On Saturday, at one minute past midnight London time, 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' hit the shelves in book shops everywhere.

After months of hype, and elaborate measures to prevent details of book six of the popular series being leaked to the public, Harry Potter fans poured into stores, snatching up copies of what promises to be the fastest-selling book in history.

Some very lucky children from around the world who had won a competition attended a special event in Edinburgh, Scotland, where author J.K. Rowling read aloud from the book.

Rowling first thought up the Harry Potter character in 1990, and after the original book, 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' was turned down by several publishers, Bloomsbury finally offered to print it. The adventures of the young wizard and his friends have become so popular they have been adapted into a movie series, with the next film due out in November. Rowling's stories have made her the wealthiest woman in the United Kingdom, with a personal fortune estimated at $1 billion.