DEAR ABBY: The latest Harry Potter book came out recently, and I have been reading it. I don't have any serious problems. Rather, I have something to say to those who enjoy spoiling the surprise of a book.
I've read the Harry Potter books since first grade. (I'm now 13.) They are a major part of my childhood. The sixth book was spoiled for me by a close friend. Not only did she emphatically announce who died, it became common knowledge whether you've read the book or not.
I've been reluctant to touch the Internet for a few days. I want to take my time to savor this book because once I read it, I'll never have the same feeling of surprise again. I'm not one of those who speed ahead to finish a book in a night.
Not only do some fans spoil it, but the media does too. I can't look at my e-mail provider page because there are spoilers in the headlines. I am considering sealing myself inside a plastic bubble to avoid hearing anything about the book.
This is also a problem with movies, other books and video games. Please, for those of us who wish to remain in the dark until the end, don't say a word about the plot! -- IN THE DARK (AND ENJOYING IT)
DEAR IN THE DARK: I suspect the impulse to spill the beans and spoil the experience for someone else comes from the need to feel important. ("You heard it from me first!") It is not a particularly endearing trait.
While some members of the media were, indeed, guilty of giving away the end of the last Harry Potter book, other critics and reviewers were considerate enough to write: "Spoiler Alert! Don't read further if you don't want the plot revealed." Hats off to them.