Monday, July 23, 2007


Muggles came out from their dainty little houses all over the world last Saturday to buy J.K. Rowling’s last Harry Potter book. The book, I heard, sold out in all the major bookstores within hours. Indeed, Harry Potter is undoubtedly the world’s best loved character in a book.

In Malaysia, the bookstores have been promoting it like crazy for months now, only to have 4 popular bookstores, MPH, Times, Popular and Harris, pull out from the sale at the last minute in protest to the sale of the books by Tesco and Carrefour hypermarkets at RM40 cheaper than the retail price. With the price war going on, the booksellers’ decision not to sell the books is considered by many as a lost cause.

We all can sympathize with the booksellers when they grumble about these hypermarkets ‘stealing’ businesses away from them. But I doubt if backing off from the sale altogether is the solution. Consumers always have choices, if they can’t find what they want at one place, they’ll go to another. It is not all about price. Many readers actually still went to MPH to buy the book despite knowing about the price slash at the hypermarkets (to their disappointment of course since the books are not available there unless you have pre-ordered them). In fact, Borders, which is not too far away from Tesco, had all its HP7 books sold out in a matter of hours. So, if MPH decided not to sell, it is their loss.

As for me, as much as I love Harry Potter, I am actually a very patient person. I haven't bought HP7 because it is in hardcover. My collections of hardcover books include law, history, archeology and philosophy books, you know, the serious stuff. I never buy fiction in hardcover. I don’t see the need for it. I can wait a year or two for the paperback edition to come out. Then, I can buy it at even cheaper price than what Tesco and Carrefour are selling now.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about money. It’s just about making my bookshelves look organised. My entire fiction collection is in paperback, including Harry Potter 1 to 6. So, I can’t now add HP7 in hardcover, can I? It will not look nice and even with the rest of the collection on my bookshelves.

What can I say, I’m weird that way.


elviza said...

Dearest Sue,

Ah the Harry Potter madness. I was at Borders looking for one last weekend, of course not a single copy left after malaysian muggles snatched them all.

As to why I didnt pre order them, I can't answer that - plain laziness.

But it's true, its not worth buying fiction in hard cover. So, it looks like you have to wait another year for the soft cover edition to come up.

Take care Sue

J.T. said...

I have mix and match fiction books (hardcover and paperback). Actually, I like your style. It sounds and probably looks more organised. I never thought of it but it gives me an idea. :)

I do not own any of the Harry Porter series. I will probably wait and get the whole set in paperback, like I waited to get "The Godfather" series in DVD.

Manal said...

err Sue...this being patient part, is that a sign of dah tua?

Likewise , i am in no hurry to grab hold of one. I've read the plots, knew what basically going on and the ending and i'm ok with being one of those late owner of that HP7 unless some very kind, generous soul offers it as a gift ;-D. ( i cud add it in my amazon birthday wishlist). And even if i've known the plots, they wont be a spoiler to me once I own it.

Are those law/heavy stuff collection of urs looked like those at hogwart' library? Hermione G must be beaming with delight if she cud see them.

A Babe Of Very Little Brain said...

an unorganised/disorganised bookshelf has character (making excuses to justify the existence of my very disorganised bookshelves).

Typhoon Sue said...

that's another reason why i never bothered to join in the crowd. i'll just wait patiently as i always have. 2 years from now, i can buy my book fresh from the shelf and without having to queue up for it.

i dunno why. I'm not the most organised person on earth and if you see my house, you'll knbow what i mean, but in as far as my collections go, be it books or DVDs, i always have to make them look organised. I suppose it's my way of compensating for my lack or organisation in other stuff.

ala.... jgn la cakap pasal tua... u nih!
i've always been quite patient. I can be very impatient in some things and the exact opposite for another. Just like books, i can wait months to see movies at the cinema. I haven't seen HP5 yet, still waiting for the crowd to disperse. Normally, for box-office movies, i see them quite late, almost towards the end of its run. Less crowded that way. I don't like muggle crowd that much.

err... well, if i were to get some very nice antique looking shelves, my books would almost look like those in hogwart's library i guess, minus the old creepy feel

babe honey, you make excuses for everything dontcha? :)

Hjh Esah Jolie said...

Harry Porter who? The only time I went out to see Daniel Radcliffe is when he bares all (front and back, worth mention!!) in Equus..some months ago. I do not know what is Harry Porter fuss is all abt (adakah ini menunjuk kan aku ni malas baca buku?) but, I have to agree with Manal, that patient is a sign of dah tua. Now, I can no longer brave the long queue, I can always movies case, I can even wait until it keluar on the terrestrial TV, jimat duit ku (sign of kedekut lah pulak kan?)

Selamat Ber Harry Porter an....

pugly said...

Saya tak minat Harry Potter. Tetapi saya, seperti anda, juga minat paperback dibandingkan dengan hardback.

niealex said...

hard back nampak lagi kemas,but then, i prefer the american version. kalau tak pun, the adult UK.
starting from the 4th one, i had uk children version for a bdy present. no choice. terpaksa samakan semua.
ending up having them all in children version. half hard, half paperbag. (dissapointed.) >_<'