After months of speculation and waiting, the news that the Harry Potter website ‘Pottermore’ is now open to everyone, must be a great relief to Potter fans all over the world. But before you can enter the website you have to see if you are ‘magical’ by answering a few questions, set by J K Rowling herself. Not to worry unduly however, I think most people manage to ‘get in’! After you’ve been accepted there’s plenty to occupy you; you can visit Diagon Alley, have a wand choose you, get put into one of the four Hogwarts houses, and discover what J.K. Rowling is now writing about.
When you first join the site you are directed to the very first Harry Potter book – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Here you can read and follow the story and compete for the House Cup. Along the way you will have opportunities to collect objects to put in your trunk, read extra insights from the author JK Rowling as she leaves clues for you to click on. You can find out what inspired her to name certain characters in the books, what gave her the ideas behind layouts of houses and even how she came to use particular numbers, see below for an example:
This is an incredibly interactive way of discovering new material within the old Harry Potter books and almost gives them a fifth dimension when reading them for the second time online. What a marvellous idea from the author and how in keeping with the times that now reading should encompass so much more than simply sitting down with a good book. It is an understatement to say that JK Rowling encouraged a generation of children to pick up weighty tomes and get them lost in another world of her creation, but now, with Pottermore, she has created yet another facet to these books by allowing children to find out more behind the writing. This site must have taken a very long time to finalise and perfect and it is to the authors credit that she has gone back, over her old work and revitalised it with new enthusiasm for her devoted readers. On each page there is something to click on while you are reading that will give you an extra fact or titbit about either the book or the writing behind it. You feel as if you are getting to know all the little secrets that went into the writing of the Harry Potters. It is wonderful.
The Pottermore site is available in the following languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish (Castilian). You can visit the Pottermore Shop where you can purchase the Harry Potter digital audio books and, for the first time, the Harry Potter eBooks. In the first instance the books are available in English (US and UK versions), with French, Italian, German, Spanish and other languages following shortly.