Pottermore Brings Potter And More!

Many Harry Potter fans, myself included, have been waiting for some time to add the adventures of the young wizard to our growing collections of eBooks. But alas, they have remained out of reach, until now. J.K. Rowling recently announced that not only will the collection be available as eBooks, but readers will be able to experience the world of Harry Potter in a whole new way.

In announcing Pottermore, Rowling has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged eBooks to be more than mere words on a digital page. We’ve already seen some glimpses of a more interactive approach to eBooks in children’s books on the Nook Color. And visual novels (aka dating sims) have been around in Japan for a long time. But Pottermore promises to go far beyond that.

Rowling said that the reader will uniquely shape their own experiences as they read through the books. I would guess that the experience will be centered around the web site itself. But there is no reason to believe that it will stop there. While there are no details yet on what or how the current crop of eReaders will be supported, I can imagine the interactivity of Pottermore being extended even there. Both the Kindle and the Android-based Nook are capable of supporting interactive applications. The introduction of touch screen eInk readers can only expand the level of interactivity supported by the devices. And, of course, there is the iPad and other tablet computers.

With the resources Pottermore likely has at its command, we could be seeing something approaching what I’ll call a Literary MMORPG. Rowling’s video gave me the impression that she wants something that retains the “bookish” quality of reading, but reading that immerses and is in turn shaped by the reader. When we read a book, we all imagine the characters and settings in our own unique ways. I think Pottermore will attempt to retain that quality in a way that other media like movies and video games cannot.

Right now, no one knows how this is going to turn out. So like thousands of fans probably already have, I put my email address on the list and eagerly await further news and perhaps the chance to experience Pottermore a little early. ~_^

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