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Is Harry Potter Worth This Ruckus?

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)Seriously, is any book really worth all this trouble?

At each of Amazon.com’s five order-fulfillment centers, for example, the books are kept in a restricted area that workers need a special pass to enter, where they are watched by security guards and are not allowed to carry anything in or out.

Special access? Security guards just for that?

The ridiculously also reaches new heights… I don’t think even George Lucas was as protective of his Star Wars scripts:

Scholastic has closely policed other aspects of the publication. Ms. Marcus said that last winter a company executive who oversees manufacturing toured a printing plant that eventually would be used to print the new Harry Potter book. On the tour, she said, the executive became concerned when he noticed that pages of other books that had been cast aside because of printing errors were not being shredded finely enough to prevent someone from piecing a page back together. The printing company, which she refused to identify, quickly assured Scholastic that it would improve its shredding capability, she said. (emphasis mine)

I’ve never read any of the now SIX books or seen any of the movies, but are people so fanatical about this series? I will say one thing… I am glad that in this age of video games, internet, and instant-gratification entertainment, having kids go crazy over a book isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We’ll see if things get crazy on Saturday.

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “Is Harry Potter Worth This Ruckus?”

  1. nickel says:

    I pre-ordered a copy for Satruday delivery from Amazon for my kids. By the way, I just ran across an article about a store in New York having accidentally sold a copy early. I wonder what the repercussions from Scholastics will be… Anyway, they’re fun books to read, even for an adult, but it’s particularly enjoyable to read them with my kids.
    fivecentnickel.com

  2. Amy says:

    I just turned 40 and LOVE Harry Potter – I mean, I laugh out loud at the play on words of Ms. Rowling. She’s hilarious. And I bought the book, because I re-read my Potter books about every year or so.

  3. Mel says:

    I have never read the books or seen the movies. Much ado about nothing, wouldn’t you say?

  4. jim says:

    I can understand the popularity, and I applaud it (reading is FUNdamental!), but this level of security for a book just seems a bit much.

  5. thc says:

    I have read one of the books and, at age 47, still found it entertaining. It’s wonderful that a series of books could generate so much interest at a time when it seems most kids would rather play video games than read. Still, the ballyhoo is fascinating.

    Great post!

  6. Karen says:

    My comment was going to be that it seems it’s enjoyable for all, not just for kids… but you can see that from your other comments! :)

  7. Matt says:

    They’re terrific books, sure. But at this point I think the security is kind of like that around the recipe for Coke and the list of KFC’s “11 herbs and spices”…self-perpetuating hype. By appearing to be paranoid about security, they can fuel the buzz.

    Which means…guess what? You just helped, a little. :)

    Try not to hold the hype against the books, though. The only thing sillier than choosing what to read based on what’s hyped is choosing to what to _avoid_ reading based on what’s hyped.

  8. jim says:

    I enjoy doing my part to fuel mass hysteria. :)

  9. Jonathan says:

    Have you started reading Freakononmics? Now THAT is an interesting book. (We also bought Harry Potter on opening day. Haven’t read it yet, though)


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