Tuesday, September 8, 2015

if people talked about books like they talk about magic the gathering sets

It’s two weeks into spoiler season for the second Harry Potter book, and with one and a half chapters revealed, folks, the hype is REAL! While it’s only been a year since the release of the first Harry Potter, book lovers who didn’t get the chance to preorder that one at retail price are jumping all over Chamber of Secrets. Most financial experts (myself included) scoffed at the idea of paying $24.99 for a first-time author, but with even slightly-read copies now selling for over $100, no serious book reader is going to miss out on this one for $26.99.

The first book clocked in at 76,944 words, giving those lucky dogs who preordered it a respectable 30.79 words per cent. A leaked spec sheet for Chamber of Secrets puts it as 85,141 words, and if that’s to be believed (and personally, I’m inclined to), that would put this new one at 31.54 words per cent. Wow! An even better value than the last one?! Bloomsbury, please! How many can I buy?

Of course, retailers aren’t idiots, and that $26.99 price is tough to come by as of this writing. If you see it anywhere, obviously buy as many as you can. I have my eight from Amazon on the way at that price, and even if I can only trade them off for a few dollars more than that, it’s well worth it.

The risk, however, is that Chamber of Secrets just won’t be as well-received as Philosopher’s Stone. While that’s certainly a possibility, even if it steadies out at just $45, it’s a great investment at preorder price.

There have been some scared forum posts: one “source” puts the number of Weasley twin appearances at nine, down from seventeen in the first book. To this I say: hogwash. Rowling is well aware that the twin-per-page (TPP) shouldn’t go below 0.08, or she’d face significant community backlash. But even if it falls to just 0.06, the introduction of new major characters (like the already-spoiled Gilderoy Lockhart) should keep the price up.

Now, to address the question on everyone’s minds: is it worth it to camp out to buy extra copies, just for the dust jackets? As most financial sharks know, the price of the dust jacket plus the naked book is actually higher than the presale price for both together. The problem is that everyone is getting the same idea: that fabled $20 dust jacket has already fallen to a more modest $12. I’d advise staying away.

In summary, if you consider yourself a book finance guru and haven’t preordered this book, well… what are you waiting for? Personally, I can’t wait. Hopefully at some point I’ll have a chance to read it before the third one, but I'm intending on trying to trade up to an Infinite Jest. We all have dreams, right?


Anonymous said...

Best article yet.
+1, Would read a sequel.

A. D. Jameson said...

I know people who talk about books this way.

Unknown said...

This is amazing and horrifying. My mind crumbles to mere ash in the wake of your post. Congratulations, you are the Ulamog of my internet.

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