So, here I am in Hawaii, spending the summer at my mother's place. As movie number six in the Harry Potter series gets closer and closer, my desire to read book six again has increased exponentially. However, I'm here in Hawaii, don't have a copy, and you can't download it to your Kindle because Rowling hasn't/won't release them to electronic format. Sigh. That is truly her prerogative, and she has every right to do with her craft as she chooses, but from my perspective...why, oh why won't you just let me download it so I have it wherever I go?!?
I already own the American version in hardback, because seriously, who could wait for them to come out in paperback? I was definitely part of that, reserve or wait-in-line-at-midnight crowd, so I definitely have them all already. Then, as a belated 30th birthday present, I purchased the UK, adult version all in hardback. What a pleasure and joy to track them as they went from Glasgow, to London, to New York, and across the country to my doorstep (until DHL misdelivered them, which is another story altogether). I felt as though my special books had taken the Hogwarts Express, and were every bit as special as the magic the books held. (For more information on the British version, you can visit Amazon.co.uk.)
So here's my quandary. I already own two sets of the novel. I just can't carry those huge books when I travel, and I refuse to let my UK versions out of the house, so I'm stuck when I go on vacation! It doesn't seem that I'm one of those people who is losing the book-holding experience with these novels, especially since I own two copies of them, and would gladly purchase them all a third time for my Kindle. Am I wrong in thinking that real fans of the books would be willing to own more than one version/copy?
At the recent BEA conference back in May, many of you might have heard about the comment author, Sherman Alexie made about e-Readers being "elitist," and how he wanted to "hit" a woman on a plane that he saw using one. (Wait...remind me again how expensive hardback books are! So, are they elitist too?) This really gutted me! I love Sherman Alexie, and even studied his work for my MA. I get that Alexie, along with many other authors, which include Rowling, are against e-Readers for the manipulation of the market and possibility of piracy that they pose. Sometimes, however, I do feel like by holding out, I'd be a lot more tempted by the masked person in the back alley saying, "Psst...I have a free copy of that book you wanted to download!" No, I don't pirate materials, and I won't, but I sure would love the option of legally purchasing them for my Kindle. (Here is a great follow-up article to that response, where he clarifies those remarks over at Edward Champion's Reluctant Habits.)
My argument/question here is not whether e-Readers are good or bad (I obviously have one and love it), but rather about people's book buying habits. If you owned one, or if you already do, would you be willing to legally purchase your favorite books again, and why?!?
Well, since the library here doesn't have book six in, I'm off to see if I can buy a cheap copy at the local bookstore! I know. I should have planned ahead. Sigh.
Wait...they DO have third party sellers for the UK version! See: The Complete Harry Potter Collection Box Set: The Philosopher's Stone; The Chamber Of Secrets; The Prisoner of Azkaban; The Goblet of Fire; The Order of The Phoenix; The Half Blood Prince; The Deathly Hallows (The Complete Harry Potter Collection, 1-7)