Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Harry Potter Books

I ordered a Harry Potter book online for my nephew Ben for Christmas 2008, but it arrived at my house in Tennessee reeking of cigarette smoke, so I ordered a second copy, which arrived damaged because the seller didn't know any better than to mail a hardcover book floating around loose in a thin paper envelope, so I ordered a third copy, and I don't know what condition it arrived in because by that time Christmas and New Years were both over so I'd had it sent straight to Ben in Ohio. But I'm guessing it turned out to be the Mandarin Chinese edition.

For Christmas 2009, Ben's mother suggested I give him another Harry Potter book. So I ordered, but the book that arrived wasn't the edition listed. It was the Canadian edition with a sweet, colorful jacket. "WHAT kind of BABY book cover is THIS?!!" I shouted at it. "I can't give this monstrosity to Ben."

So I re-ordered.  No problem, it was just Dec. 3rd. Plenty of time. But NO-o-o-o, "plenty of time" was not enough time for MinnieBookMouse, who was apparently too busy buffing her nails to mail books for deserving nephews.


So I reluctantly wrapped the sweet Canadian edition and took it with me to Ohio for the holidays with Ben's family. On Christmas morning, Ben opened his present and found a note saying: "Ben, this ugly book is just a visual aide. Your real present, with a non-uglified cover, will be arriving . . . someday. I'm going to sell this ugly copy online, so give it back to me now." Pathetic.


Back home in Tennessee, I decided that since Harry Potter books cannot be successfully purchased online, it was time for desperate measures. I made the eighty-minute drive to the nearest bookstore, found the book in stock, and I stood in line with it wondering what would happen to prevent me from buying it. Would the man in front of me pull out a gun and hold up the store? Would the credit card reader develop a short and shock me? Would lightening strike, my pants fall down, the electricity go out, the rapture begin?


It was none of those. The surprising thing that happened was that I purchased a Harry Potter book without impediment.


But I was careful not to look at it too closely before I wrapped it for mailing. I was afraid I'd find that pages were missing, type was upside down, or trolls had eaten all the w's and j's.

American edition


Swedish edition

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