With a new year just around the corner, book lovers have much to anticipate. Not the least of this is the release of the final book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

Though the actual publication date of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has not yet been announced, Britain’s Royal Mail isn’t taking any chances. According to the Associated Press:

Britain’s mail service is conferring with retailers and renting out hundreds of extra trucks in anticipation of the launch of the seventh — and final — installment of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

Royal Mail spokesman James Eadie told AP that history has taught them to be prepared for a new Rowling novel. For example, on July 16, 2005, Royal Mail delivered more than half a million advance copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, a feat that required 150 additional trucks bringing books to 1400 delivery offices around Britain.

While the number represents only a fraction of the 80 million items the Royal Mail delivers daily, the security — and secrecy — surrounding the work mean the books have to spend as little time as possible on warehouse floors, complicating their distribution. The 652-page “Half-Blood Prince” weighed in at just under 2.2 pounds, forcing postal workers into vans to avoid overloading their carrier bags.

MSNBC has the AP item here.

News Reporter

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