Man receives 'Potter' book early, returns it

Sunday, July 17, 2005

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- Talk about honest.

A Santa Cruz man says he mistakenly received a copy of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" four days before its official release.

And what did Thorin Brentmar do with the year's most anticipated book? Sell it on eBay? Lend it to friends? Read it one sitting? None of the above.

Brentmar called the publisher and sent it back.

"He called us," said Scholastic Press spokeswoman Kris Moran. "We said, 'Thank you very much.' We asked him to send the book back."

Brentmar said he's read all J.K. Rowling's Potter books and likes them. But he didn't pre-order "Half-Blood Prince," has no friends at bookstores who might have slipped him a copy and didn't know where it came from. He said it showed up hanging on his doorknob in a white plastic bag.

Scholastic, the book's American publisher, has printed 10.8 million copies. They remain sealed in cartons in bookstores, and won't go on sale until 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Moran said Scholastic would reimburse whatever it cost Brentmar to return the book and send him a free copy and "other fun Harry Potter stuff" after the embargo ends.

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