Even though the Harry Potter books are all written, and read, I still have an interest in them. Even thought I've read the books 7 times, or is it 8, I still plan to read them again. I've heard the audio books, both sets, a couple of times. Not very many books get re-read here and even fewer would get such a frequest recycle. Lost Horizon is one of the few. Now that I have assembled a set of the Freddy the Pig books they are going to get re-read again in a couple of years. Life is short so I figure I might as well read books I really like than take a chance on some piece of crap I found at Half Price Books. At least unless it's cheap. Reading books you already own saves you money. Who doesn't like saving money? No one, except that baby that Jimmy Fallon knows. Babies are stupid.
That's J K Rowling and a sign for her new Pottermore site. It let's you revisit the books, collecting stuff, and solving puzzles along the way. Last night I spent most of the evening working my way through the first book. It took about 3 hours and I didn't wind up watching any tv. Weird, huh. Each chapter is broken down into key moments and those are displayed as an interactive background. I put a couple below. One for Privet Drive and one for the Hogwarts Express. The paintings are mostly pretty good. The look is different from the movies and the art doesn't look like the art from either the UK or USA editions. Perhaps this is more in keeping in what JK was seeing in her mind. Hopefully she got her input in on the work.
The pictures have three levels of depth. If you use the up and down arrows, or double click the mouse, you can zoom in and out. There are three different focus points in most pictures. As you zoom in new objects come into focus. You need to click on practically everything you see so you can collect the objects, books and Chocolate Frog Cards that are hidden on the site. Some of the stuff is well enough hidden that I had to go to a hints page to find a couple of the Chocolate Frog Cards. Then I discovered that some of the books and objects I picked up weren't in their place in my trunk, either I didn't save them correctly, or the site failed me. They didn't get saved and it seems impossible to go back. You can't re-find certain things though you can re-visit the novel over and over again. It looks like you have to work you way through the books in order before you can look anywhere you want. I picked up a wand at Ollivanders. Length: 11 1/4 in. Wood: Spruce. Core: Unicorn. Flexibility: Slightly Springy. It cost 11 Galleons. Then it was on to Hogwarts on the train. You get little bits of information about the stuff around you. Occasionally you pop up a new bit of information from JK. There's a nice backstory for Professor McGonagall and a briefer one for the Dursleys. JK would flesh out, but not publish, details to aid her in the creation of the series. You get some info on Platform 9 3/4 and the like. There is a huge section on wands, their cores, and their wood. There are about 15,000 words of new material on the first book. I cut and pasted it into a Word dic so it would be easier to access. You can find much of the same material in The Harry Potter Lexicon sorted very nicely.
When you get to the Sorting Hat part of the book the site sorts you using, not a hat, but a series of questions. I got sorted into Ravenclaw. The questions I answered left me with two choices, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. It makes sense to me to go with the Ravenclaws. As one blogger said "who wants to be in a house with all those douchebags." Amen, brother.
Another piece of art for a place I haven't gotten to yet. That's the main log in template up on the right. You need to sign up before you can do anything. The first book is highlighted in gold. The second book hasn't been opened yet. I don't know what the schedule is. Above the book lines are the places you can go visit. They start locked and as you visit them they unlock. There's Gringotts and Diagon Alley, your common room and the Great Hall. You start with 500 Galleons in the bank and after buying school supplies you aren't broke yet. Along the way there are Galleons to be found and saved to the bank. You also find books and objects to save while working through the book. There are classes on spells, which I found hard to do. You have to type letters in a pattern along with a moving green light. You can make potions which can give you points for your house. The House cup is being awarded in a few days. Ravenclaw has 744,000 members and over 68 million points. I'm not sure what the other houses have going right now.
Win or lose it doesn't matter much. I'll keep coming back so I can see what they do with the other books. If the trend continues and JK puts out a nice selection of material she created for reference then I would be happy to read it.