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Harry Potter mania hits Switzerland

Harry Potter mania - in German translation - has hit the Swiss shelves again

(Keystone)

Swiss bookstores were overwhelmed in the early hours of Saturday morning as the latest Harry Potter book hit the shelves.

Queues formed round the block outside shops across German-speaking Switzerland, as fans of the fictional child wizard lined up for a chance to get hold of a sought-after copy of the German translation of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire".

A million copies of the translation - titled "Harry Potter und die Feuerkelch" -were printed, with 60,000 coming to Switzerland. Bookstores were not permitted to start selling them until midnight on Friday, risking an SFr24 fine per copy if they did.

To entertain their waiting customers, the bookstores organised street entertainment on a Harry Potter theme.

The Potter series is the work of the British author J.K. Rowling, and has taken the publishing world by storm. The first three books have already sold around 30 million copies worldwide, and have been translated into 31 languages.

Swiss readers first got their chance to delve into the stories of the schoolboy training to be a wizard two years ago. The series is aimed at children aged 9 to 12, many of whom have turned back from computer games to the written word as a result.

But Harry Potter has also attracted a cult following amongst adults.

by Jonathan Fowler


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