Potter’s magic not so hot in Valley

Himalayan News Service


It has been a Harry Potter week. With the copies of the boy wizard’s new book — Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince — flying off the shelves worldwide, we decided to see what

our Valley’s response was to this saga.

The town’s bookstores made sure that the sixth Potter book was on the shelf as soon as it was released.

Thamel’s United Book Store, for example, brought in 150 copies of the book on July 16. “Out of these, 80 were sold the same day, and the remaining the next day. So we got in 35 more pieces, of which only five copies are left. We don’t think it will take more than a day to sell these too, ” the owners Lars and Sunita said.

They have priced the book at Rs 1,450, (which is expensive for Nepali buyers!) The store has the policy to re-buy the books that they have sold at 50 per cent less price. However, the Valley’s teenagers are not willing to trade in their Potter collection.

But the town’s other bookstores have not been as successful.

Sanu Lama, a staff at the Barnes and Noble Book House, Thamel, said they had got 27 copies of the book from India on July 16, but only five copies have been sold so far. They have priced it at Rs 1,500 a piece. Despite the pinching price, they are optimist the sales will go up soon.

“We have ordered for 200 more copies hoping that the demand will go up in the weeks to come as we think many customers are not aware that it is available in Nepal so soon,” said a hopeful Lama.

Mandala Book Point, Kantipath, was able to sell 28 copies priced at Rs 1,430. These sales were all booked ones. Eighty more copies will be coming soon.

However, Mandala’s Daya Ram Dangol said, “We are having second thoughts about ordering more copies of this and other books as well, owing to the government decision in the

recent budget to levy five per cent tax on books printed outside the country. This will make the already dear books even more expensive.”

Seeing the present demand, Dangol believes they will be able to sell about 200 copies more.

He was able sell to 250 copies of the previous edition priced not less than Rs 1,230, and based on that number Dangol said he perceived that the number of English book readers has really increased in the past few years.

Apart from the bookstores, it is said the book is being sold in departmentmal stores and other shops.