Library prepares for Potter

LAWRENCEVILLE - Any Harry Potter fan who planned on getting the final book in the hugely popular children's series from the library might want to go ahead and put their name on the list.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which is set to be released Saturday at 12:01 a.m., already has 1,028 requests to be checked out by local residents, according to the Gwinnett County Public Library's Web site. Gwinnett County has ordered 300 copies of the book.

The county has also ordered 91 copies and had 433 requests for the compact disc version of the book.

Gwinnettians have been able to request a copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" for nearly 51⁄2 months. Eddie Suttles, spokesperson for Gwinnett County Public Libraries, said people could request the book as soon it was added to the library's online catalog at the end of January.

Suttles said he's unsure how long it will take to work through the current number of requests. He said it all depends on how quickly people return the book.

The library actually ordered fewer copies of the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series than it did the sixth book, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." Suttles said the library takes into account past requests and expected requests when deciding how many books to order.

"I think the general consensus with this one, since it's the last one, is people are going to want to own it," Suttles said.

That certainly seems to be the case for several Gwinnett cities that are among the top in the nation for pre-sales on Amazon.com. According to the most recent information on Amazon's Web site, five Gwinnett cities rank in the top 100 in pre-orders on a per capita basis. Suwanee ranks the highest at No. 26.

Suttles said whether it's on the retail side or the library side, Harry Potter releases are always crazy times for anyone in the business of books.

"It's such an unusual thing for the book world with all the excitement around it," he said.

SideBar: Potter mania

With the release of the final Harry Potter book Saturday at 12:01 a.m., Amazon.com is tracking which cities and towns throughout America have pre-ordered the most copies of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" on a per capita basis. Gwinnett County had five cities in the top 100 as of Friday:

Suwanee - No. 26

Norcross - No. 38

Loganville - No. 70

Lawrenceville - No. 81

Lilburn - No. 89