July 31, 2008
Bookstores Planning to Party ‘Til ‘Dawn’
By TERECILLE BASA-ONG, STAFF WRITER
Most bookstores thought the midnight madness would be over with the seventh Harry Potter novel, figuring they would not have to deal with another late-night release party.Then along came "Breaking Dawn," the fourth and final book in StephenieMeyer's teen vampire series, "Twilight."
To promote the book's midnight release, stores throughout the area will be welcoming "Twilight" fans Friday night with everything from cake to costumes to vampire-bite tattoos.
"Some places had midnight parties for [the third book] 'Eclipse,' " said Elizabeth Eulberg, Meyer's global publicist, "but this is on a much wider scale."
The series kicked off in 2005 with "Twilight," about an average 17-year-old girl and a vampire in love. The book and its two sequels "New Moon" and "Eclipse" were on the New York Times bestseller list for 143 weeks combined.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Meyer told a young fan that she "felt closure" with "Breaking Dawn," in which heroine Bella must ultimately choose between Edward the vampire and Jacob the werewolf.
Meyer who will be taking the stage Friday night with musician Justin Furstenfeld for a sold-out "Breaking Dawn concert" at Nokia Theatre in Manhattan isn't doing a book tour, so Bookends in Ridgewood couldn't get her to stop by. But the store will be open from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., selling "Breaking Dawn" at 20 percent off for only those four hours. Co-owner Walter Boyer predicted that the fans will "make it a girls' night out" and is "encouraging people to come early and hang" since there will be light refreshments and cake.
Northvale's Books &Greetings will open at 11 p.m. and serve refreshments, but will not have any games or festivities.
"Unlike the Harry Potter fanatics, the girls will just want to get the book and go," said owner Kenny Sarfin. "They're not interested in becoming vampires!"
Barnes & Noble and Borders stores are planning more elaborate celebrations. At Clifton's Barnes & Noble, the festivities begin at 8 p.m., including a costume party and dance contest, a prom photo booth and trivia games. While this is being treated in the "same respect as a Harry Potter release party," merchandising manager Janine Bubetsaid the series is "not as big as Harry Potter, so we don't expect [the turnout] to be as big."
Mike Marmo, store manager for the Edgewater Barnes & Noble, agreed. "It's for a specialized crowd, strictly the teen market," Marmo said.
Their party, beginning at 9 p.m., will feature a fortuneteller and tarot card readings, a trivia hunt and the chance to get vampire bites painted on your neck.
The Barnes & Noble in Hackensack has been gearing up for the release with its "Countdown to 'Breaking Dawn' " book group, which has been meeting since June to discuss the first three books.
The store's 10 p.m. party will offer a costume contest, prom photos and the chance to get painted with either vampire bites (if you're rooting for Edward) or a werewolf scratch (if you're a Jacob fan). Other activities include T-shirt raffles and a crafts table.
"Because of the interest in the fiction group, we're expecting a decent turnout," said community relations manager Jill Fisch. "We don't expect it to be quite as big as Harry Potter, but pre-orders have been good and [the fan base does range from] teenage girls and some boys, and mothers too."
The Borders stores in Fort Lee and Ramsey will hold "From Twilight Till Dawn: A Night With Bite" parties starting at 9:30 p.m., with a costume party, trivia contest, food and prizes; Fort Lee's party will also include a reading of the first chapter.
"It's not Harry Potter, but it's surprising how many people are interested in it," said Fort Lee store manager Steven Parisi. "I never thought we'd throw another midnight release party, but it's a good thing; the kids get excited and have fun."
The success of these parties has led Parisi to expand the release party concept to other series, such as Christopher Paolini's "Eragon," whose third book, "Brisingr," arrives in September.
The end of the "Twilight" series likely won't mean the end of the mania or the Harry Potter comparisons. The movie version of "Twilight," in theaters Dec. 12, stars Robert Pattinson - Cedric from "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."
"Breaking Dawn" release parties will be held Friday at Barnes & Noble in Clifton (395 Route 3 east, 973-779-5500), Edgewater (465 River Road, 201-943-6130), Hackensack (187 Riverside Square, 201- 488-8037) and West Paterson (1156 Route 46 West, 973-812-0180); Bookends in Ridgewood (232 E. Ridgewood Ave., 201-445-0726); Books & Greetings in Northvale (271 Livingston St., 201-784-2665); and Borders in Fort Lee (1642 Schlosser St., 201-302-0815) and Ramsey (235 Interstate Shopping Center, 201-760-1967). Call or go online for details. Pre-ordering the book is recommended.
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