Bel Air readers rank as the biggest Harry Potter fans in Maryland so far, says Amazon.com

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    As of Friday, Bel Air readers outranked all others in the state and came in 25th place nationally among towns who have pre-ordered the most copies of the final book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” from Amazon.com. Amazon.com is calculating its rankings on a per-capita basis and only including towns of at least 5,000 people. The winning town will get a $5,000 Amazon.com gift certificate to donate to a local charity. As the July 21 at midnight sale date nears, the rankings keep changing. Bel Air moved up from 26th place a week earlier, knocking Williamsburg, Va. down a notch (those Colonials would have to read by candlelight at the book’s midnight launch anyway). Click here to keep track of where we stand. Amazon is calling its contest “The Harry-est Town in America” and it’s getting buzz everywhere from the Freakonomics blog to the Carroll County Times. I’m a big Potter fan myself. But we pre-ordered our copy from the Bel Air Barnes & Noble, so our purchase won’t count toward improving Bel Air’s rank. I dragged my 8-year-old the midnight release of the last book, convincing him to let me draw a Potter-esque zig zag with eyeliner on his forehead so that he’d blend in with all the fanatics in pointed wizard hats and robes. But the next day he was sooo tired we might have to skip the late night event and wait until we’re awake enough to actually read whether Harry makes it through the last installment. Here’s the other Maryland towns that made the contest’s top 1oo as of Friday:

    #35 Laurel
    #57 Mount Airy
    #61 Rockville
    #74 Hampstead
    #99 Walkersville