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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Witching Hour Approaches for Potter Fans

Aired June 20, 2003 - 20:19   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, or next story is about Harry Potter, a character so popular around the world, he may be bigger than the whole royal family put together.
Right now, as Americans wait eagerly in line, muggles across the pond are already getting their first look at the fifth installment in the best-selling book series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." That's a live shot of a book store.

CNN's Richard Quest joins with us live from London with more. Richard, you got the book about an hour ago. Have you finished it yet?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, I haven't barely got beyond the dust cover. It's a bit of a tome to read.

Anderson, there is a sound in London tonight. It is not the children screaming because they're too busy reading it. It is the sound of those tills ringing, because here at Waterstone's in the center of London, just about every teller they could find on the floor is now ringing up.

People aren't buying just one copy, they're buying two or three for uncles, aunt, brothers and sisters. They're carting them out by the dozen.

This is the biggest publishing venture in history, Anderson. And it's a huge tome of a book. There are over 700 pages for what will be 13 million copies that are sent around the world.

What nobody is quite really got to grips with is why Harry Potter is so popular. Numerous studies have been done, huge psychological and sociological surveys. But if you ask anybody here, what they simply say Anderson, is it's a good read. It's a triumph of good over evil. And at the end of the day, it's a can-do spirit.

So in just a few hours time, you too, will have your hands on this.

COOPER: All right. I'm curious to know what's a bigger story right now in England, Prince William's birthday or Harry Potter's publication?

QUEST: Harry Potter's publication, but I thought you might want to know a bit about that. There is another book that is on sale here at this bookstore. But I'm afraid it's a bit in the shadow. And if you go right into the corner there is an even further book that you won't necessarily see much about over here. You see it's right in the corner. Do you recognize this one?

COOPER: I'm vaguely familiar with that book.

QUEST: Well, all these are over here. The big story tonight, of course is Harry Potter, which is flying off the shelves faster than anybody can pretty much imagine.

COOPER: All right, Richard -- Richard Quest, thanks very much. Good to talk to you.

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