Digital Versions of the Harry Potter Books in the Future?


May 28, 2010

Posted by EdwardTLC

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.

44 Responses to Digital Versions of the Harry Potter Books in the Future?

Avatar Imagejessi09 says: I could take it any where if that happens.Avatar ImageSaskiaM says: NONONONO absolutely NOT! I've always admired JK Rowling in that she doesn't allow her books to be downloaded onto e-readers -- that's not how books should be read, and it's certainly not how Harry Potter books should be read. I can't bear the thought that books might someday only be published that way. Please, Christopher Little, don't do it!Avatar ImageGiant Squid says: I think that as long as Harry can attract more and more people who so far do not read books, anything is amazing!Avatar ImageHermione Elizabeth says: I hope they don't have them also become digital. I have always respected Jo's view on how books should be read on PAPER and not the computer or on a screen. I hope this isn't true and that they don't give into technology. You don't have to have it digital to take it anywhere with you, it's a BOOK that can be carried in a bag or in your hands.... since I usually always carry one with me when I travel anyways. I also hope that books don't all change to only become digital... ick!!Avatar ImageWahleeTLC says: Oh, yes, PLEASE. I adore my HP real books-- I have them in hardcover, paperback, French, and audiobooks-- but I'd just love to be able to put them on my Nook. I admit I used to be one of the technophobic readers, convinced that paper was the only way to go-- but not anymore. I still read and buy paper books, but being able to carry all my favorites with me wherever I go is fabulous. An e-book reader is to books what an iPod is to CDs. I remember being anti-iPod, too. *looks at her 120 GB iPod classic filled with more than 5 days worth of music* *looks at her Nook with more than 100 books on it and counting* Yeah. Give me HP as a cross-platform ebook (i.e., not available only for the Kindle or nook or iPad), and I'll be one happy camper.Avatar Imageharrypotterfreak101 says: That would be heaven! If the Harry Potter books were online more people would actually want to read the books!Avatar Imagedeven4191 says: having a Kindle myself, I would LOVE to have my harry potter's with me everywhere I go!Avatar Imageigo2pigfarts says: it would be good i suppose...Avatar Imagelyricmedlie says: that would be assume! It stinks that i can't put them on my kindle, it makes me sad... ♥Avatar Imagerohit_albus severus says: I don't think that it is a good idea considering jo respect for book reading..i completely agree with the previous comments..Avatar Imageblessi says: Cool, if ever.Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Might be nice on the ipad...Avatar Imagedobby_rocks says: hmm kind of surprised by this always got the impression Jo would not let her books be down-loadable. That said perhaps she has no say in the matter. I dont have an E-reader but have consider getting one strictly for travel seems easier then hauling a ton of books. Avatar ImageLittle Light says: Would Jo really approve of this? I wonder...Avatar Imagevespasian68967 says: So what? I'll only have to wait 10 years for HP ebooks now as opposed to 20 or more? As for those who don't think the books should come out in ebooks, well, I can respect that view. But really, the only way books should be read is on paper? What if the guys carving out books in stone or putting them on sheepskin had said, "This is the only way books should be read, so no paper versions?" Or if somebody had decreed that books should only be done in handwritten script instead of typeset? Anyway, the HP books are already out in ebook formats. Just not legally. So, the only people Rowling is hurting by her stance are the people who want an honest version of Harry Potter they can buy for their ereaders. Avatar Imagedaharja says: 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!Avatar Imagejhangelgurl says: I dont mind either way. I just personally want the books physically since I have none =(Avatar Imageazaadpotter says: the e books would be nice. but reading the originals is a different experienceAvatar Imagekatherine102678 says: Ironically my boyfriend was looking for the digital version of Harry Potter last night!Avatar Imageakcorr says: I personally would love to have it on my Nook! Still adore my books though!Avatar Imagejacobmarley says: 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.Avatar ImageSaskiaM says: 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. :)Avatar ImageRunwild101 says: 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. Avatar ImageSaskiaM says: 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.Avatar Imagevespasian68967 says: 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? Avatar Imagevespasian68967 says: 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. :)Avatar ImagePollytomat says: Unfortunately, I think HP ebooks are inevitable... However, I hope they will try to make it a very good ebook! The best one! :)Avatar ImageImmortal Phoenix says: 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.Avatar Imagehewy says: 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.Avatar Imagebella vita says: 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!Avatar Imagejacobmarley says: Saskia, if you were speaking to me, I am sorry you think I was being rude. Perhaps I should have stated it like bella just did. Simply put, if you enjoy reading physical books, go right ahead. I do too. However, I and many others enjoy our e-readers as well. Why does anyone else care how we read? Personally, I have all of the physical books and the audiobooks. If JK Rowling's publishers make them available in e-format, I will buy those too. Bella, good for your grandfather! That is excellent. I think it is wonderful that e-books have made reading much more accessible for many people. Both able bodied and handicapped.Avatar Imagecheeserpleaser says: As J.K. Rowling has expressed in the past a disinclination to allow her books to be published in an electronic manner, I do hope that they are allowing for and seeking her input in contemplating this distribution model. Although I do admire e-books for their convenience and mobility, the hegemony of DRM that currently dominates in the marketplace of digital literature stands as a very good reason to avoid the field for now as far as I am concerned.Avatar ImageAgrippa1 says: I know Jo wants the books to stay print only, but there are audio versions available, there are film versions available (which actually change the books she has written), why shouldn't there be legal digital versions available. I travel a great deal, and I can carry my Kindle with me, but not stacks of my favorite books. Maybe with the iPad, and Apple's gorgeous iBooks app, Jo will see that her books could be just as beautiful in digital format as in classic print format, and agree to this. I can hope!Avatar ImageSaskiaM says: Well, okay. I'll modify it a little; I suppose in my perfect world people with MS and like disorders would use Kindles and the rest of us wouldn't, but honestly, it terrifies me every time I walk into a Barnes & Noble's and see that Nook display. They're attracting so many people so fast, and just the thought of a world without books... Avatar ImageJackMeggers says: I've actually seen .pdf's of the books online before i thought that meant they were already out...Avatar Imagevespasian68967 says: There's not going to be a world without books. Ebooks are only part of the book market, not the whole thing. Paper books aren't going to disappear any time soon. Avatar ImageNumeroUnoFan says: im happy for audio books to be in my collection but ebook is the way of the 'future' even though they have been out for some timeAvatar Imagedobbylvr says: I wish that the books would stay on paper. They are just not as magical in a digital format.Avatar ImageFereverto says: I have all seven in hardback, paperback and audio; but I'd LOVE to have them all on my Kindle! Avatar ImageRosie016 says: This makes me nervous, only because I know that some people out there would download the books illegally. But if this digital book format catches on, looks like there is no stopping it!Avatar Imagevespasian68967 says: As I keep pointing out the books are already being downloaded illegally. They were scanned & being put into pdf files almost before the ink was even dry on the pages. However, despite what the industry mavens tend to tell everyone about piracy, there are many more people who are willing to pay for good ebook versions as opposed to pirating them. Avatar Imagesessionka says: I would love for the books to be digital. Although I have all the books, I'd "buy" them again in digital format. Jo's feelings aside, her timing was perfect. Her success came before the ebook revolution. It's the future. Avatar Imagesessionka says: Also... If the book is in digital format, I could buy the UK versions!!!!!!!!!!!!!Avatar ImageSash1113 says: I would love to have HP on my Kindle! I know some people are opposed to e-readers, but its not like the two formats can't coexist.

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