Harry Potter Party comes to Pakistan

Posted on July 21, 2007
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Books
Total Views: 35235

Owais Mughal

Just like rest of the world, Harry Potter’s seventh book, titled as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows got launched in Pakistan today amid fanfare. Considering the diminishing trend of reading printed books worldwide, it is a positive sign to see the type of demand this book has created among Pakistani muggles.

Big bookstores all over Pakistan arranged launching ceremonies and theme decorations to go with the launch.

However, in an increasing sign of a divided society, a bomb scare laid rest to one such ceremony at Park Towers Mall in Karachi. The book will now be sold at this venue unceremoniously. While we are talking of a divided society, Shoaib Mansoor‘s movie which was discussed at ATP a few days ago also got released yesterday.

Going back to Harry Potter series, the suggested retail price of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in Pakistan is about Rs 2000 (US $33).

It is however, being sold at a discounted retail price of Rs 1595 (~US $27) with pirated versions being advertised for as low as at Rs 195 to Rs 295 only. The retail price of the book seems too high for the buying power of general populace therefore the threat of piracy looms large. One shopekeeper attributed piracy to be as high as 75% of total market sales. Spokesperson of Liberty Books while talking to Dawn newspaper said:

“Prominent notices have been put up in Urdu Bazaar and other places warning would-be pirates that strict legal action will be taken against them.�

News from Islamabad say that Saeed Books of Jinnah Super Market ordered 2000 copies of this book with 700 being pre-reserved. Mr books in Super Market ordered 200 and London Book Company in Kohsar Market 100 copies.

News from Karachi say that Liberty Books alone got 3000 pre orders with 75 orders coming through their online service. Liberty Books in Karachi had planned a themed release of the book with audio-visual display of Harry Potter movie scenes and posters. This show at Park Towers Mall had to be cancelled for the reasons mentioned above.

I couldn’t find Harry Potter news from Lahore yet but Harry Potter sales may not be much different there either or in other major cities of Pakistan. Metroblogging Lahore had this post on Harry Potter coming to Lahore.

The previous two books of Harry Potter sold in excess of 10000 in Pakistan so there is a good chance that latest book also will do a good business.

This last book of the series was much awaited because in an interview in 2006, J.K. Rowling the author of Harry Potter series had said that atleast two characters will die in the last book. Now the question is who will they be? Will they be Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort? I guess we’ll all know by tomorrow.

People sometimes ask about what is so special about Harry Potter and its popularity in Pakistan. I think it is possibly the new generations love for fantasy stories, just like the generation before. It is just like the love of eastern fantasy tales of alif laila and Pakistan’s very own daastaan-e-ameer-Hamza and Umro-Ayyaar series which kept many of us hooked on to them many years ago.

Apart from Harry Potter’s news emanating from Pakistan, the book had reached the top spot worldwide on both the Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble bestseller lists just a few hours after the date of publication was announced on 1 February 2007. As I am writing these lines only 1 minute is left before the book is released in US. I will now go out to get my copy. Hopefully I can find one tonight.

33 responses to “Harry Potter Party comes to Pakistan”

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  2. Owais Mughal says:

    Liberty Books Karachi alone has sold 13000 copies of Harry Potter to date. Details here:

  3. ayesha sajid says:

    I must accept that i have read all Harry Potter books and have enjoyed them immensely. Its always a race between me and my children who will finish first.
    Ofcourse nothing to beat Lord of the Rings series by Tolkien from where a lot of inspiration i feel has been taken by Rowlings.
    Speaking of Urdu writings for children , I remember Ishtiaq Ahmad and his books with Inspector Jamshed.
    Has anyone read them ??

  4. Jyoti says:

    Just a couple of days ago I was thinking of “Tilasmi Kahaniyan” in Hindustani ( Urdu+ Hindi in Devnagri script). we used to read these this books every summer vacation with stories about Djinns, etc .These were all based in Arab lands that’s all I can remeber now. Very fascinating. We also have “ChandraKanta Santati ( in Khari Boli, Old Hindi) which is a tale of Kings, Princes, Princess, magicians etc. Equally fascinating. Alas, these tales were in our own languages so no marketing company will spend money on them to create hype like Harry Potter.
    BTW, have any of you seen the dubbed, Punjabi version of ” Spiderman-2″? It is hilarious and comes from Lahore:) Its CDs are doing rounds in India.Watch it on Youtube here
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Uhs6OLpDc8k&mode=relate d&search=

  5. Owais Mughal says:

    Harry Potter’s latest book has broken sales Record in Pakistan. This is according to today’s Daily Times.

    The owner of Saeed Book Bank, Jinnah Super Market, told Daily Times that they had sold over 1,000 copies on July 21, the day the book went up o bookshelves “Fans queued up on the first day and the store is selling an average of 500 copies per day, which has never happened before,

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