Thursday, December 30, 2004

American Editions of the Harry Potter Books

One of the books I bought recently was a beautiful hardcover edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Unfortunately, it's an American edition.

Having done a bit of research, I found this site, which lists all the various changes which were made to the Harry Potter books for the United States market (here in Canada we get the unadulterated original version).

I'm not certain whether people in the United States should be horribly insulted that the publisher felt it necessary to dumb down Harry Potter for them, or whether the rest of the world should be aghast at the arrogance of the publisher trying to Americanize a patently British character.

At this point, having read the proper versions of the other books, I think it would be a bit jarring to suddenly have all the British idioms disappear. It would also seem rather disjointed to be reading a story set in Britain, with characters who seem to be more American than British. It would strip away the authenticity and part of the magic.

I think I'll be buying another copy, in which the author's original words are printed, and her original writing style preserved. Otherwise I'll feel that I haven't really read the book, but instead merely a corrupted derivative. I know that sounds neurotic, but I'm a book purist because books are more or less sacred to me.

Here's a link describing another great feature of the Canadian editions... they're printed on 100% recycled paper:
Harry Potter books help save forests

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