Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" under lock and key

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How do you keep frenzied readers at bay? When you've got a blockbuster like Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" (scheduled for release on Sept. 15) it's not so easy.

Twelve, the publisher of Ted Kennedy's memoir "True Compass" intended to stick strictly to a Sept. 14 release date but could not stop the New York Times from obtaining an early copy of the book and breaking the Sept.14 embargo. So the book's secrets were spilled a week before its official release.

But "The Lost Symbol" is being kept under lock and key, according to Amazon.com, which says that  "even inside Random House, only a half dozen employees have been allowed to read 'The Lost Symbol' in its entirety" and that at Amazon their own stockpile of the books is "under 24-hour guard in its own chain-link enclosure, with two locks requiring two separate people for entry."

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All that is officially known about "The Lost Symbol" is that it takes place during one 12-hour period and that Robert Langdon, protagonist of "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons,"  is again the star.

In a note from Random House to librarians, the publisher urged them to keep their copies of "The Lost Symbol" "under lock & key."

"We know you’ll probably have a few crazies hovering around the desk a couple days early, inquiring about copies, then inquiring again, then trying to peak around the desk, etc," wrote Random House Library Services. "But please, please don’t lend them out early."

The publisher reminded the librarians that "Putting Harry Potter out early caused some major headaches for those who’ve done it, not to mention the chaos it causes ... here in New York."

If the lurkers need to stay occupied, the publisher suggests, "You can always give them a puzzle or two."

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