I had to laugh to myself this morning as I read this feature on t’interweb: http://paidcontent.org/article/419-twilight-themed-pottermore-parody-gets-300000-hits-in-three-days/ Quite simply in reaction to the success and media surrounding JK Rowling’s Pottermore website, designed to continue the Harry Potter legacy well into the future, some rather clever young Twilight fan has created a Twilight-equivalent to the website, with a site called twimore.com.
This is just a parody of what the ethos of Pottermore would be if applied to the Twilight-Stephenie Meyer universe, and since its “launch”, astonishingly it can actually boast it has had over 300,000 hits. The site lets you do similar things to the features of Pottermore, with interactive content, puzzles and quests. The best bit? That some people out actually believe it’s real. Ho ho ho.
Perhaps not so jovial and more serious was the next thing I learned about this week with regards to a small feature in the Guardian’s online money blog. This is a weekly feature where a Guardian reader submits a question in order to try and save money, about any subject, and other readers can comment and post answers to help them. Last week a reader was caught in a moral dilemma versus the purse strings… why should they shop in their local independent bookshop when they could just go online and order direct to their door, not to mention it would be cheaper, with some of the biggest online book retailers?
This is a subject I have kept very quiet on until now. The point is, if we all thought this then Hive wouldn’t be here and you wouldn’t be reading these words. The sheer fact that you are I’m hoping, is because you do care about your local independent and you want to keep them in your high street. Yes, granted, there are the more technical/ impatient consumers amongst us whom are happy to buy online and not give two hoots about their local indie, but we are here to help and aid and support the people who do care about their shops, and those shops too. There are pros and cons about both, and you can take everything into consideration from the financial side of things to the environmental side of things. It’s great to see that by reading the comments on the Guardian’s blog that there are people out there who are willing to support their indie, because they love the service they receive, the knowledge from the staff and the warm, personal service they receive each time they go into the shop that no mouse, keyboard or computer screen is ever going to give them. I found it sad though there were a host of negative comments too, some which question the skills of tact, but I think in all realism we are always going to have those that will prefer ordering online for whatever reason. And that’s their prerogative. However to say that independent bookshops ‘are no longer needed’ is the part which to say the least irked me; it’s a complete fallacy and perhaps the only way we can show those who ‘aren’t bothered’ is to ask the question…. How would you find it if you were to wake up one morning, walk down your high street and find absolutely no shops there anymore because everything that you once used to buy in a bricks-and-mortar shop was now only available next day because you have to order it online? I should think the streets would be very barren, quiet, and ultimately, soulless.
My opinions on the previous issue well and truly spoken there I think you’ll agree, I would now like to turn your attention to another rather odd feature I came across online too this week: http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/PWxyz/?p=6136. Not that I ever want to laugh at death, there are however a few amusing stories here and I think number two is my favourite. Have a read and maybe you’ll learn a bit of trivia you didn’t know before about some of our most historical authors.
For Ian Rankin and his Rebus fans there was exciting news announced this week too, as the Edinburgh-author has just put the finishing touches to his latest novel, The Impossible Dead. It is due to be released mid-October and will no doubt be a sure-fire bestseller for the Scottish crime writer. You can pre-order it now on Hive by clicking on the link in the title just mentioned, and opt to collect it from your local independent bookshop.
I would like to mention too that last weekend saw my birthday. To celebrate this I went on a two-day trip to London and managed to keep out of trouble by going to the London Aquarium and seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at the O2. An absolutely glorious day, but a special mention must go to the small gift I received in tribute to Hive and the end of my twenty-ninth year on the planet.
And no, I still haven’t eaten it. How could I?
We shall see each other soon!