All is not well at Hogwarts. Just days before the release of the much-mooted final installment of the Harry Potter children's book series, hackers have leaked its pages and ultimate ending across the web, potentially spoiling years of laborious reading for scores of fans. In addition, numerous U.S. newspapers, notably The New York Times, have published advance reviews, prefacing the book's release tomorrow (July 20) at midnight. The leak has incited a virtual riot of debate amid bookworms, publishers, bystanders, and especially the legions of devout Harry Potter devotees. And amongst the latter is Paul DeGeorge, the 28-year-old guitarist of Boston-based wizard rock outfit Harry and the Potters.
"I'm trying to stay totally clean and have been taking as many precautions as necessary," DeGeorge told SPIN.com of his wary Potter-free media consumption, "somebody posted a bunch of spoilers on our comment board last night and I was able to stick my hand over it and delete the comment without reading it..." DeGeorge, clearly a gigantic fan of the Harry Potter series, states the ending of the last book was exposed as well, and he's not looking for a repeat. "As soon as it is in my hand, I'm going into totally isolation, cell phone off, no Internet, nothing."
But the web-wide debate digs deeper, crossing medias and comparing the book's exposure to that of music, currently a hot topic in the industry, and something DeGeorge feels is a frivolous comparison. "I don't fell like you can spoil an album like you can spoil a book's ending or a plot line. That's the thing about reading -- it's an investment," the library lovin' rocker said. "You dive into a book and there's a reward at the end, sure you can dive into a record but the whole record is that experience, I don't feel you can get it spoiled for you."
As fervent fans, one would expect DeGeorge and his brother and bandmate Joe to be eagerly awaiting the book's release at local Beantown bookstores tomorrow night, but the boys have other plans. "We're playing a show that night... we actually have arrangements to get the books delivered to us."
Here's what bloggers, fans, and bookworms are saying about the leak of the final installment of Harry Potter:
"What keen soul has not picked up a CD before release date?" -- The Jiveman, thejiveman.wordpress.com
"...Moronic people who leak Harry Potter endings ...PEOPLE, we just want to ENJOY THE BOOK!" -- Lisa M., plutsrants.blogspot.com
"DO NOT spoil this book for me... or else I do solemnly swear I will never talk to you again. I don't rightly give a damn if that sounds bit extreme. This book has been a big part of my life for eight years, and I want to finish it on my OWN terms. You would NOT be doing me any favors by revealing to me whether Harry lives or dies." -- rivendellrose09.livejournal.com
"I just love to hate Harry Potter." -- SeeJaneMom, thekidalog.com
"I even find myself having to be careful while watching the news what with the early reviews that have appeared... FOR THE LOVE OF GOD if you are my friend or even if you aren't please don't spoil it for me." -- Chris, mirandolina.livejournal.com
"I don't read Harry Potter, but I feel that this is really uncalled for. This is, after all, a children's treasure." -- YoungJedi, youngjedi.typepad.com
Talk: Harry Potter: an avid fan or don't give a damn?