I have Harry Potter anxiety.
First of all, to pre-order or not to pre-order? Or, really, to buy or not to buy? Normally I wouldn't. I've managed just fine begging, borrowing, or stealing the last four books a few days after the fact. Even now, the only Harry Potter book on my shelf is a paperback of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone, and I haven't felt the burning need to buy the rest of the series. To be honest, I hadn't really thought about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows much--I've been planning borrow it from a friend or from the library (when it's available, in 2015) and call it good. But now I've been thinking: if pre-release angst is any indication of the way people feel about this book, spoilers are going to break faster and in more mainstream places than I can possibly keep up with and avoid. If Harry dies, for example, we won't even need to turn on the news, let alone read the book. People will be riding through the neighborhoods of America, shouting it from bullhorns: "Extra! Extra! Harry Potter dead on page 856! The Boy Who Lived kicks the bucket!" Mark my words. Pre-ordering would lessen my chances of being spoiled before the proper time, because I wouldn't actually have to, you know, encounter any human beings until after I've finished. So there's that.
I'm also discovering, weirdly, that I am deeply and profoundly concerned about the contents of the book, mainly who lives and who dies. I'm not the only one--the release date is two weeks out and my office is already talking about it--but I didn't think I was emotionally involved in this way. What if Harry dies? What if--even worse--we lose Ron and/or Hermione (who clearly are meant to live happily but argumentatively ever after, or J.K. Rowling is stomping all over my sad little heart)? What if it's Neville Longbottom, whom I'm afraid is destined to die a heroic death? I love Neville. The death toll in this last book has to be devastating; after the events, or Event, in the last one, it's the only way to go. And I think that knowing the carnage is coming but not knowing where it's coming, exactly, is stressing me out.