Thursday, August 04, 2005

Waiting for Harry

On the way home from the library after picking up my copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on its release date, I stopped off to do some shopping. I was trying on some shoes and set Harry down on the seat next to me. Suddenly, all of the hipsters who worked in the shop were fawning all over me and making casual Harry conversation. Then somebody realized my copy was from the library.

"Whoa, I didn't realize the library had it already."

I started to smile on the inside. Oh goodie, a little library PR moment.

It went downhill quickly from there.

"You mean you can put things on hold before the library gets them?"

"Sure. I put this on hold in December." And unless you had about 6 months worth of foresight, you're probably number 1156 in line. But don't worry....with 150 copies in circulation, you'll get your turn in less than six months.

"How do you find out about this stuff?"

Um, I work there.

Imagine the same scenario, à la Amazon. Sure, Harry's available for pre-order with delivery on release day, but we're not really going to tell anyone.

Now imagine a world where you can get updates via email/RSS/saline drip/whatever not just for the new stuff, but for the stuff that's just been put on order and won't be published for a couple of months?


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