Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Book or film -- which is the better value?

half-blood princeMany theaters are already sold out for the premiere of the latest film in the Harry Potter series, "The Half-Blood Prince."

Fans will pay around $9 apiece for 2 hours and 20 minutes of spooky entertainment. For J.K. Rowling fans, however, this is some of the most expensive Potter-time on the market; each minute will cost the viewer $.064.

Expensive compared to what, you ask? Compared to those take-anywhere, electricity-independent, high-value things called books. Books are a 39% better value.

How so? The average reader reads 250-350 words per minute. Let's use 300 for our example.

The Potter books word count and current prices on Amazon are:

Sorcerer's Stone --76,944 -- $8.61
Chamber of Secrets -- 85,141 -- $8.61
Prisoner of Azkaban -- 107,253 -- $8.61
Goblet of Fire -- 190,637 -- $8.61
Order of the Phoenix -- 257,045 -- $10.18
Half-Blood Prince -- 168,923 -- $10.18
Deathly Hallows -- 198,227 -- $8.24

All told, the Harry Potter series runs to 1,084,170 words. To buy all seven in paperback would cost the reader $140.53. At 300 words a minute, it would take the average reader roughly 60 hours to read this series. Each minute would cost them only $.039.

While some might argue that the film is more entertaining because of the visual imagery, I would argue just the opposite. Reading the series allowed me to imagine the world as I saw it. I wasn't forced to surrender my vision of Harry, Dumbledore and Snape to the director's limited concept. And the books are jammed full of subplots and twists that the films don't explore.

Still not enough financial incentive for you to go the book route instead of the film? Then consider taking them out of the library. Since the cost is $.00, the value is infinite.

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