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Borrowers line up for Harry’s last broom ride

Staff and news service report

Awaiting the last installment of quidditch tournaments, capes that make people disappear, pranks by the Weasley twins and all varieties of magical creatures, Harry Potter fans are already lining up for the seventh installment of the popular book series.

More than 150 people are on reservation lists at libraries in Carson City and Minden.

In Carson City, 74 have their names on the list. In Minden, 69 people have signed up on the reservation list.

“I have an additional 10 to 12 for the audiobook when it comes out,” said Maggie Rusmisel, a library technician at the Douglas County Public Library in Minden. The library started adding names to a Harry Potter waiting list in February.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is the seventh and last installment of the book series that chronicles the life of a young wizard during his years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The book will be released Saturday at 12:01 a.m.

Marsha Hill, library systems specialist, for the Carson City Library said the series “certainly has created some readers of young people.”

Hill, who worked in youth services when the first books came out, said she saw a marked increase in readers of fantasy fiction.

“There were more request for fantasy fiction,” Hill said. “More copy cats. Before we’d get request for the C.S. Lewis books occasionally from the older kids.”

Whether the books have made more children read is harder to see, she said.

“If the child has the confidence (after ready Harry Potter), they’ll be more confident to take on those bigger books.”

It’s been two years since the last Potter book. Readers have watched Harry Potter grow from an 11-year-old novice wizard in the first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” to an 18-year-old who has fought the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort. The sixth book, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” released in the summer of 2005 left readers hanging with the death of Hogwart’s headmaster Dumbledore and Harry vowing not to return for his last year of school.

Douglas County Librarian Louise Davis said, she expects readers left hanging at the end of book six are particularly anxious to get a hold of the book, but said she thinks people would be lining up for the book with or without a cliff hanger.

“I think people identify somehow with the characters and they just want to know what happens next,” she said. “I think we’re just wired that way as human beings.”

If you go

WHAT: Harry Potter party, including a quidditch tournament

WHEN: 4 p.m. July 28

WHERE: Douglas County Public Library

Participants should register for the party by July 27. For information, call 782-9841.