Success of Harry Potter Book More Predictable Than Laws of Physics

Water flows downhill, nature abhors a vacuum, an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and Harry Potter is selling like hot cakes made from opium.  Having never read the series, though it is slowly creeping up the long ladder of my summer reading list, I don't dare comment on the value of the novels, but I'm pretty sure that any interest in reading has got to be a pretty good thing.  However, Harry Potter may go on to prove the fallacy of the gateway drug theory, as millions storm the door of unfamiliar book stores and then promptly forget what a Barnes & Noble is or why anyone would want to go there. 

For now, though, the publishing industry is partying like it's 1999, including the part where the world might come to a crashing end tomorrow.  But, let's not dwell on the morbidity of the future and look at the good news ...

According to CNN.com

"We expected to sell 1 million copies in the first week and we sold that many within the first 48 hours," Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio said Sunday as "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" set records around the world in its first weekend.

Nobody in the industry had seen anything like it, at least since "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," which came out three years ago. Scholastic, the book's U.S. publisher, estimated 5 million copies were sold the first day alone, well ahead of the pace of "Goblet of Fire."

Seems book buyers are experiencing something us gamers have come to know and loathe: release day quantity blues.  Of course, I doubt that later Rowling will be forced to release a patch that adds a missing segment of the end, or puts all the letters back in the right order, so I'm not all that swift to feel much sympathy.  It's nice to see that a printing of over eight million might not be enough for a work of fiction. 

Further, critics - who might very well be put to the torch for a negative review - have been very positive toward the fifth Potter book. 

The New York Times, in a rare front page review, praised the author's "bravura storytelling skills and tirelessly inventive imagination." USA Today cited Rowling's "wonderful, textured writing." The Associated Press said: "It was worth the wait. And then some."

Eventually I'll have to find my way through these books and see what all the hype is about.  As Certis has adroitly pointed out in the past, I'm a sucker for hype.

- Elysium

Comments

"Of course, I doubt that later Rowling will be forced to release a patch that adds a missing segment of the end, or puts all the letters back in the right order, so I'm not all that swift to feel much sympathy."

Interestingly, I saw a tidbit on CNN about a bookstore getting about 50 copies that were missing pages. Perhaps they do need a patch!