There's a couple of reports flying around that HP7 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) is the greenest book in history! Well, I just wanted to let everyone know that that is complete crap.
Sorry if I'm being snide, but this is a ridiculous headline, especially considering that HP7 is nothing like the greenest book in history.
Rebelling Against Recycling
After the publication of the extremely long and best-selling Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix, J.K. Rowling got a bit disturbed by the plight of the trees. Indeed, 250,000 trees were required for that printing. So she asked her publishers to print the book on 100% recycled paper. Almost all of her publishers agreed. Unfortunately, her largest publisher, Scholastic, which publishes the U.S. editions, did not agree. And now, instead of having a "no trees were harmed in the making of this book" label, we've got a "we chopped down 30% less trees than we could've...we're so green!" annoucement.
Worst of all, in my opinion, is that no Harry Potter book has ever been downloaded legally. Rowling made this decision years ago, citing fears about piracy. Obviously it's ridiculous to suppose that this decision has in any way decreased piracy, as every book is available for download if you know where to look (including the yet-to-be-released HP7.) An Electronic HP7 might have been the greenest book in history, but Rowling made a bad decision, and so that is unfortunately not possible.
There has never been a book more suited for electronic release. With Harry Potter, people are willing to pay to a premium to receive the book as soon as possible. That could have been arranged, with a simple system allowing folks to pay upfront for an ebook delivery by email. This could have been a boon for the budding ebook industry. It could have helped standardize formats and introduced people to the idea. It could have made Jo and her publishers additional millions. It could have saved tens of thousands of trees.
Buy Used, Borrow or Trade
Though in all of these circumstances Rowling gets exactly as much money as if you download the book online, these three practices haven't been outlawed yet. There will be tens of thousands of used HP7s in the coming weeks, so find a friend who's finished theirs, swap them for some other fantasy classic, or just promise to bring it back in a week or two. Unfortunately, libaries will necessarily be short on the books, but you can get on waiting lists.
If you still haven't bought HP7, I do not endorse pirating it. If you want your own copy, the best thing you can do is head to Amazon.ca, and buy the Canadian edition. Rowling's Canadian publisher, Raincoast Books, was the first to publish 100% recycled Harry Potter books and have since converted their entire domestic line to 100% post consumer content. Plus, the Canadian edition keeps all the quaint British words and spellings. A must-have for any true Harry Potter dork.
I'm not saying that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a particularly ungreen book, nor am I saying that you should feel guilty about buying a copy (I certainly don't.) But I think it's important to recognize what's "green" and what isn't. All I'm saying is that it's not the greenest book in history.
Thanks for pointing this out
written by DG, July 20, 2007
HP7 seems to be greener than the other b
written by raz godelnik, July 20, 2007
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