Potter here, get your Potter here
June 17, 2003 9:22 AM   Subscribe

Potter anyone? Harry Potter fever has started.... Some individual or group of individuals managed to walk off with 7680 copies of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" Reuters has an article here mentioned that the books are worth about 130500 pounds. MSNBC is behind the times with their stolen article and are reporting ~$1.68 Million.
posted by meanie (22 comments total)
that's the same kind of math the government uses to calculate the street value of siezed marijuana. 7,680 books at $218.75 apiece = $1.68 million. harry potter must be primo.
posted by quonsar at 9:38 AM on June 17, 2003

Reminds me of an article i saw once where the RIAA had been reporting to their members the results of big CD Copyshop raids, and:

(1) 52x CD burner == 52 CD burners

The article made me laugh my ass off.
posted by shadow45 at 9:54 AM on June 17, 2003

Either that, or they're making up numbers about how well it'd do on eBay.
posted by wanderingmind at 9:54 AM on June 17, 2003

I should start up an eBay auction offering an early copy of the book. With some very small print that shipping may take up to 7 days.
posted by substrate at 10:00 AM on June 17, 2003

I'm sorry, but I am totally jazzed. I read all of them in a short period after the 4th book came out, and I've been grinding my teeth for a new one for quite a while.

I have cancelled my Amazon pre-order for the book to wait in line at midnight.

What if the Amazon shipment didn't arrive? What if I missed the delivery guy? Forget that.
posted by o2b at 10:21 AM on June 17, 2003

They cautioned would-be readers not to touch the books, before their public release early on Saturday.

It's fine if you have a stolen copy, just don't even dream about reading it.
posted by magullo at 10:24 AM on June 17, 2003

They're probably estimating the average someone could get for selling it illegally to someone who absolutely, positively can't wait another 4 days to read it. I know some people who'd pay $200+ for a hot copy of the book a few days before release.
posted by phong3d at 10:25 AM on June 17, 2003

o2b - Actually, if UPS blows it and your order doesn't show up on Saturday, Amazon will give you a 100% refund. I'm curious as to how they worked it out with them. I'm sure UPS has a phalanx of drivers who will only be delivering the book that day, since I'm sure they'll have to eat the cost of any late deliveries for this one.
posted by phong3d at 10:28 AM on June 17, 2003

A pirate version of Harry Potter is featured in today's Foxtrot comic strip. Also AICN offers a quick review of the book. I was wondering where the reviewer got her copy.

I've got my copy ordered from amazon.uk as I prefer reading the stories in the original English, but I'll be out of town when it's scheduled to arrive. I hope they leave the package with a neighbor instead of trying a redeliver.
posted by jazon at 10:39 AM on June 17, 2003

o2b - that's funny, I did the exact same thing. Wow, we are lame. But not, perhaps, as lame as people who would pay $200 for a $15 book to get it four days early. Also, jazon - is there still a textual discrepancy between the versions? I thought other than the Philosopher/Sorcerer issue the texts were the same! Shows what I know.
posted by jonson at 11:15 AM on June 17, 2003

The Leaky Cauldron has declared the AICN review a hoax.
posted by junkbox at 11:32 AM on June 17, 2003

jonson: I don't know about HP, but most books that have british and american versions mainly differ in spelling. (Pratchett in american just isn't the same...)
posted by fvw at 11:36 AM on June 17, 2003

Yeah, junkbox....it was a hoax. I got it straight from JKR's people. They've been VERY helpful in verifying stuff.

As far as just starting? HA. The past month has been absolutely psycho :)

Then again, I *run* The Leaky Cauldron so I've been exposed to the waiting for 3 years.

fvw, here's a great thread discussing the difference between the US and UK versions.

Bloomsbury/Scholastic/Christopher Little is being VERY vigilant reading all sources of news looking for people claiming to have an early review. We've had loads of "tips" from people who "work at bookstores" claiming they cracked the boxes open early.
posted by bkdelong at 11:49 AM on June 17, 2003

o2b/jonson - no actually, you're not lame (IMO anyway). I pre-ordered book 4 and was royally pissed off when it didn't arrive until 730p! Apparently Amazon had until 9p to deliver them. So this time I did not pre-order.

I bought the first 3 in the UK and have listened to the US audio versions of them as well. I cringed every time I heard the British reader say bangs instead of fringe. There were a few other differences as well. If I could buy a UK version at my bookstore I would.

But - at least the loooong wait is almost over. Now if she could take a little less time to write the next two...

on preview, thx bkdelong.
posted by widdershins at 11:54 AM on June 17, 2003

Now if she could take a little less time to write the next two...

I'm way too impatient for that. I'll wait until all 7 are out and read them all in a row. If I'm still interested in a few years, that is.
posted by archimago at 12:57 PM on June 17, 2003

i've propositioned all the females at work to see if they want to get it on atop one of the huge stacks of Order of the Phoenix boxes we have in the back room. it'd be just like fucking on a pile of cash. no takers yet though. it's funny; we tell customers we'll have 'em available for sale 12:01am Saturday, but the boxes say not to open them until, well, 12:01am Saturday. i pity the fool who gets the love juice-splattered copy.

Imagining streaming lines of parents and their snot-nosed kids...beating, bitching, just itching to get their hands on their 40% OFF FOR PREORDERING! copy of this damn book. *shudder* we told 'em everything goes down 10:30pm friday night, but i wouldn't put it past the savages in this town to get there before we open friday. the retail hell this book is propagating 100% kills any interest i had in reading it.
posted by carsonb at 1:58 PM on June 17, 2003

um, i was under the impression that these were kiddy books? am i reading that adults are gaga for them too? no, don't answer, never mind, I DON'T WANT TO KNOW.

*pulls knees up against chest, begins to rock back and forth against the wall and chant "la-la-la-la la-la-la-la"*
posted by quonsar at 2:18 PM on June 17, 2003

and i'll NEVER see the movie, either!
posted by quonsar at 2:18 PM on June 17, 2003

publicity stunt!
posted by MzB at 5:01 PM on June 17, 2003

Thanks bkdelong for setting the record straight. I see the AICN page is gone. I'll just now pop over to the Cauldron and catch up on the lastest Potter news.
posted by jazon at 7:02 PM on June 17, 2003

We've had loads of "tips" from people who "work at bookstores" claiming they cracked the boxes open early.

I've no doubt they have. I have a dear friend who works at an indie bookstore and their shipment came today. They've got five cases of the thing stacked up in the back room, with a blanket thrown over it to shield the stack from prying eyes.

It only makes sense that some bookseller, somewhere, has already succumbed to temptation. The trick, of course, is keeping the ill-gotten information to yourself, since the penalties imposed by Scholastic should anything leak out early from your store would, essentially, put your store right out of business.
posted by anastasiav at 9:47 PM on June 17, 2003

um, i was under the impression that these were kiddy books?

They're definitely oriented for younger viewers, although that's less true of the last couple. The first two books were pretty simplistic. In a way I'm suprised she lasted past those (I know I was reading more sophisticated stuff at the age group targetted). Book 3 is where the potential started showing up, and book 4 was actually fairly respectable.

I was just having a conversation with some people today about whether we felt she'd be able to keep it up for 7 books. Writing large scale works like this is hardly an easy task.
posted by piper28 at 10:17 PM on June 17, 2003

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