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Mystery of the missing pages

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Lester Liebschutz heard the latest installment of the popular Harry Potter series was longer than 706 pages.

"I was cheating and looking at the ending and it ended at the half-sentence on Page 706," the retired auto mechanics teacher said of the "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" he checked out from the Salt Lake City Public Library.

The case of the 28 missing pages in the latest installment of the popular Harry Potter series has been termed the "Harry Potter Boo-Boo" by a Salt Lake City public librarian.

At least five of the 121 copies of the book, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," purchased by the library system were missing the last 28 pages. And Hikmet Loe, technical services manger for the library, says that's a big disappointment for Harry Potter fans.

The error by the book's New York publisher, Scholastic Inc., apparently was first discovered in Salt Lake City and reported to the library system Monday by Liebschutz, who checked out his defective book from the Main Library.

Library community relations manager Dana Tumpowsky said Wednesday the library purchased 121 copies of the book for the Main Library system and its five branches.

"So far we know of five books that were short the 28 missing pages," Tumpowsky said.

When the library officials learned Monday of the problem, they decided that the quickest way to obtain additional copies was through a local book dealer, Sam Weller's Books. "We got 10 copies from them," Tumpowsky said.

Kris Moran, director of publicity for the publisher, said she hadn't received any other calls about missing pages in the book.

The book has sold nearly 3 million copies since it went on sale Saturday morning.

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" is the fourth in a series of writings by author J.K. Rowling. Tumpowsky said 165 people are currently on the waiting list for the book in the city library system. She said discussions are planned in the fall about the book.

Contributing: The Associated Press.