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Borders Sells 1.2 Million Harry Potter Books on First Day

Borders Group said that its more than 1,200 Borders and Waldenbooks stores around the globe sold approximately 1.2 million copies of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" on its first day of sales, Saturday.

This is the highest single day sales of any title ever in Borders history. This first-day sales total for book seven -- the final book in the Harry Potter series -- compares to 850,000 copies sold worldwide by Borders of book six,

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," its first day of sales in 2005.

The company estimates that more than 800,000 Harry Potter fans attended celebrations in its U.S. stores that lasted until the early morning hours, where fans of the wildly popular Harry Potter series began the midnight countdown at Borders with "Grand Hallows Ball" celebrations.

Every store crowned a king and queen of the Ball who were rewarded for having the best
costumes. Prizes were awarded for the winners of the Harry Potter Spelling Bee and the "Great Snape Debate." The most coveted awards at Borders stores were a giant poster of the cover art for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" signed by artist Mary Grand Pre, and the opportunity to be first in line to purchase the new book.

"We are absolutely thrilled that so many customers chose to spend this very special evening with Borders," said Chief Executive Officer George Jones. "Our store staffs worked tirelessly throughout the evening and early morning hours to give our customers an exceptional experience. I am proud of the way Borders made the final Harry Potter book an event to remember in the lives of so many children and adults worldwide."

"Deathly Hallows" is the last book in a series that began a decade ago with "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," the story of an orphaned boy who learns on his 11th birthday that he is a wizard. Since then, Rowling's books have sold 325 million copies in 64 languages, and the launch of each new volume has become a Hollywood-scale extravaganza.

"Deathly Hallows" has a print run of 12 million in the United States alone, and Internet retailer Amazon says it has taken 2.2 million orders for the book--47 percent higher than the pre-order for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

As many as 1,200 copies were shipped early in the U.S. by an online retailer, and two U.S. newspapers published reviews of the book ahead of the release.

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