 2009.
“By the end of this first week, we expect to exceed The Lost Symbol sales and to match the lifetime sales of our bestselling script book ever, An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley.
“There’s no doubt about it; this will be our biggest book of the year.”
The special rehearsal edition of the script will be replaced by the definitive edition, to be published early in 2017.
The later edition will contain the final script and final stage directions and annotations, as seen on opening night and will include extra content, such as writing from the play’s creative team.
A further 250,000 tickets for the play were released for sale on August 4 at 11am, for shows up until December 10, 2017.