Harry Potter Fans Beg: Don't Spoil So Close to Me

With Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling promising the demise of at least two major characters in her last book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," fans are going nuts to keep surprises from being spoiled until they read them for themselves.

Dedicated fans are planning to wear earplugs or headphones as they line up outside bookstores on Friday to buy the much-awaited book, which comes out at midnight.

And once they have the book in hand, many are planning to retire to a private hideaway so they can rush through the 784-page book without human contact, completely avoiding all forms of media until they've learned every last juicy secret.

Stories: Harry Potter's Hocus Pocus: Stronger Than Death Itself?

"A lot of kids won't go online all weekend, and won't watch TV to be sure not to spoil it," said Dina Brasseur, a children's librarian in New York City.

Rabid adult fans are taking it even further, avoiding all social occasions until they've finished the book.

"I know people who aren't going out all weekend to be sure not to encounter anybody who might mention the ending offhand," Brasseur said.

"People are ordering the book off of Yahoo! and not even going outside until they're finished — avoiding even picking up the paper for fear of spoiling it," she added.

Many readers are also steering clear of "that friend" who whips through the book the fastest, then blabs about everything they've learned.

"I have one friend that's read all of the books and loves to talk about them — it's going to be really hard to be around her until I've finished it," said 9-year-old Gianna Rosenbach from Glen Rock, N.J.

For extra unlucky Potter fans, this challenge will prove even tougher and more agonizing if the blabbermouths are extremely close friends or family.

"My annoying sister might just buy the book and read the end just to piss me off," said Katie Sydness, 19, from Wilton, Conn. "My friend from Fairfield will definitely pull an all-nighter and just read it — that's when I get scared and just lock myself in a room."

For serious Potterheads, it just gets that much worse when people who aren't even fans gab about the twists in the book.

"I have friends who might talk and hear about the ending and they don't even care — they'll tell you just to keep up on the gossip," Sydness said. "When I get this last book, if not in a day, I'll really have to try to finish it in a day or two."

Readers have reason to be alarmed. When the sixth book came out, videos posted on YouTube showed people driving by lines of fans outside a Dallas Barnes & Noble shouting "Snape kills Dumbledore!" (the shocker plot twist at the end of the last book "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"), and rotten new users signed on to major Potter Web sites with the user name "Snape kills Dumbledore."

This time around, some readers say it's a waste of energy to go crazy — fans have to accept that this stuff will come out and read the book at their own pace, enjoying it for everything they love about it.

"It's really impossible not to hear something. People talk, there's just too much hype this time," said William Luhr, professor of English and film at Saint Peter's College in New Jersey. "Unless you buy it the night it comes out and put plugs in your ears, it just comes out."

Stories: Harry Potter's Hocus Pocus: Stronger Than Death Itself?