Updated 09/23/2008 02:37 PM
Anniversary Of Harry Potter Debut Celebrated In SoHo
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It's been a decade since a young wizard named Harry Potter put his spell on the hearts and imaginations of millions of fans across the world.
"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," the first book in the series, turned 10 years old Tuesday, and to celebrate, fans read it aloud cover-to-cover in SoHo.
The mainly-adult crowd was lined up for hours outside Scholastic headquarters, waiting for the chance to read a passage from the first of J.K. Rowling's seven books about Harry and his friends and their education in wizardry at the Hogwarts School.
The book has sold more than 100 million copies. Five movies based on the books have followed, and more are on the way.
The first to read was series co-editor Arthur Levine.
"It starts with just an author I love and a book that I love," he said. "And here it has reached the largest potential audience it could possibly reach," he said.
For many, reading from "The Sorcerer's Stone" brought back fond memories of their first taste of Potter mania.
"I still remember the first time I read it," said fan Ariel Birdoff. "At the end of that first chapter, I was just hooked."
"The first book, I think for everyone, is always the one," said fan Jill Pantozzi. "It started it all."
While Harry Potter fans hold a special place in their heart for the first book in the series, it's not necessarily their favorite one.
"My personal favorite characters aren't even in book one, so I think that the other books are definitely better," said fan Wendy Hockstein. "I think that seven is if not the best, one of the best."
Those who could not attend the reading were invited to follow it online, at scholastic.com/readHarry.