It's 11:45 p.m. Friday, July 20, and I'm in Borders at the Centre at Hagerstown. There are hundreds of other fans, ranging from a young boy dressed as Hedwig, Harry's owl, to excited teen fans to parents of young readers to eager adult readers. Everyone is awaiting the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the final book in the seven-book Harry Potter series.
Putting my knees on a CD rack, I manage to see over the heads of the excited crowd in front of me. Straining my eyes, I can see into the back room of the store where there are hundreds of copies of "Deathly Hallows" waiting to be distributed and take readers into a world of magic once more.
At Borders, the excitement starting building at 9 that evening. Borders hosted a costume contest and a debate over Snape's position, asked Harry Potter trivia questions, and presented readings from previous books. A correct answer to one of the trivia questions earned you a raffle ticket; raffle winners earned a signed poster or the privilege to be the first in line at midnight.