Harry Potter's Precedents

09/02/1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

J.K. Rowling's new Harry Potter book -- the fourth in the series -- is due on July 8, you might have heard. The two leading online booksellers are making plans to offer first-day delivery service, reports today's Wall Street Journal, while another unprecedented move is taking place thanks to the boy wizard: The Braille version of this new Potter will be released just two to three weeks after the print version (instead of after the usual several months). A simultaneous version would have been available, reports the Associated Press, but the book's publisher, Scholastic Press, has refused to release ANY advanced copies, which prevented Boston's non-profit National Braille Press from going to work on its adaptation. (So secret is this new Harry book that even the title remains under wraps.) Even so, Karl Belanger, 12, of Dover, N.H., can't wait to get the Braille edition. He told AP that he won't have to beg his mom to read the book to him, and he'll soon be able to talk about it with his fellow friends.

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