Pottermore, the awesome Harry Potter fan online universe, is still in beta testing and won’t go live til early April. But as a fun consolation prize, they’ve finally released all seven of J.K. Rowling‘s books in ebook form! The Pottermore shop lets you buy each book for about $8-$10 depending on the length, or the whole series for $58.
The opportunity for a Harry Potter reread is in some ways a nice gesture, but for us it highlights what we’re lacking in our lives: More original fiction from Rowling. Back in 2008, she wrote a short Harry Potter prequel story for charity; you can read it here and gush over it as fans continue to do. Personally, I’ve always held out hope that she would write a series about the Marauders: James, Sirius, Lupin, and Peter and their misadventures at Hogwarts. It wouldn’t have to be seven books! Four would do just fine.
Back in 2010, Rowling told Oprah, “”I could definitely write an eighth, ninth, tenth [book]. I’m not going to say I won’t. I don’t think I will… I feel I am done, but you never know.” And yet, Pottermore as an interactive world where you get Sorted, receive a unique wand, and take Hogwarts classes shows that Rowling appreciates the power her stories still have.
Unfortunately, the official statement that Rowling posted with her short story prequel seems to have been lost to the sands of time, though she ended the story with the note From the prequel I am not working on—but that was fun! I’d say that’s an annoyingly glib response, but at the end of the day you have to respect the author who decides that she cannot or will not continue to write in this world.
So, until Rowling decides to revisit the wizarding world, we have this new experience of our beloved tales in digital fomr. Of course, reading the Potter books on your Kindle or Nook is going to be weird no matter what. If you’re part of the fanbase that literally grew up with the books (people who are in their early 20s now), then it will likely feel strange to not have the whimsical illustrations and the utter heft of an 800-page hardcover. Similarly, if you’ve never read them and are taking advantage of their convenient new forms, you might miss some of the magic.
But lest you think I’m ungrateful, I am glad that I can purchase my favorite book (Prisoner of Azkaban, natch) and read it on the subway on my way to work.
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