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Harry Potter and the Internet commotion

By  Aug 7, 2007

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I had originally planned to stop reading Web sites and listening to the radio starting tomorrow evening so I wouldn’t find out anything about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when it is released at midnight.?

When Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince came out, I accidently saw on a blog how that book ended before I had finished reading it, and I was bent!)

But it looks like I may be tuning out a few days too late. On Tuesday, for example, the New York Times reported that the book was already up on the Web on some photo- and file-sharing sites.

Then, on Wednesday, the Times and Baltimore Sun both posted reviews of the book, which outraged fans, according to the Washington Post.

And so, J.K. Rowling yesterday pleaded with Deathly Hallows readers not to spill the beans:

“I’d like to ask everyone who calls themselves a Potter fan to help preserve the secrecy of the plot for all those who are looking forward to reading the book at the same time on publication day.”

Before the Web touched everything, of course, it was much easier to control a huge event such as a new Harry Potter book. The Web has contributed quite a bit to the Potter commotion—good and bad—including providing a way for someone who photographs every spread of a book to then post the images on a photo-sharing site. Wotcher, Harry! I want to read the new book: I don’t want to read it that way.

For me, tomorrow night, I’ll be with my older kid at our neighborhood bookstore—Pegasus Books—picking up our copies. And as soon as we get our books, we will dart out of the store before someone can tell me how the book ends.