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July 31 2008

A Tale Of Two Books

Remember books?  You know, those things printed on paper… placed between two covers?  Yeah, those things!  Well, oddly enough, I heard about two today that are worth mentioning.

In the seventh book of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,an important part of the plot hinged on a fictional children’s book called Tales of Beedle the Bard.  J.K. Rowling, the author of the series, made a handwritten copy of the book and auctioned it off to charity.  Amazon.com ended up buying it and posting copious amounts of information about it on their site, sharing it with the world.

Now it has been announced that a standard edition is being released, and a deluxe version that will be exclusive to Amazon.  The standard edition will have a suggested retail price of $12.99 ($7.59 at Amazon) and  will have all of the drawings Ms. Rowling did for the original, along with all five of the fairy tales with comments and footnots by “Professor Dumbeldore”.  The deluxe edition will set you back $100 and features metal parts on the cover, 10 additional drawings by Rowling and a few other extras.

It would be easy to call this a cash grab by Rowling, but like she did with the set of text books a few years back, all of the proceeds from these books will be going to charity.  The charity, Children’s High Level Group, was set up by Rowling and Emma Nicholson MEP to help vulnerable children.

I know I gave the last book a harsh review, but it is always hard to argue with anything that is done to benefit children, so kudos to her for using her notoriety to help them out.

The second book is just amazing that it will even exist.  I have talked about Garfield Minus Garfield before, and it amazed me in this day and age of copyright lawsuits that such a creature could exist.  My amazement deepened even more when Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, talked about how he felt it was a wonderful idea.

Today the story takes an even odder turn with the announcement that Garfield Minus Garfield is becoming a book, and it will be published alongside a book celebrating the 30th anniversary of the original series.  The the Garfield Minus Garfield book will publish the original strip along with the version that features only the character of Jon Arbuckle.

This whole concept is just amazing, and congratulations to Dan Walsh, the creator of the site, on the book deal.



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