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J.K. Rowling's Big Announcement

Soon Harry Potter fans will have a whole new way to read their favorite books.

J.K. Rowling has created a new window in the Potterverse with a website called Pottermore. Harry Potter fans can rejoice: the site has new material from Rowling’s notes on the series, as well as interactive features that let you virtually tour the first book.

Perhaps best of all, in October she’ll be releasing the entire series in e-book format.

Unlike most authors, Rowling owns the digital rights to her work. For years, she’s been unwilling to see her creations published in any digital format. But now she’s ready to release e-book versions. She’s just doing it on her own terms. That has to be a joy for Potter fans. Soon you’ll be able to carry the entire series in your pocket. That’ll come in handy for all those emergency Harry Potter reading breaks, or when you need to settle a trivia dispute with your 12-year-old.

I’ve so far resisted the taking the e-book plunge, and I don’t think digital versions of Harry Potter will be enough to entice me over the edge.

The site itself sounds intriguing though. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Pottermore is a full-on Harry Potter online universe that allows readers to join a Hogwarts house and travel through the first Harry Potter book, while collecting points and playing games. Perhaps the biggest draw is the extra material that Ms. Rowling has written and unearthed from her notes, which gives intense Potter fans much-desired background and explanations about key characters, places and plots.

What I’m really excited about is the additional storytelling Rowling is offering up in her new site. She’s said she’ll be publishing Professor McGonagall’s backstory on the site. She’s contributed about 18,000 words so far and plans to write more.

She’s remaining steadfast in her commitment not to write any more books in the series. I can respect that: she had a vision for this work, and it’s complete. I wouldn’t want her to write a lot of trashy sequels just to add to her billion-dollar fortune. But I am eager to read the new stories and extra material she’s planning to release.

Are you excited about Rowling’s new website?

Photo: Noel Zia Lee

Hosting a Pottermore launch party— or just need an excuse to bake? Check out these Harry Potter-inspired recipes!

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