Book Fever

July 20, 2007 (LBO) — Thousands of Harry Potter fans in Sri Lanka have signed up to pick a copy of J.K. Rowling’s seventh, swansong book, amidst tight security, with bookstores sworn to ensure nothing is leaked out before the launch day, a spokesman for the publisher said. Over 10,000 copies of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” goes on sale in Colombo, Kandy and Galle from 0530 Saturday, with dozens of die-hard fans expected to queue up outside bookstores early morning to get their hands on the final fix of the best-selling series.

“We have brought down over 10,000 hard cover copies this time, more than 8,000 we got down when the last edition was out two-years back. We expect the whole thing to be sold out,” said Shan Rajagura, Chief Executive, Inscript (Pvt) Ltd, the Sri Lankan agent for Harry Potter publisher, Bloomsbury.

Sri Lanka’s order, however, is a drop in the bucket compared to online retailer Amazon, who said at least two million people worldwide have pre-ordered copies from them.

Priced at 2,750 rupees, booksellers are offering freebies to Potter fans who make prior reservations, while few bookshops plan to host after-hours parties.

Local radio stations have joined in the frenzy, asking callers to guess if the teenage boy wiz