Hundreds of people queued at bookshops which staged midnight events or early openings for the release of the new Haruki Murakami novel today (12th August).
Harvill Secker projected the e-book animated cover of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage onto the building next to Waterstones Piccadilly in London to countdown to the midnight release of the book.
The image was also projected onto the side of the Royal Opera House and the Tate Modern at midnight to celebrate publication day.
At Foyles in London’s Charing Cross Road 300 people queued for the sold-out midnight opening party. A jazz band entertained customers, and a balloon drop at midnight opened the tills. Foyles was selling an exclusive black cover limited edition copy.
The Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green, London, hosted a party ahead of the midnight release, with author Stuart Evers giving a speech and publisher Scott Pack reading from Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki.
Co-owner Tim West said the shop, which also showed a film by Aki Kaurismäki, one of Murakami’s favourite film directors, sold more than 20 copies of the book at the event.
Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street Waterstones opened half an hour early today, at 8am, to a queue of people waiting to buy the novel. The store gave away free coffees, with customers who bought the book getting their name put in a prize draw to win a signed copy.
Early openings also took place at Waterstones Piccadilly and Waterstones Deansgate in Manchester, which opened at 8am and which, like the Glasgow store, are selling a special edition of the novel with a different sticker sheet to all other editions.
There were breakfast events at Blackwells in Edinburgh and Oxford, which opened at 7.30am, and at City Books in Hove, which opened at 8am.
Bethan Jones, publicity director at Harvill Secker, said: “The publication of a new book from Haruki Murakami is an exciting event, and we are delighted that bookshops across the country – from Brighton to Edinburgh – are marking this special day by offering readers the chance to be the first in the country to get the book. It’s so thrilling to see this level of demand and queues in the street for a literary writer in translation.”
Harvill Secker has worked with bookshops to create window displays themed around the cover of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki.
Murakami will promote the book, a bestseller in his native Japan, later this month with appearances at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and a signing at Waterstones Piccadilly.