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Bookstores brace themselves for new Harry Potter book

Some of the 60,000 Harry Potter books that arrived in Switzerland this week

(Keystone)

Swiss bookstores are expecting to come under siege on Saturday as the latest Harry Potter book, in German translation, hits the shelves.

Claims that Switzerland is in the grip of Harry Potter mania should be confirmed at midnight on Friday, when fans of all ages are expected to queue for hours to secure a copy of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire".

Sixty thousand copies of Harry Potter's fourth adventure, weighing more than 56 tonnes, arrived in Switzerland on Tuesday under high security. They were immediately locked away at the Swiss book centre in Hägendorf, canton Solothurn.

Unmarked vans will deliver them to bookstores across German-speaking Switzerland on Friday.

A million copies of the German translation, "Harry Potter und der Feuerkelch", were printed, with 60,000 coming to Switzerland.

Bookstores are not permitted to start selling the books before the midnight deadline on Friday. Any stores that try to sell advance copies will be liable to a fine of SFr24 per book.

Bookstores across German-speaking Switzerland are reportedly planning to open at midnight.

The Harry Potter series has taken the publishing world by storm. The first three books have already sold some 30 million copies worldwide and been translated into 31 languages.

They are about the adventures of a schoolboy, Harry Potter, who attends a school for wizards.

The books, by author, JK Rowling, are written for children aged between nine and 12, but they have attracted a wide following among adults.

swissinfo with agencies


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