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Record release for new Potter audiobook

‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ comes out July 16
/ Source: The Associated Press

Listen up, Potter fans. The audiobook of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” will go on sale July 16, the same day as the hardcover release, with a record first printing of 635,000 copies.

The announcement was made Monday by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Group. The hardcover will be released in the United States by Scholastic, Inc.

The audiobook again will be narrated by Grammy winner Jim Dale, who provides the voices of 117 characters. The hardcover is more than 600 pages, and the unabridged audio version runs 19 hours, filling 18 CDs or 12 cassettes. As noted by Listening Library, the audiobook lasts as long as a nonstop drive from New York City to Memphis, Tenn.

Dale’s version of J.K. Rowling’s previous novel, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” sold more than 100,000 copies in its first week, more than most audiobook titles sell all year.

Potter audiobooks have sold more than 4 million copies in North America alone. The print versions has sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.