Not even the punters who had thoughtfully pre-ordered their copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from Borders could escape the Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test of standing in a long queue on a cold morning,
except by saving their $29.95 receipts for later (anyone who paid $50 was seriously ripped off) and rocking on further down the mall to the shop known in some literary circles as Anguish & Robbery: hundreds of copies, no waiting, and witches giving away pumpkin juice and Butterbeer at the door.
Some, having attained their prize, walked only as far as the nearest bench before giving way to the desire to start reading immediately,
and others didn't even get as far as that.
By the time I arrived at one of our regular Saturday morning cafes at 9.30 am, the Aerospace Engineering student and her mother the lawyer had picked up their copies, settled down in a sunny corner with their lattes, and were already up to page 60. They didn't see me come in.