"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 Apple’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)
  • teddyp-mcc
    10/19/2015 - 05:56 p.m.

    J.K might feel the need to add to Harry to give more action, fun, and a sense of adventure and enjoyment for the readers of one of the most and best selling books in history. J.K might also be doing this to become more in depth in the series and to give readers a better and more complex understanding of the series and of the events that occurred and took place throughout the books.

  • erine-bag
    10/19/2015 - 08:22 p.m.

    She might want to add to Harry because since actually reading books written on paper is going slightly out-of-style an Ibook that is interactive will get people re-engaged in her books.

  • twahir,yasmeen-cas
    10/20/2015 - 12:00 p.m.

    1. J.K. Rowling might feel the need to add to the Harry Potter series because of the new generation of technological advancement that offers more interaction with the series for old and new readers. It allows a more in depth feel of her writing and allows her to make more money with the enhancement.

    2.I am a huge Harry Potter fan so this is pretty interesting. I love my hardcover books, but I think that the e-books would be so cool because the younger readers would get to see what they are reading.

  • smith,chyna-cas
    10/20/2015 - 12:08 p.m.

    1. Because this edit gives readers young and old a new way to be a part of the story. It also gives Rowling and her publishers an opportunity to resell these best-selling books.

    2. This was really interesting. My family has the whole series and have seen the movies about 3 times. This new makeover makes me want to get into the books again.

  • ravend-bag
    10/21/2015 - 08:08 p.m.

    Harry is J.K Rowlings most honored character. She felt the need to have Harry because in her most famous series he was the main character.

  • erinu-day
    10/23/2015 - 08:52 p.m.

    I make it my mission every summer to reread the entire series of Harry Potter. There's always something new to be found and I love that this new “makeover” may bring more readers in, specifically the younger readers. In an age where more and more kids would rather watch the newest episode in their favorite television series then read a new book this gives me hope that perhaps more readers will be able to find the magic of Harry Potter. New illustrations and a new format as well as some extra annotations by J.K Rowling will definitely make the books more appealing for readers.

  • connors2-mcc
    10/29/2015 - 11:23 a.m.

    She feels she needs to add to Harry to make the readers learn new things and feel they know him so the books will make more sense at times and the readers can relate to the characters.

  • ians-mcc
    10/29/2015 - 11:25 a.m.

    J. K. Rowling may feel the need to add more to Harry so that she can describe Harry even better than before and give even better descriptions of his appearance physically as well as emotionally.

  • gracem-mcc
    10/29/2015 - 11:25 a.m.

    J.K. Rowling feels shes needs to add Harry because she made this great book eight years ago and it lets her engage with young and old readers more with the new technology. It lets her resell her best-selling book she made.

  • leop-mcc
    10/29/2015 - 11:25 a.m.

    J.K. Rowling might feel the need to add Harry because our generation offers so much more technology. eBooks are very popular and a well-known book like that could be easier to access. Readers are offered the opportunity to not only read the books, but see some of the scenes on there device.

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