Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Harry Potter and the Digital Age

It's hard to believe, but J.K. Rowling's series isn't available in e-book format yet. In order to read about Hogwarts, readers still need to go to a book store or library and procure seven big volumes.

I have the entire set on my book shelf; I bought the ones printed in the UK, since I wanted her original language. The Scholastic books are Americanized - Mum has become Mom, etc. But do you know what? When I get the money, I'll buy the entire Scholastic series too. I love JK that much.

Nothing against real, solid books. I love them. I've said it before, and I'll say it again now - there  is nothing like the feel, the smell, and the aura of a new book. Or an old secondhand book. Or a library book. Fellow readers will know what I mean when I say that the experience of walking into an old  library or a new bookstore and seeing all those books, all those possible worlds to explore, is pure  luxury.

But let's say that I want to go to China. I'm a YA author, and I want to pack some inspiration. Am I  going to fill my suitcase with JK's books? Not with present airline regulations and pricing.

I could put in The Last Good Knight by Connie J. Jasperson, or The King of Egypt by J.J. Makins, or Children of the  Elementi  by Ceri Clark, or - ahem - my own book, The Night Watchman Express. They are all good long reads - and they are in e-book format, which means I can have them all on my Kindle or iPad or even a laptop. And, if JK does decide to go "e,"  then I can have all of Harry, Hermione, and my fantasy boyfriend, Ron, as well.

It's a leap of faith to go to cyberspace with a book. There are wolves out there. I understand that the  stakes are far higher for Ms Rowling than they are for my little offering. But I think that it's time.


west_2552 said...

Alison, I agree wholehartedly with you. There's nothing like going into a bookstore or a library. Stress levels diminish. It's like going home. Had we not been raised around books and benn read to as children, I'm sure we wouldn't have this level of comfort in these facilities. They're just such emotionally safe havens.

I sure wish that I had had my Kindle when we spent the summer in Belgium. Hexcel agreed to fly us all over there so that they wouldn't have to send Tim back and forth every two weeks between work and home. Well, I packed a BUNCH of books-- what I thought would be enough. Well, I finished every last one. And English is not one of their main languages. So, I ran out of reading material. :-( (They did have re-runs of Daktari on their TV though-- and CNN. That was about it as far as english-speaking TV channels). So, yes, Kindles are IDEAL for travelers. They save so much space and they hold a charge FOREVER!! Do you remember where you were when JFK Jr's plane went down?? I was in Spa, Belgium. I'll never forget that.

Happy reading!!

Christine Murray said...

You too Kathryn up on her blog advice too! I love the map effect, it goes really well with the title of your book. They both evoke the idea of travel :)

Christine Murray said...

Sorry, that was meant to be *took*

Joana said...

They ARE available in audio book format, but that's assuming one has a CD player, and who the heck has a CD player in this time of MP3s? Hah, but seriously. The whole series started back before that was even an option, so it probably just wasn't allowed for in her contract. It might be rectified in the future if they see that it would be worth their time and money to make the digital conversion. Possibly when Rowling finally writes more books? I suppose we'll see!

Kara said...

Cool new blog theme! And I agree about the differences between the UK and US versions of the books. We got a UK version of one of the HP books when we were in England some years ago and it was really interesting to compare the two versions - some just terminology things, but some other changes in references to things. I think I need an ipad2. You can read ebooks on them too, yes?

Krista McLaughlin said...

I agree with you! I don't have an e-reader, but if I did, that would be one of the first things I would want on it. I would love to read Harry Potter while relaxing on the beach! :)

LW said...

Just to make you all jealous, I do have both sets - English and American. I, too, wanted JK's original language, but didn't have access to it when purchasing at first. I did actually lug the English series in suitcases back home from one trip to England. Thank heavens the regulations weren't so strict as now! But I'm falling under the ebook spell... slowly but surely. I'm guessing that a Kindle (or similar) will be on my next birthday/Xmas wish list.