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I woke up bright and early this morning, full of joy and anticipation (for the first time in years), took care of my parrots and got ready to leave my apartment to pick up my copy of the Harry Potter book from my post office box. How exciting! I have been waiting for this day for forever, it seemed. I planned to spend the day in my favorite watering hole, reading reading reading. Then, my fantasy was oh so rudely shattered by a phone call. UPS (United Parcel Service) was calling to say that they have my Harry Potter book and that they don't deliver to PO boxes.


I thought they would do as they always had done for the Harry Potter books: the other copies of the Harry Potter books were always delivered to my PO box because Amazon made a special arrangement between UPS and the USPS (US Postal Service) so that all Harry Potter books would be delivered to PO boxes on the release day, even though UPS was delivering them.

But not this time: someone at Amazon screwed up BIG TIME.

"We will be able to deliver the book sometime next week," said the voice on the phone. "Maybe even on Monday. When would be a good day for you?"

"Next week is not good for me," I snapped. "I won't be here."

"Well, we can try to get the book to you today, but the truck already left, so I can't guarantee anything," replied the UPS guy.

So I gave him my address, and then waited and waited and waited. And called and called and called to find out if the book was on its way, but no one answered the phone at the UPS office. Bad UPS agent! Because I have cats to take care of, I absolutely had to leave. So on my way to my cats' apartment, I went to the post office hoping that this mix-up had been solved, that my Harry Potter book had magically shown up there as it should have, but no. The USPS didn't have it, either, but oddly, they did have hundreds of other people's Harry Potter books, which was completely unexpected since UPS was delivering all of the HP books instead of the USPS. So how did USPS get all those books (but not mine)?

I complained to the postman. He told me that the Harry Potter books stacked up upstairs all had wrong addresses and they didn't think they could deliver those books before Wednesday, because they had to use a track-back system that they have in place.

So now I don't know what to do. I am certain that, if I manage to find a copy of the book at the local Barnes&Noble and purchase it, that UPS will deliver the book to me sometime tonight. If I can't find a copy of the book, or if I don't purchase a copy tonight, I am sure the UPS guy will also not deliver the book to me tonight. So either way, I lose; either money or the experience of reading the book for myself (I've read all the spoilers -- GAH! -- now I want to read the story!). And I live in NYC, not in outer Mongolia!! I mean, what is happening for people who live way out in the middle of nowhere?

Oh, and one more thing .. I missed the midnight-oh-one Harry Potter release party! I could have been at my local Barnes&Noble with a zillion kids and their parents who were dressed up as wizards and witches, and been given a free pair of glow-in-the-dark Harry Potter glasses, and gotten to walk around on the purple Knight Bus and all that, but NO! I was deprived of that experience because stupid old Amazon promised they'd get the book to me today, but they failed!

Ava kedavra evil Amazon!

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Grrl -- Go and buy it at B&N (or, even better, some independent bookstore) right now. You know you'll be happier I'll buy your extra copy off of you; my wife and I aren't going to be ready to read the book for at least a week or so anyway. I'll even pay shipping for you to mail it down to me.


This is why I don't like to pre-order books! The last Harry Potter novel I had pre-ordered, but ended up being somewhere else when it was released, so I didn't get it until a few days later. This time around I just showed up at the opening and bought it like a normal person. Well, normal enough to show up at a midnight opening to a children's book. ;-)

By Silmarillion (not verified) on 21 Jul 2007 #permalink

Buy it, then give away the extra copy later.

That is what I will be doing - I am about to go to a Borders here in San Fran to get one, while my pre-ordered copy has (I hope) arrived in Chapel Hill, thousands of miles away, today. Once I read it, I'll give it to a friend (actually, exchange for a Neil Gaiman book).

Wow. Everything I order from Amazon always comes USPS - my book came today. That's why I didn't order this one from B&N (unlike most things) because I didn't want to wait for UPS.

Bummer. I'd make the same offer Rob did, but he beat me to it.

well, i bought it (on my CC -- GAH!!) and it was expensive -- $30!! DAMN!! but i have it now (for a steep price) and i am going to read it, finally. the first word in the book is "The" and the last word is "well".

okay, no more spoilers.

I didn't bother to preorder it or anything. I actually saw six copies remaining in the grocery store earlier today when my wife and I were out grocery shopping but refrained from buying the book because the store was charging full price ($34.99).. I'll probably go to B&N or Borders later or tomorrow and grab a copy. I doubt our local Target, which was selling it for $17.99, has any copies left, but I might go there first and check.

I didn't preorder because I figured there would be no problem finding a copy.... If there were, it would mean that somebody in the publishing company screwed up bigtime.


I pre-ordered my copy as Amazon UK promised delivery today.
Planned on spending a lazy day reading it.

Very annoyed; but I'll just wait and see if it turns up on Monday as Amazon say they have sent it out.

By Chris' Wills (not verified) on 21 Jul 2007 #permalink

I just got back from the local Borders. They had eight copies left. I picked one up and wandered around the store. By the time I went to the cashier, there were only two copies left. Then a worker came out with a pile of about a dozen more to replenish the display.

Yeah, Borders had plenty of copies. There was no need to reserve one. Now I have mine, for 40% off.

I pre-ordered mine. (I'm taking a break while cooking supper - I'm halfway through.) The price was the same, no charge for delivery, and I didn't have to leave the house. I like that.

I went to the B&N party and it was massively disappointing. The Book Loft in Great Barrington, MA did a much better event for Half-Blood Prince. Had I still been at my old job, I would've gone there. It would've been a 2.5 hour drive. I could justify that, but I couldn't justify a 5.5 hour drive, plus a motel stay. But whatever. I finished the book a few hours ago and can state with certainty that you won't be disappointed.

I just got mine at Borders and there were plenty on the shelf (at 8pm). I even got a free HP poster with it.

...the first word in the book is "The" and the last word is "well".

And there are a few more the's in between as well.

I bought it from my local branch of the Suomalainenkirjakauppa about 10 minutes after it opened at 9.30am. I finished it at about 10pm. I'm hoping someone can explain the symbolism behind Kings Cross to me.

(I made some initial comments on my blog, but they include spoilers, so be warned)


Ava kedavra evil Amazon!

Ooh, that's a bit excessive. Surrely a Confundus would be enough.

Oh, wait, it sounds like that's already been done.


I got my copy at Costco. They had an enormous table full of the books, 2,170 copies in all (I asked). It was a thing of beauty.

I finished about an hour ago. Loved it.

i also did not receive my harry potter book yesterday, but i'm not pissed at amazon. i'm pissed at ups (which i pretty much hate anyway). they just decided not to make the saturday delivery, despite their arrangement with amazon to do so. when i tracked the package there was just no information beyond friday, when my book arrived at the local ups distribution center. they didn't even attempt to deliver it saturday. so now i have to wait until monday.

Sheesh...what's wrong with you people? The entire book was posted to the web last week where you can read it for free. I suppose you still buy music CDs too.