Cover Stories: Live8; HP6; Julian Barnes

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The Independent Culture

* HP6 has come and - in terms of sales - will soon be gone, for all those wanting it will by now have bought a copy, perhaps for as little as £4.99 at Kwik Save. In the end only Bloomsbury and its shareholders - and, of course, JKR - make any money out of Harry. British levels of discounting far outstrip the US; supermarkets and chain booksellers can afford to pile high and cut deep, because they stock only a limited range. Selling a book at 70 per cent off, as Kwik Save did, is no big deal, whereas independents lose valuable margin even when discounting by a couple of pounds.

* The London Review Bookshop has announced its series of limited editions with the new novel by Julian Barnes, Arthur & George. There will be 150 slipcased copies: 125 quarter-bound in cloth at £50, and 25 quarter-bound in leather at £125. All are signed and numbered, and set in special type. Manager Andrew Stilwell hopes the venture will please bibliophiles who find the trend for chain-store "exclusives" a turn-off.