Spoilage Part 2

After writing about the lack of Harry Potter spoilers on Monday, I was surprised to find a great, big barrage of spoilers floating around the Internet on Tuesday. The titles of all thirty chapters were posted on a number of sites, and, almost as quickly as they were posted, Scholastic was sending cease and desist orders. You also had people claiming to have read the book posting synopses. It was chaotic and explosive and, I believe, the result of Rowling and her publishers keeping such a tight lid on things for so long. In this marketing-saturated, spoiler-craving society, spoilers are bound to come out at some point or another. And when it takes this long for them to come out, when they come out just days before the release of the book, it’s bound to get messy.

One thing I found, as I perused the various Harry Potter sites, was an almost religious devotion on the part of J.K. Rowling fans towards the sanctity of the novels. Unlike the majority of the folks I interacted with in the months leading up to Star Wars Episode III, these folks were vehemently against spoilers. They were outraged that anyone would “disrespect” Rowling in this way, that anyone would ruin the experience—spoil it—for the world at large. I have never seen such anger over the early release of information from a piece of writing.

I’ve seen the chapter titles and I suppose there’s enough in them to sufficiently taint the experience of a first-time reader. I suppose they might spoil things for the guy who plans to take the dust jacket off of his copy so as not to be tempted to read the inside flaps. But I read the chapter titles ahead of time anyway. I’m the kind of guy who reads the last line first, because I want to know what I’m heading towards so that I can analyze how the writer gets me there. I guess, when it comes down to it, I just don’t fully understand the anti-spoiler contingent. Surprise, in some respects, is highly overrated.

I’m sure I’ll be out and about on the ‘Net again today, trying to find more pieces of the Potter puzzle. I’m an impatient human being, and the Saturday release date will not arrive soon enough for me.

Ah, but there’s another event I’ve been waiting a week for and it’s finally here on Wednesday. If the news that comes is good, perhaps I will finally feel safe enough to commit my fairly open secret to print. We’ll see.