NEW YORK – It's months away from being on bookshelves, but fans can't get enough of the seventh — and final — Harry Potter book, no matter the cost.
Not only is "Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows" topping the charts of Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com, a deluxe edition, priced at $65, is No. 2, outselling the "You" diet book, Sen. Barack Obama and an Oprah Winfrey-endorsed memoir by Sidney Poitier.
Publicist Kyle Good of Scholastic Inc., the U.S. publisher of J.K. Rowling's fantasy series, said Saturday that a similar deluxe edition of Potter 6, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," had sold around 100,000 copies.
The deluxe "Half-Blood Prince," according to Scholastic, includes a 32-page insert of art and illustrations, a "custom-designed slipcase," and a "full-cloth case book, blind-stamped on front and back cover, foil stamped on spine."
Barnes & Noble.com shoppers can get a bit of a break on the deluxe "Deathly Hallows," which the superstore was offering for a mere $45.50. The regular edition has a list price of $34.99, although Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com were selling it for $18.89. Wal-Mart had it at $17.27.
Many stores said they don't make money on the Potter books, but hope instead that customers will make additional purchases.
Rowling announced Thursday that "Deathly Hallows" would come out July 21. The previous six books have sold more than 325 million copies in 64 languages and broken countless sales records. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," published in 2005, had an announced first U.S. printing of 10.8 million copies and sold 6.9 million copies in its first 24 hours.