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Correspondent

TOWNSEND — Harry Potter is on his way to retirement, and the Friends of the Public Library plan to send him off in style.

This July marks the last installment of the adventures of Harry Potter, one of the most successful literary series of all times.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” appears on July 21.

It is the seventh and conclusive book in the adventures of a young wizard written by author J.K. Rowling, whose creation has propelled her from near-poverty to the top of the bestseller lists over the first six editions.

In Townsend, library director Heidi Fowler is planning a party that any boy or girl wizard would be happy to attend.

Starting at 11 p.m. on July 20, the library will open its doors for a night of games, food and frolicking. Costumes are encouraged.

The evening concludes with the main attraction — the distribution of copies of the final Harry Potter book at midnight.

Anyone wanting to receive their midnight copy must pay for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” at the library, where they will be sold for the discounted price of $19. Deadline to purchase the books is June 30.

Since he first appeared, the Harry Potter character has caused a renaissance of reading among the younger set long written off as too engrossed in video games and television to be enticed by the hum-drum notion of reading.

Fowler said she doesn’t think the end of Harry Potter means the end of the resurgence in reading.

If anything, Fowler said, the search for the next Harry Potter could help keep alive the interest in reading spawned by the boy wizard.

“I don’t think they’ll stop reading,” Fowler said. “I think what will happen is there will always be people out there looking for the next great thing to follow Harry Potter.”

This isn’t the first time the Townsend library has turned a Harry Potter book release into a night of fun.

“We did this with the last book,” Fowler said. “We had something like 30 or 40 people come out for the last one.”

Fowler declined to take credit for the event’s conception.

“It was something they’d done in Westminster. Library directors are known for picking up the phone and asking what each other is out there doing.”

So far, sales have been “steady, though not brisk,” according to Fowler. She said nine books had been ordered so far.

Still, the June 30 deadline is quite some distance away.

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