Archives for July 2009

Complete Harry Potter $3.99 on Ebay? C’mon.

Looking for that perfect something to celebrate Harry’s and Ms. Rowling’s shared birthday today? Buy the seven book Harry Potter series on CD as a pdf file for next to nothing.

I understand that versions of this sort of thing have been available and passed around on the internet for years. I was sent, for instance, a searchable MS Word file of Deathly Hallows less than a week after the book was published in 2007 (having bought four copies of the book, I wouldn’t have blushed if I had ever used the file, but I haven’t). In the spirit of full disclosure, I have as of this morning a complete set of pdf files for the books — for which files I paid nothing to anyone, “anyone” including, of course, the copyright holders.

But this eBay merchant (along with quite a few others) is selling the 4,100 page series and making a profit via the repackaging and ‘shipping and handling’ charges. Am I right in assuming this is only happening because eBay and Warner Brothers and Bloomsbury/Scholastic are unaware of it happening? Your thoughts?

And happy birthday, Ms. Rowling, wherever you ever!

Christian Controversy/Conversation Continues

Last Friday, I did an interview on the ‘This is the Day!’ Moody Bible radio show that I assumed was going to be about How Harry Cast His Spell (that book’s publisher set it up) and the movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I had my notes about the Christian content of this film, especially Dumbledore as Christ figure and the ‘I am with you’ line that was cut from the film, in anticipation of questions from the host on this subject and others.

Whoops.

What I got instead was a reminder that the “Harry as a Gateway to the Occult” meme is still very much alive. The program’s hostess was kind, and, even if she hadn’t read one of the books, my book, or seen a Potter movie, she was very diplomatic in giving me plenty of time to answer the proof-text assertions and angry questions from her audience.

In brief, the experience was a flash-back to the first years of the century.

Reflecting on that interview/tribunal, I realized times really have changed — but a lot of folks are just waking up from the Imperius curse cast over them years ago. Here are a few examples: [Read more…]

More ‘Harry Potter’s Bookshelf’ Reviews

It has been three weeks now since Penguin/Berkley published Harry Potter’s Bookshelf: The Great Books Behind the Hogwarts Adventures and the reviews have been wonderfully kind and generous. Here are three of the most interesting, from HogPro All Pro Dr. Amy H. Sturgis, from a librarian/teacher named ‘Befus’ at epinions, and from Steve Vander Ark, the Lexicon Guy: [Read more…]

Harry Potter’s Bookshelf: Excerpt Online

Hey, I made the University of Chicago alumni magazine!

They ran a longish excerpt from Harry Potter’s Bookshelf and an article about my life as a Potter Pundit and Great Books Exponent. If either of those subjects interests you, please enjoy Harry Potter and the Ivory Tower: A Potter scholar puts J. K. Rowling’s series on a shelf with Stoker, Chaucer, Austen, and other Great Books authors.

Azkatraz 2009: Blast on the Bay!

I’m speaking tonight at the New York Public Library tonight (6:30 pm, 455 Fifth Avenue, across the street from the Lions) on Harry Potter’s Bookshelf: The Great Books Behind the Hogwarts Adventures. I hope to see you there!

If you cannot come to that, please enjoy the photos below and at Flickr as well as stories about Azkatraz 2009, and here, and here, and here, HPEF’s biggest and best Potter con yet. More tomorrow! [Read more…]