Friday, July 20, 2007

'Twas a Dark and Harry Night...

Well, tonight’s the night, right?
At the stroke of midnight, about 18 majillion kids are going to be lined up in front of half a bazillion cash registers, with the new Rowling offering, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in their wee hands. Some of these kids will already have read half the book by the time the coin in the Rowling coffer clinks!
Seriously, even though the last four books in the series are each over 600 pages, children as young as 8 are reported to devour them in a matter of days, if not hours.
Come morning, people the world over will have already discussed the book online.

The Harry Potter phenomenon is unprecendented and staggeringly impressive, when it comes to book sales.
Someone has estimated that from this one new book alone, author J.K. Rowling will be wealthier to the tune of something around 6 or 7 friggillion dollars. Or as she likes to think of it, more than 3 friggillion pounds!
If all of the currently sold Harry Potter books were placed end-to-end, the line would stretch from Orlando to Jupiter [← and I don’t mean Jupiter, Florida, I mean Jupiter the planet]…. stay with me here… the line of books would then circle the planet Jupiter four times, and then stretch on out to pretty much connect all of the dots in The Big Dipper, where they would then come back down to earth, stopping just this side of Davenport, Iowa.
That’s a lot of books.

In all seriousness, consider the following statistics, regarding book sales of other famous books that are not nearly as gi-normously off-the-scale as are the Potter series:

→ Gone With The Wind (1936) 30 million.
→ Anne of Green Gables (1908) 50 million.
→ The Catcher In The Rye (1951) 60 million.
→ The Da Vinci Code (1995) 75 million.
→ The Lord of The Rings Trilogy (1954) 150 million.
→ Harry Potter, Books 1-6 → → → → 325 million!

Will I be in the lineup tonight? Will I be one of the majillions?
I have never read even one Potter book. Nor even seen one of the movies.
Therefore, I am not qualified to comment on whether or not they are good books [well-written] or whether they are drivel or hogwash or masterpieces of literature.
What say ye? Do you like the books?
I know that you’ve read them, so ‘fess up. You are one of the majillions.
So tell me. What do you think of all this Pottermania?



Cold Molasses said...

Oh Cip...I'm disappointed in you. You haven't read of little Harry Potter's adventures???

Any self-respecting book-pervert like yourself should really read them all. I suggest that you purchase them in a set (now that they will all be available) and read them together...shouldn't take you more than 1-2 weeks I suspect.

If you aren't disposed to contribute to JK's wealth, I'd be happy to lend you my copies.


Isabella said...

I actually considered attending a midnight event, it being the last book and all, and I actually considered dragging my 4-year-old with me, to be part of publishing history, etc, but you'll be pleased to know she's sound asleep, and I actually have other books to read before my copy arrives by post probably sometime tomorrow.

They're good books -- interesting characters, a fun magical world, classic epic battle between good and evil. They're not the best written in terms of language, but they are well plotted and well structured.

Sam Houston said...

Like you, Cip, I'm fairly clueless when it comes to the content of Harry Potter books. I once read the first chapter of the first book and I've seen about 10 minutes combined of the various movies. It just doesn't appeal to me, but that style of fantasy seldom has.

I did go out last night to check out some of the local hysteria. It wasn't exactly fun, but it was damned interesting to see how many people were there, etc.

patricia said...

I confess that I don't have much desire to read the books, either. Fantasy books have never been particularly appealing to me. I read 'The Hobbit' years ago and that was enough for me, thank-you.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the passion and furor surround the Harry Potter books – it's quite fun, actually. Let the fans have a good time! Did you read grumpy Rex Murhpy's take on the Potter phenomenon in Saturday's Globe? Goodness, he is turning into quite a curmudgeon. A pox on Rex, I say!

cipriano said...

Thanks for all of thine comments.
Patricia, wasn't Rex always a curmudgeon? Like, as in, from birth?
Hey. See you tomorrow! Down the street from here!

Matt said...

I'm surprised Gone with the Wind doesn't echo as noise these days. Maybe most of the 36 million readers are no longer around. I just bought the new trade paperback and plan to read it sometime soon.

I read up to Book 4. While I thought the reading very engrossing and intriguing, I also felt a bit discouraged because I didn't remember anything as soon as I finished reading. So I decided to watch the movies instead.

stefanie said...

Love the Harry Potter books. Did not go to a party but got my copy Saturday morning. I was going to read it slowly, savor it, but after the first chapter I couldn't put it down and I finsihed it yesterday (Sunday). Sigh.