Harry Potter, the latest incarnation of child saviour, has just set a new records for books flying off the shelf...presumably without the aid of a magic wand. Scholastic is of course thrilled, JK Rowling is rolling in dough, and children at sleepaway camp finally have something to read rather than boring old ghost stories around the campfire. Even His Holiness got some ink by questioning whether Harry Potter squelches Christian values before they have time to develop.
A normally well balanced friend of mine is tearing her hair out about Harry.
"What the HELL is this madness about," she howled. "It's not even like they
are good books."
Of course not. For the madness of crowds and the lure of "must have" statistically you must appeal not to the top 10%, but to the top 30%. For ten MILLION people to buy books, you must have something akin to McDonalds burgers...good enough so adults can stand to eat one while the kids scarf down the "forbidden pleasure".
And why not? It's not like the kids are going to read something else instead of Harry. They'll choose from the array of activities available. Their menu is not McDonalds or Burger King, it's hamburgers, chicken, tacos, sushi , pizza and for the truly unlucky, a loving meal cooked at home by an adoring mom who probably doesn't let them eat junk food OR read Harry Potter.
This is not rational based economics we're seeing here.
This is just frenzy.
Yanno, like the tulips in Holland.
and the south sea bubble.
and the dot com boom of the 90's.
JK Rowling is VERY savvy in telling people the series is limited.
Sort of like DeBeers numbering diamonds.
"There could be more, but there won't. Don't miss out."