{July 21, 2007}   why I won’t be buying the last harry potter book

I was having doubts about whether I really wanted to give more money to Rowlings, and today decided it. I think she’s taking her books way too seriously, and being an asshole about it, caring little for other people’s freedoms.
she claims to speak for the readers in not wanting any news about the book to come out before her imposed date of july 21 – I think that’s arrogant and insulting. if people don’t want to read spoilers, they’re perfectly capable of, well, not looking at them! as for people who accidentally received the book a couple of days early being asked to set it aside and not start reading until the 21st – again, wtf? it’s theirs now, they can read it whenever they damn well please. at least, that’s what I think – the BC Supreme Court disagrees with me.

seeing as I’m way over here in china, it’ll be quite easy for me to not buy it anyways. I bet it would be hard to find an english version in bookstores here, the chinese version doesn’t come out until august, and there are no (legal) e-books for harry potter. I’ll probably go to a library once I’m back in canada.

I agree about everything else, but not on spoilers being avoidable that easily. How do you ‘not look’ when the site you did not expect to have spoilers has them or when someone on an IRC channel starts spoilering? Often one line is enough to ruin the fun of speculating over a book or a movie plot. Pretty much the moment I know I should look away I have already been exposed to spoilers.

SishGupta says:

My girlfriend was standing in front of chapters on the night it was going to be released and people shouted spoilers at the waiting line.
I play counterstrike and people were spamming spoilers on some servers which was so hard to avoid I had to stop playing.

To me this is equivalent of a someone following a comedian to all of his shows and for each joke the comedian tells the stalker ruins the punchline. If they comedian could not stop this person, the comedian would be forced to come up with a new bit every night. This is not possible for a novelist, but both have works of art (comedy and writing are absolutely art forms) being ruined.

Spoiler leaks ruin the book for many people and this in turn hurts not only fans but book sales which in turn hurts everyone involved in the making of a book. It isn’t just one person.

You shouldn’t be free to hurt people, even if they are only words.

SishGupta says:

I guess I should note that I am not an avid harry potter fan. I like the movies but I don’t read the books.

I also didn’t explain myself well. I meant to say at the end that I think the best way of reducing spoilers is to force stores to an agreement (stores didnt leak before because they were scared that they would not get to sell the remaining books). It is stupid of Rowling’s publisher/distributer to NOT have stores sign an agreement of sorts. It wouldn’t have been that hard. The fact that her book was spoiled is ultimately her publisher/distributer’s fault.

seele says:

As a story teller, I think it was more about her trying preserving the user experience she has so carefully crafted for her readers over the past 6 books.

Also, I think all of the distributors had signed agreements about releasing the book and spoilers to the public, including the booksellers.

Keep in mind that getting this book Friday night was like Christmas Eve for a lot of kids, and spoiling the ending would have disappointed a lot of them (not to mention adults).

Joshua BA says:

I really don’t see how knowing how a book ends should make it less enjoyable. Shouldn’t the writing speak for itself here? If all the book comes down to is a whodunit then, quite honestly, I don’t think anyone is missing much.

I have read the other books in the series (borrowed from a friend) and unless this last one is going to be greatly different than the others, I don’t see how it could be surprising enough not to give itself away. No outside spoilers needed.

Andras says:

I agree with Joshua. If the book is good, it is good even if you know the plot. I have some books that I read many times and I enjoyed them even if I knew in advance what will happen.
Actually I enjoyed the HP series as well. Not that much the movies, but the books, even if they have some recurring events, which can be boring after some time.
Anyway, what to do about the spoilers? Well, you can plug out the network cable and don’t watch the TV, read newspaper or talk with other readers until you read it. Hard, but you can do it.
But I think what the author and the publisher didn’t “realize” is that the fact that the book/movie/game/whatever appears before the official release is because:
a) they made a hype around it so it can sell better;
b) the previous “versions” were so popular they already got a lot of money.

If J.K. Rowling would silently release the book without such a marketing campaign, maybe the readers would be better protected of such leaks. Ah, that she (and the publisher) wants money? Well, that’s life.

Andras says:

and to continue it (I was really upset by that decision that readers are not allowed to read before it is released)… There is another argument why this is all about the money. What will happen with those who are not English speakers? What will be with those who can buy only a week later or read it only a month later? Well, they will probably see lots of reviews because others rushed and read it. What about their reading experience? As I see this is all about to sell as much as possible on the first day/first hour, so this fact can be used later to advertise the book and sell more.

Can you really blame her for not wanting people to ruin the book for the readers?

She has every right to condemn the people who post spoilers, shes the one thats spent months writing the book.

I know id be pissed off if i spent months writing a book only for people to tell everyone how it ends.

onemorecup says:

Dear chanblog:

With the greatest of respect to you, I find I must disagree with you vis-a-vie the reasons you’ve listed as reasons NOT to buy a book.

Basically the only person’s right abused here, in my opinion, is J.K. Rowling. Contractually, she has entered into arrangements regarding security with Bloomsbury/Scholastic Publishers; who have in turn, contracted with distributors…who have contracted with individual book retailers—again, all agreeing to the security of the product.

All of the aforementioned had an “Agreement” or “Contract” to sell a product at a specified time and place. Some of those aforementioned decided to be “above their own contracts” and deliberately disobeyed for the sake of profit; notwithstanding, they broke the “Agreement” they’d entered into. Yes, there should be consequences for such actions.

I don’t feel as though anyone’s civil rights were infringed upon whatsoever and the scope of the Injunction merely reinforces what was already agreed to in the first place.

In the interest of “good form” it is not that I, or any other person, should have our civil rights abridged and offended with the construct of “hey…just don’t look” attitude when it is my right to do so. Please read for a better understanding of what I am trying to relay to you.

Please realize that Ms. Rowling has suffered one iota. In fact, Ms. Rowling has received her remunerations for HPDH’s long ago. Being a former publisher I believe that a Contract is a contract. Moreover I, too, normally don’t purchase books—not because of a personal crusaded; yet, rather it is I know what it costs to make the book and refuse to pay the amounts they are charging these days.


onemorecup says:

Ouch! Please insert the word NOT in:

Please realize that Ms. Rowling has NOT suffered one iota.

Cheers and thank you…btw…love what you’re doing here!


[…] why I won’t be buying the last harry potter book I was having doubts about whether I really wanted to give more money to Rowlings, and today decided it. I think […] […]

Chani says:

ok, people who post spoilers without any kind of warning are jerks.
I’m used to seeing big obvious spoiler-warnings before any kind of spoiler, so I’ve never had any problem avoiding them.
I’ve never before heard of people yelling spoilers at people waiting in line before… o.0 obviously those people are scum.

however, I still think Rowlings is a jerk too.

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