There is a copious absent of Harry Potterism on this blog, mainly because I’m not salivating for the final installment and can live with someone telling me who died before reading it. Already too much Potterism everywhere as July 21st approaches, me thinks.
But now I’m so excited I just have to have a say! Four major bookstore chains (MPH, Times, Popular and Harris) will not sell the latest book, in protest of hypermarkets selling them at RM69.90, as opposed to the retail price of RM109.90.
You can read on all the furor in the links below, both from major newspapers and local literati blogs. The bookstores are crying foul, the hypermarkets are feebly defending, while the publisher is serving up excuses. What a circus!
I think the problem could be just oversight. The hypermarkets are at war with each other, and I’m guessing that when one got the info that the other is selling it as x price, they follow suit as a marketing strategy. In the rush to quash the competitor they both forgot the bookstores – the ones who invested manpower and money in planning and promotion for the last few months. Nor did they value the Harry Potter mania – a book sale is just a money transaction, no care about the anticipation, no consideration about the enormity of what this book represents to die-hard fans.
I think the hypermarkets are to blame. The last Harry Potter book unveiling was suppose to be a magical event, a culmination of all that waiting and hyperventilating. Now here it’s turned into an ugly war – not a price war, but an ethics war.
And I think that the people who should be most ashamed are those other bookstores (no need names) that did not join these four brave ones taking a stand.
Read TheStar's main page news here.
Read NST's news item here.
Read bibliobibuli's take here.
Read eric forbes' take here.