"Harry Potter" e-books enhanced for Apple devices Text and an illustration from "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" are displayed on an iPad, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, in New York. The J.K. Rowling books are being released with animated or interactive illustrations, but only through Appleā€™s iBooks Store and require the use of an Apple mobile device or a Mac computer. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
"Harry Potter" e-books enhanced for Apple devices
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You don't need to be a wizard to see the "Harry Potter" books come to life.
 
The seven books are getting a makeover with more than 200 new illustrations in enhanced e-books made for Apple devices. More than half of the illustrations are animated or interactive, with such touches as a golden snitch from Quidditch matches flying away as you tap it on the screen. Series creator J.K. Rowling also goes deeper into some of the characters and story lines with a handful of pop-up annotations.
 
The editions, released Oct. 8, are exclusive to Apple's iBooks Store and require an Apple Inc. mobile device or a Mac computer to read. For other devices, including Amazon's Kindle, standard electronic editions are available through Rowling's Pottermore site.
 
The makeover offers readers young and old a new way to engage with the story. It also gives Rowling and her publishers an opportunity to resell these best-selling books, the last of which came out eight years ago. It's akin to Hollywood releasing the same movies in new formats and with bonus materials.
 
While the illustrations are new and exclusive to the enhanced editions, Rowling's annotations aren't necessarily so. Rowling has been regularly posting new essays on Pottermore. She has traced Harry's roots to a 12th-century wizard and has written about the origins of an invisibility cloak that appears throughout the series. Rowling has also penned supplemental books, including "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," a children's book that was referenced in the last "Harry Potter" book.
 
Until recently, the Pottermore site also had a game that took readers through the books chapter-by-chapter, with riddles and other discoveries along the way. That game incorporated clips from the "Harry Potter" movies but the new e-books do not.
 
Instead, the new editions offer full-color illustrations and animation from Pottermore artists.
 
In one animation, you see multiple letters fly in through the fireplace with news of Harry's acceptance to Hogwarts wizardry school. In another, an owl, a cat and the fog come to life on Platform 9 3/4, where a Hogwarts-bound train awaits. On the train, you see landscape moving by through a window.
 
In one scene of a feast, you can slide left and right to see the rest of a long table covered with food. It's not obvious which illustrations are interactive. The idea is to get readers to explore.
 
There's no sound, though. When Harry's friend, Ron, gets an angry audio letter from his mother, you see steam coming out, but you don't hear her screaming, as you do in the movie.
 
You can access Rowling's supplemental materials by tapping a quill icon embedded in the text. For instance, you learn how students arrived at Hogwarts before train service began: Some rode on broomsticks, but that was tough with trunks and pets to bring along.
 
There aren't many annotations, though. You get more backstory at the Pottermore site, but you need the e-books for the full text.
 
The books also get new digital covers to reflect each book's theme - serpents for the second book, for instance. Artists also designed a new font with each letter incorporating a lightning bolt - the shape of a scar on Harry's forehead. This font, named Fluffy, for a three-headed dog in the first book, is used for the opening letter of each chapter.
 
The books cost $10 each, or $70 for the series. There's no discount if you already own standard electronic editions. English editions are available in the U.S. and 31 other markets right away. Editions in French, German and Spanish are coming Nov. 9.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why might J. K. Rowling feel the need to add to Harry?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (80)
  • holdenv-day
    10/16/2015 - 12:06 p.m.

    my family is a huge fan of harry potter. we have all of the books including a braille version and a poster that has the entire first book printed on it. we went to all of the midnight parties and the first showings at the theatres. JK Rowling's harry potter has been extremely successful. Electronic versions are even better because there are more things that you can do.

  • brandons-day
    10/16/2015 - 08:54 p.m.

    This is definitely a new step for ebooks. Considering it is only for apple products shows a domination of the market. It also shows them getting ahead of their competition. Lastly adding pictures in will also make it a better read.

  • tarab-day
    10/17/2015 - 12:00 a.m.

    She may feel the need to add to Harry because she may not have described him well enough. She focused a lot on details in the books, but she can go so much further into the mind of a boy growing up. A boy experiences puberty, love, etc. She needed to show that and now she can with these new editions.

  • nidab-1-glo
    10/19/2015 - 07:45 a.m.

    J.K. Rowling might feel the need to add to Harry because he's a selling point. The book series got so big, that people will purchase anything that comes out about this character. They feel connected to him and want to know as much as possible. THe more J.K. writes, the more money she gets, so why not add a few extra details?

  • valentynas-1-glo
    10/19/2015 - 08:03 a.m.

    J.K. Rowling might have felt the need to add to Harry Potter because this way, the enhanced e-books give readers of all ages a new way to interact with Harry's journey through the years. The new books will help the readers explore and interact, as well as giving them the ability to see visual references if they have trouble with what is going on, or how something looks like. Now people can also read up on some background information that they might have been wondering about while reading the old paperback version of the books. Rowling is giving us a whole new way to experience the magic of Harry Potter with the enhanced e-books and giving us a chance to interact with this magical story.

  • erins-3-glo
    10/19/2015 - 11:29 a.m.

    JK Rowling may have wanted to add to Harry's story because at the end of the series people were left wanting more. The world of Harry Potter is so vast and large that there is always something more to learn about it, and readers will be more intrigued to read the books again if there will be more to them.

  • mayceen-2-glo
    10/19/2015 - 11:34 a.m.

    I think that J.K. Rowling felt the need to add to and enhance the already completed Harry Potter series because of its enormous popularity after it was released. Millions upon millions of people have read these books, and Rowling must have felt it was time for a change. While the original books remain timeless in the hearts of dedicated readers, the new version enhances that experience.

  • bergenj-2-glo
    10/19/2015 - 11:37 a.m.

    Millions of people all over the world love Harry Potter, and some weren't even alive to see the first book be published. As technology grows more and more advanced, so will people's expectations. With these new books, J. K. Rowling will be profiting even more, as well as allowing younger readers to stay engaged in the books. Add-ons like these will ensure that Harry Potter will live forever.

  • mennaj-2-glo
    10/19/2015 - 11:40 a.m.

    I think that J.K. Rowling felt the need to add more to the Harry Potter books to make them more interesting. She wanted to make Harry Potter seem newer so that kids now would want to read it. The article says that the last book that was released in the Harry Potter series was eight years ago, so maybe she wanted to keep people interested in the books for a little bit longer before they are considered "old".

  • skylarm-2-glo
    10/19/2015 - 11:40 a.m.

    J.K. Rowling may have wanted to add to the Harry Potter series because sales were going down, people were losing interests, or because more people were gaining interests. Maybe people didn't want to read the same books over so if the book was more intriguing or enhanced people would want to see the changes. Or possibly people wanted to see more Harry Potter so they made this to give the people what they wanted.

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