This is probably old news to some, but I had no idea that Amazon had won the auction of the only copy of J.K. Rowling's "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" to be available for sale. Only 7 copies of this handwritten book exist, but Rowling gave the other 6 to those whom she wanted to thank. The 7th copy was placed at auction to raise money for the Children's Voice campaign. Amazon won the auction back in December of last year.
I read a lot, and the Harry Potter books were definitely one of the highlights of my book list in the past decade. I recall being a bit of a book snob when the first book came out, and many ppl recommended it to me, but at my first reading, the book smelled faintly of Roald Dahl's influence (i.e. "James and the Giant Peach," one of my all-time faves), so I thought of her (or him; I don't think I knew the author was a woman then) as a copycat, and couldn't get through the book. A year later, I was bored and wanted to read something, ppl were still telling me that I should read it, so I picked it, and slogged through the first several chapters, hoping to get over my negative feelings. By the end of the book, I was hooked. Luckily for me, the 2nd book was already available then, so I could continue on reading, and I was charmed all over, just like the rest of the world had already been.
Last summer, when I was in London, I was there just when the last book was being released. I didn't stand in any lines at midnight or get dressed up or anything, but I did go into the Waterstone's at Trafalgar Sq. that first day, and picked up my UK copy, and read it on the plane while flying back to Boston. It was so great to be back in that world, but sad, too, because I knew it was all coming to an end.
Anyhow, even though the series is long over, J.K. Rowling continues the saga of her universe through very inventive means. I am actually very glad that it was Amazon that won this auction for "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," because they chose to share it with the world, and that is more than any fan could ask for. The book was referenced in the HP series as a book that Ron had. JKR had to go back and create all new stories to fit in with the original titles she had listed as stories contained in the book. You can Amazon's reviews here, but unfortunately, they didn't transcribe the original text! Better than nothing, huh? :P
A week from now, there is another auction that J.K. Rowling will participate in. To benefit the Dyslexia Action and English PEN, a writers' association, Waterstone's bookstore (that same one that I bought my HP book from) is holding an auction of 13 original works from 13 internationally renowned authors. Rowling's contribution will be an 800 word prequel to "Harry Potter" that she'd handwritten onto a card.
It would be silly to think that any one of us mortals would be able to afford something like this, but you can buy the entire collection of works in book form. And for your Harry Potter fans, the big tease coming from Waterstone's is this last sentence by JKR, saying, "From the prequel that I am not working on - but that was fun! JK Rowling 2008."
Waterstone's Exclusive Postcard Book: To celebrate the National Year of Reading Waterstone's asked 13 world-class authors to tell us their story. We extended this invitation to our customers, in the form of a nationwide competition to win the opportunity to be published in this limited edition postcard book, alongside the original works from JK Rowling, Doris Lessing, Neil Gaiman, Michael Rosen, Nick Hornby, Sebastian Faulks, Lauren Child, Tom Stoppard, Irvine Welsh, Axel Scheffler, Margaret Atwood, Richard Ford and Lisa Appignanesi. This collection consists of 13 story cards from the authors listed above plus story cards from the three winners of the national competition. Due to the exclusive nature of this product, we are limiting orders to two (2) per customer while stocks last. All profits from the sale of this collection will go to Dyslexia Action and English PEN. Please note that because the postcard book contains a mixture of authors, some stories are not suitable for children.
Happy Reading!!! :)
Waterstone's Exclusive Postcard Book - £5