"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. They include 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 were released Oct. 8. They 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. They can be obtained 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." It's 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. 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 (29)
  • audreyv-4-bar
    10/15/2015 - 07:39 p.m.

    By adding to Harry, J.K. Rowling allows the reader to engage in the story a little more. Not only that, but also allows people to buy her books again. "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."

    I thought this article was very interesting, because the series, Harry Potter, is a classic. Knowing that a new version of it will be coming out sparks your interest into what it will include

  • karliw-1-bar
    10/15/2015 - 08:08 p.m.

    Although the "Harry Potter" dynasty has come to an end, J.K. Rowling has more tricks up her sleeve to keep the series' popularity streak alive. To keep up with the current generation's tech savvy ways, Rowling has collaborated with the magic of Apple to produce a new and improved edition of the seven book series. The new generation of the "Harry Potter" series features over 200 breathtaking illustrations, most of which are interactive and animated. Rowling may feel the need to reiterate her successful book series so she can also reiterate her status as one of the most famous authors world-wide. From this article, it seems as if Rowling is trying to eliminate the competition of other authors. Authors like Suzanne Collins (author of "The Hunger Games") and Veronica Roth ("Divergent" series) have also become fairly popular, and possibly more so than Rowling. Rowling may also feel that she needs to add to Harry Potter's story so she and the fans will say intrigued with the series. People and their surroundings must adapt to changes that come about, and Rowling has certainly changed with the times.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    10/15/2015 - 09:45 p.m.

    I think that it is amazing for J.K. Rowling to make a website so that you can play/read a book about Harry Potter. I believe that J.K. Rowling did a good job making this app to work really work. I hope that J.K. Rowling will make more amazing things on her website and her app.

  • kieranw-3-bar
    10/16/2015 - 11:14 a.m.

    J.K. Rowling might feel the need to add Harry because Harry is the main character through the whole seven book series, the series is even named after him. This is really interesting but I am fascinated with how new modern technology like the apple e-books are able to do such wonders and advance our books helping kids read and understand better.

  • nevaehm-
    10/19/2015 - 01:08 p.m.

    so technically you would be paying 70 dollars for all the books?

  • wbear-wim
    10/21/2015 - 02:03 p.m.

    Harry Potter is my favorite books and movies. I think that this is an awesome idea. Also, that hogwarts is an amazing place. The Harry Potter e-books are cool because i think that enhansing and "making the pictures come to life" is amazing and allowas the reader to feel more inside the story. J.K Rowling is an amazing author, she has been a great infuluence and role model to me. It is so smart that she decides to go deeper into the characters and pop-ups. I can'T wait to get this on my electronic device and read it, then over and over again. TYhis is what i think about Harry Potter e-books! ;)

  • jgood-wim
    10/21/2015 - 02:06 p.m.

    Harry Potter, being released in the 90's was an instant hit. When the movies came out in the 2000's, it restarted the fire for people to read these classics again. Now with J.K. Rowling having no more new books in the works, (sadly) and even with Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them coming out in coming a few years, these enhanced E-books will introduce a new generation of readers to Harry Potter. These E-books will also give Potterheads a new excuse to read the books again. It is very good to know that my little sister's generation will also get to experience this lovely series!

  • icric-wim
    10/21/2015 - 02:15 p.m.

    In the E books I think it is cool adding those touches but it is sad because you might miss the enjoyment of reading the actual book.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    10/21/2015 - 07:35 p.m.

    I think that it is great that author, J.K. Rowling and her publishers will be able to resell the famous book series, Harry Potter, through apple devices or other electronics. There are many Harry Potter fans that would want or like to know more about the book, the characters, and the systems that they used to go places. The online books will include more detail for the readers. The Harry Potter series is a really famous series and I think that many people would like to buy the books from online if they don't have it already or if they want to know more about the story.

  • mattv-fel
    11/02/2015 - 02:13 p.m.

    This can help the readers highly, allowing them to interact with the books, and see the images that the author had in visioned, not the Hollywood Film Makers.

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