Harry Potter Enters A New Electronic Eraby: Posted:
Millions atop millions first experienced the wizard world of Harry Potter in a more traditional way: pick up a bound copy, open the cover and turn page after page after page.
With J.K. Rowling's beloved novels now beloved literary classics, fans new and old can fall in the love with every word a whole new way. As of Tuesday, all seven novels are now available in downloadable e-book format via Rowling's Pottermore website, the Associated Press announced this morning.
The books are initially available in both U.S. and U.K. English editions. According to the site, French, Italian, German and Spanish editions will become available sometime in April. Though compatible with all major e-reader devices such as iPad and Kindle platforms among others, the digital editions will only be available via Rowling's website.
In a sense, that's fitting. Though the e-book format has been accessible several years now, she's resisted making her Harry Potter novels available online. It stems from a longstanding fear on Rowling's part of piracy. Since the series' popularity exploded not long after the 1997 debut of Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone, unscrupulous individuals would go out of their ways to both get early looks at forthcoming releases and make the books more widely available via torrents. Rowling and her publishers have also filed injunctions that clashed with civil liberties and free speech groups to prevent anyone from reading her works before their release dates.
"In a free and democratic society, a book publisher sought and obtained a court order banning reading and discussion of a children's book," wrote Michael Geist in a 2005 Toronto Star piece. "In fact, [Canadian 'Harry Potter' publisher] Raincoast had asked the court to go even further, by compelling purchasers to disclose the names, addresses, and other contact information of any other person with whom they discussed the book's contents."
Check out the video below to hear Rowling's appreciative message to her fans.