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London fans in 18-hour queue for Murakami

Fans queued for up to 18 hours to meet Haruki Murakami for the last stop on his first book tour in 10 years.

The book lovers began queuing outside Waterstones Piccadilly in London from 5pm on Friday (29th August) to meet their much-admired author at 11am the following day for a book signing.

Publishers at Harvill Secker told The Bookseller that 400 people were waiting diligently in line by 5a.m. and by 7a.m. Waterstones booksellers had to close the queue because it was too long.

Bethan Jones, publicity director at Harvill Secker, said: “Haruki Murakami arrived at the bookshop at 11a.m. to cheers and applause. In a two-hour session, Japan’s greatest living novelist signed copies of his new book Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage for two hours, delighting hundreds of fans. Murakami had pre-signed 200 copies of the book for those who didn’t manage to get their book signed in person during the two hour session.”

It was the final stop on Murakami’s first book tour in a decade. To mark the occasion, Harvill Secker projected the front cover of the book onto the Waterstones Piccadilly store, which helped to entertain fans camping overnight on the streets.

Murakami also appeared at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival.