Harry Potter record sales suggest it will be biggest book of the year
The book of the script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has disappeared off shelves in the biggest single week of sales in the UK this decade.
The print version of the West End play, which was published on July 31, has already sold more than 680,000 copies in Great Britain.
The previous record holder in the past 10 years was Fifty Shades of Grey in 2012, with 664,478 print copies sold, according to Nielsen BookScan.
Bookshops around the country celebrated the release of the Harry Potter book, which contains parts one and two of the script complete with stage directions, with midnight parties.
Set 19 years after the events of the seventh and final book, The Cursed Child brings back the wizard , now grown up and an employee at the Ministry of Magic.
Harry and his wife Ginny Weasley wave their youngest son Albus Severus, named after former Hogwarts headmaster Professor Dumbledore and Potions guru Professor Snape, off to their old wizarding school.
Once there, Albus struggles with the weight of his family legacy and goes to extreme and dangerous lengths to right the wrongs of the past.
The two-part play stretches over five hours and was co-devised by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, written by Jack Thorne and directed by John Tiffany.
It opened at the Palace Theatre on July 30 after nearly eight weeks of previews.
The special rehearsal edition of the script, which is available to the public in hardback for £20, was used by the cast during the preview period and is now the fastest-selling book of a script.
Kate Skipper, buying director at Waterstones, said: " Our sales for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book have been phenomenal; we saw our biggest first day figures since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in 2007 and after just two days' sales Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is already our biggest-selling hardback since Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol in 2009.
"By the end of this first week, we expect to exceed The Lost Symbol sales and to match the lifetime sales of our bestselling script book ever, An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley. There's no doubt about it; this will be our biggest book of the year."
The special rehearsal edition of the script will be replaced by the definitive edition, to be published early in 2017. The later edition will contain the final script and final stage directions and annotations, as seen on opening night and will include extra content, such as writing from the play's creative team.
Producers recently announced a further 250,000 tickets for the play will be released on sale on August 4 at 11am, for shows up until December 10 2017.