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  Fastest-selling book-Harry Potter final book set world record

[July 23] New York, US -- The final instalment in the Harry Potter series has set a new record as the world's fastest-selling book.
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - the seventh and last novel in the series - sold around 15 million copies worldwide in its first day and set the new world record for the fastest selling book.

Children pose with the final chapter in the Harry Potter series; Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows in Hong Kong 21 July 2007. The wait was finally over for Harry Potter fans who flooded bookshops worldwide to grab the series finale and find out whether author J.K. Rowling slays or spares the boy wizard.(AFP)

   World Record Academy is the first world records certifying organization which recognize and announce officially the new world record set by the last Harry Potter's book.

   After weeks of hype, the seventh Harry Potter book finally hit shop shelves on Saturday. Thousands of Potter fans queued outside book stores in major cities around the world over the weekend to get hold of the book, which answers the questions on every reader's lips -- Who dies at the end? Does Harry survive?

    Around 8.3 million copies were sold in the first 24 hours in the United States according to publisher Scholastic.That beats the previous record, held by the sixth Potter book, which sold 6.9 million in its first day in the US.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" at Borders

   Borders said Sunday that it sold 1.2 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows worldwide on the book's first day, breaking the retailer's single-day sales record.

   The book, which is the seventh and final installment in author J.K. Rowling's fantasy series, went on sale Saturday. Borders said its first-day sales compare to 850,000 copies for book six, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which was published in 2005. Borders was selling the latest book for $20.99, a 40% discount from the $34.99 list price.

    UK sales figures are due later, but WH Smith said it sold 15 copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows per second when it came out on Saturday.

    A spokeswoman at Bloomsbury, the book's British publisher, told the Observer newspaper that sales of the final instalment could reach three million copies in the first 24 hours, up from two million for 2005's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

    UK supermarket chain Asda also confirmed that Deathly Hallows was selling twice as quickly as its predecessor. The store, which discounted the book from 17.99 to 5, said it shifted 97% of its 500,000 copies in the first 24 hours.

   "We've never seen anyting like it," said Asda spokesman Ed Watson in London.

   Advance orders for the book reached more than 2.2 million copies at Inc., the world's biggest online retailer, and more than 1.3 million at Barnes & Noble, a record for both.
   Amazon also claimed readers has saved 50 mln usd worldwide by buying the book through Amazon at its discounted price.

   In Bangladesh, customs offices continued to work on a Friday - a holiday in the country - to ensure the novel was delivered on time.

   In the UK, 250,000 fans - many dressed as wizards and witches - turned up to midnight launch parties hosted by book store Waterstone's.

   Fans in the US had to wait slightly longer, as booksellers observed their own midnight embargo, but they still turned out in their thousands to buy the book.

    The Borders book chain said 800,000 devotees attended the countdowns in their 1,200 US stores, with first day sales reaching 1.2 million.

   In India, police said on Monday they had seized hundreds of pirated copies of "Deathly Hallows" after raiding a printing press, storage depot and private home in Bangalore.

    Internet versions of the book also surfaced last week and two U.S. newspapers ran reviews before publication, but it was not enough to dampen enthusiasm for the final chapter of the boy wizard's increasingly bloody fight against the forces of evil.

   The series has sold more than 325 million copies worldwide since 1997, making it the biggest children's book series ever and its author, Rowling, the world's first billion-dollar writer. Potter and his adventures at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry also spawned a franchise that has generated billions of dollars in sales of DVDs, box-office receipts, soundtracks and licensed trademark goods.