"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)
  • hollyk-fel
    11/02/2015 - 02:14 p.m.

    J.K Rowling might have felt the need to add Harry because it allows people to be engaged in her books, and they would want to buy them more.

  • garretta-fel
    11/02/2015 - 02:14 p.m.

    J.K. Rowling might feel the need to add Harry because her last book that came out 8 years ago,her sales have probably died down.By adding Harry and new e-books for the Potter series she hopes that readers will once again buy her books more.

  • ethanb-1-fel
    11/02/2015 - 02:14 p.m.

    J.K. Rowling feels the need to add Harry Potter enhance the story just a tad to hook in readers it also lets in more opportunity to sell more books.

  • kolbyd-fel
    11/02/2015 - 02:15 p.m.

    J.K. Rowling may feel the need to add too harry potter because she hasn't published a harry potter book in 8 years.

  • elizabetht-fel
    11/02/2015 - 02:15 p.m.

    J.K Rowling may feel the need to add to Harry Potter because I believe that she doesn't want it's popularity streak to die out. The addition of it being an e-book may bring such things as this to the younger generation, seeing that it is now mostly electronic, rather than the original paper copies of the books.

  • courtneyh-1-fel
    11/02/2015 - 02:15 p.m.

    J.K. Rowling might feel the need to add to harry to get readers more engaged into the story.

  • helenaw-fel
    11/02/2015 - 02:16 p.m.

    J.K. Rowling might feel a need to add to Harry because people might have been asking for a backstory on some of the stuff.

  • brooklynk-fel
    11/02/2015 - 02:16 p.m.

    J.K. Rowling might feel the need to add to Harry to give the readers more of an in depth understanding of Harry's life and background so that they can feel more connected with the character.

  • hannaha-fel
    11/02/2015 - 02:17 p.m.

    J.K. Rowling might feel the need tot add Harry because he is the main character throughout the series. Also it will keep people engaged and will make them want to buy the books again.

  • johnj-fel
    11/02/2015 - 02:17 p.m.

    J. K. Rowling might feel the need to add to Harry get the reader to engage and buy her books again.

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