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Digital Versions of the Harry Potter Books in the Future?

Posted by: Edward
May 28, 2010, 04:36 PM

The Bookseller is now reporting that the Christopher Little Agency, the literarily agency representing author J. K. Rowling, may be coming closer to enteraining the idea of digital formats for the Harry Potter novels.  The article quotes partner Neil Blair as saying the company is now “currently considering all the options and opportunities that this evolving space provides."  The Bookseller continues:

The agency was "actively" looking, whereas previously it had just been "monitoring the developing area", he said.  Richard Charkin, executive director of Rowling’s print publisher Bloomsbury, declined to comment on whether Bloomsbury was in discussions with the author on e-book plans, saying: "That’s between us and CLA."
While this news is certainly intriguing, no plans are currently set for digital formats or the Harry Potter novels.

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216 Points

NO! Muggle electronics don’t work in Hogwarts! Books, books, books. They really don’t need any gimmicks to boost sales since the books are already among the highest grossing novels of all time. I love seeing someone read HP on the bus or in school, and I can recognize it by the covers, the binding without a cover, and even the font, spacing, and margins inside, and I love being able to tell from afar and freaking people out by starting a conversation with them about it, but I can’t feel that joy of seeing someone reading HP if it’s on an ereader!

Posted by Scarlet~Phoenix on May 28, 2010, 09:37 PM report to moderator
1985 Points

I dont mind either way. I just personally want the books physically since I have none =(

Posted by jhangelgurl (ITC!) on May 28, 2010, 10:11 PM report to moderator
5389 Points

the e books would be nice. but reading the originals is a different experience

Posted by Azaad Potter The Chosen One [ROAR] on May 28, 2010, 10:38 PM report to moderator
4565 Points

Ironically my boyfriend was looking for the digital version of Harry Potter last night!

Posted by Ron&Hermione-4-ever [ROAR] on May 29, 2010, 07:05 AM report to moderator
229 Points

I personally would love to have it on my Nook! Still adore my books though!

Posted by akcorr on May 29, 2010, 07:25 AM report to moderator

Some of you must be kidding. The way a book should be read? Reading is the important thing, no? Why on Earth do you care how anyone else enjoys their books? I got a Kindle last year, and have been reading ten times more than ever before. Imagine being able to carry around your entire library with you everywhere. Any of your books at your fingertips. To say a book needs to have pages and smell musty is a cliche’. And looking on the horizon, with our incredible connectedness to our electronic devices, you must see that this is the way things will go. Or are you simply blinded by your Spectrespecs?

Btw, imagine this.. Almost any book that is in the public domain is out there for free. Free! I replicated my entire library of Dickens, Shakespeare, Chekov, Austin, Burroughs, Cooper, Poe, Lovecraft, Alcott, Wells…the list goes on and on…FOR FREE.

If you have never tried an e-reader you cannot in good conscience condemn them as the enemy of “books”. They make reading more convenient, affordable and accessible than ever before. Reading. Remember that?

Also, to “dispell” your myths, Kindle, Nook or SONY are not “reading on a computer screen”. It is e-ink, which is a non-backlit transfer process. Ink on a page. Although if you do like to read on a screen, there are apps for your PC, Mac, iTouch, iPhone, iPad, yadda yadda.

My advice: download the FREE apps for ‘Kindle for PC’ or ‘Kindle for Mac’ and try out some of the benefits. You will have a better library than your local PL. You will never pay for a classic again. I do like reading on the low-eye-strain e-ink device, but the free computer apps will give you an idea of what’s available to you. Although they don’t yet give you the handy built in dictionary. (Highlight a word and it defines it.)

Hmmm. More accessible. More affordable. More information and support. Now where was the downside to that? Oh yeah. They don’t smell. So buy a the “Old Book” room freshener, spritz it and enjoy reading.

Posted by jacobmarley on May 29, 2010, 07:54 AM report to moderator
314 Points

That was a really rude response. People have genuine opinions on this, you know, and they are no more or less legitimate than what you believe. I’m sure you know that none of us were kidding.

I do not want the future of the world to become invested in electronic devices. The Internet is not REAL, and I always feel a bit guilty about buying songs on iTunes because if something happens and the “library” is lost — well, that’s a good $300 down the drain, isn’t it? The reason I care is because I care about what happens to us in the future. People are already losing their ability to read print, and depending so heavily on devices that don’t have their foundation in reality is, I think, a bad idea. I feel a little ill if I spend too long on the Internet. I never feel that way reading books.

Also, I can’t believe AustEn or Alcott would really like the idea of people reading their books this way; most authors were so incredibly excited to see their books in PRINT. And that puts the whole concept of “classics” in jeopardy, too… are you reading them just to get through them, then, because they’re there, and they’re “free”? I do not think I will ever read “War and Peace” — I have no desire to ever read “War and Peace”. Even if I had a Kindle. And as for my favorite books, I can’t imagine not having them in their own authentic, beautiful form — so what money could possibly be saved by owning one of these devices?

I’m not a hypocrite because I’ve gone to “Google Books” in desperation a few times, but I felt horrible doing it. No myths there. It’s a combination of my own values (outdated as you must find them — though I will tell you, I’m a teenager), the slightly ill feeling that the Internet often gives me, and an appreciation for the culture and process behind centuries of publishing.

What really irritates me is that the people at Barnes and Noble’s won’t shut up about the “Nook” — there’s a person demonstrating them every time I walk in and they look around and beam hopefully at me. So I sneer at them a little (same as at the Twilight displays.)

And I happen to love the smell of musty old books. :)

Posted by Libby on May 29, 2010, 11:17 AM report to moderator
206 Points

You know I have all the books (Hardback and Paperback) and I’ve used my friends kindle or nook…whatever it was while I was on vacation as I only brought 1 harry potter book.
I thoroughly enjoy reading the “normal” books and feeling the pages turn and seeing how far I have to go in the book until the end. I just didn’t get that experience with the e-reader. However I did enjoy having a huge selection of books at my disposal, much like my iPod and music.

Personally, I always torn when it come to technology and progress.

Posted by Runwild101 (Robby) on May 29, 2010, 12:07 PM report to moderator
314 Points

Editing my last comment slightly. I suppose sneering at them isn’t so great — they do it only for a living (although I don’t think I’d take a job like that unless I agreed with it) — anyway, it’s more a disapproving glance if anything. Meh. I don’t know what else to do; I can’t stage a “real books only!” protest, as much as I’d like to.

Please, though, do allow other people to have their opinions without pulling out the “inevitable” card. I don’t think it’s inevitable.

Posted by Libby on May 29, 2010, 12:56 PM report to moderator
590 Points

Well, it’s certainly not inevitable that Rowling & her publishers have to put out ebook versions of HP. But it is inevitable that there will be digital versions of HP available. In fact, there already are & there were as soon as the books were released. So, the only people being hurt by the refusal of Rowling to allow ebooks are the people who want legitimate versions & who are willing to pay for them.

Anyway, if people are saying ebooks of HP shouldn’t be made available for whatever reasons of reading purity, then should audiobooks be allowed? How about movies? Rowling certainly hasn’t had a problem authorizing versions of those. But listening to a book certainly isn’t the same as reading it nor is watching an adaptation of a book. So, what’s the big deal about reading a book in paper form as opposed to reading it on an electronic device?

Posted by vespasian68967 on May 29, 2010, 01:10 PM report to moderator
590 Points

And don’t get me wrong, I had many of the same reservations about “real” books compared to ebooks…right up until I got a Sony ereader. I’ve certainly bought more books than I did before, and I bought a lot of books in the past. I’ve read more, & I’ve read more classics. Not because I felt like I had to do so but because I wanted to do so & because, perhaps, some mental block about reading the classics had been removed through the use of a different format.

I’ve even shudder read “Twilight” because there was an ebook of it. :)

Posted by vespasian68967 on May 29, 2010, 01:29 PM report to moderator
1373 Points

Unfortunately, I think HP ebooks are inevitable… However, I hope they will try to make it a very good ebook! The best one! :)

Posted by Pollytomat on May 29, 2010, 02:02 PM report to moderator
290 Points

Nooooo! I agree with those who don’t want digital versions. Ebooks are handy dandy but printed books are real books. I’ve explained why too many times to want to do so again, but I have a Facebook group called I Prefer Real Books To Ebooks. I hope Jo doesn’t cave.

Posted by Immortal Phoenix on May 29, 2010, 04:23 PM report to moderator
1317 Points

Well, guess that’s going to be JKRs decision. I love my hard cover and soft cover of the american version and my soft cover of the british version as well as the first 3 on tape by Stephen Frye and all the american books on tape and cd. Not being a techie this is so much psych babble as the best I can do with my cell phone is answer it and call out. Know it takes pics but do not know how nor at this point do I care. Love carrying my books where ever I go so am happy with the printed word.

Posted by hewy on May 29, 2010, 07:35 PM report to moderator
510 Points

What I don’t understand is why some of you are so wholly against e-readers in general to the point of feeling that they simply shouldn’t exist. If you don’t like e-books that’s fine then don’t read your books in that format, but there are those of us who enjoy using an e-reader. No one is forcing you to read e-books. I can understand and sympathize with being against e-books in terms of your own personal use and opinion, but I think it borders on selfish and inconsiderate to say that e-books shouldn’t be available at all just because you don’t like or agree with them when there are so many people less fortunate than you are who can ONLY read books on an e-reader because their health is such that they can’t even hold an average sized paperback let alone one of the huge HP ones.

I’ve heard from many people with MS for instance whose e-books/e-readers have brought them so much joy and finally allowed them to read books. Many of them also HP fans who have had to either listen to the audiobooks or have someone else read the books to them and we all know its just not the same as actually reading the book yourself. All they want is the ability to actually read HP themselves in a form that they can hold without causing them pain just like you’re able to do everyday. Even someone with horrible arthritis like my grandfather once an avid reader hadn’t been able to read a regular book for over 10 years loves his Kindle because it has enabled him to rediscover something he’s always loved after being deprived of it for such a long time.

Would you truly deny people in similar situations like these of something that brings them so much happiness and an escape from their suffering simply because of your personal preference or beliefs regarding the format? You should really put yourself in their shoes if you’re one of the people who thinks e-readers simply shouldn’t exist at all. Honestly I think Jo herself should consider this because like I mentioned before of the many people with MS and other problems that desperately want to finally be able to actually read a HP book for themselves.

Pardon my asking, but are those of you against e-readers equally against audiobooks as well? I’m just curious because as someone else said I find it completely irrational to be against one, but not the other.

As I said I have no problem with anyone that simply prefers to read in paperback or hardback only those who think e-readers simply shouldn’t exist period. I mean I’m not an audiobooks fan myself, but that doesn’t mean I think audiobooks shouldn’t be available to those who do enjoy and benefit from them.

Also why does it have to be books vs. e-readers? Sure I have a Kindle full of books, but I also have both hardback and paperback versions of almost every single book on my Kindle as well. I read in both formats. Just because books are available on e-readers doesn’t mean we won’t have the hardbacks/paperbacks anymore. I mean when audiobooks came out its not like they stopped making regular books or made less is it?

No matter how popular e-readers and e-books are or become I can never see regular books ceasing to be made or anything remotely like that. Its much different from the iPod scenario. With music there have been so many different formats for well over 50 years now. I mean records, eight-tracks, cassette tapes, CDs, MP3 players, and now iPods. Books have been holding their ground for centuries now! There’s no reason we can’t have both hardback/paperback and e-book formats.

So to each his own I say! I’m really glad that they are even starting to really considering digital versions of HP because there are so many people out there dying to have these books on their e-readers. I’m one of them!

Posted by bella vita on May 29, 2010, 09:59 PM report to moderator
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