Ronny Lam


Harry Potter eBooks

J.K. Rowling has finally released her Harry Potter series in eBook format. I have never bought or read a paper version and have only seen the first movie of Harry Potter. But since I started to use the Kindle intensively last year I have been waiting for this version. This is the first time I had to buy something outside Amazon to put it on the Kindle, whispersync still works though.

Most of my readers, or listeners now, know that I started using the Kindle last year. The Kindle experience is superb in my opinion. The ereading experience is not only dependant on the quality of the hardware, which is great, but also of the eco-system. It is the total delivery of the service that makes reading on the Kindle a wonderful experience. For me, it all started with ordering the Kindle on the Amazon website. They mailed me a track & trace number right away and I started following my new gadget. Reading into the possibilities I discover that I have a email address and that I can send documents to that address which will be wirelessly delivered to my Kindle. The next thing I did, while my Kindle was in a UPS van, was order a book with one-click. The moment my Kindle arrives I tear the package apart, power the Kindle, it welcomes me Ronny and asks me to connect it to my WiFi. The moment I enter my WiFi password it downloads the document and book I already sent to my Kindle. Splendid! and not comparable to the Dutch experience which is a beast to get working.

OK, sorry, a bit of topic concerning Harry Potter. But, the moment I started reading on the Kindle I decided I was not going to buy paperbooks again. The problem was that I did want to start reading Harry Potter, which was not available on any ebook format yet. On it was announced already that it should arrive around new year, but there were also some issues delaying that. Finally last week the news came to me that the ebooks were published, only available on Pottermore. For commercial reasons of course smart to channel the readers, and it also gave me a new insight. Until now I didn’t know that there was some sort of API through which you could upload ebooks. But Pottermore learned me that you can buy something outside Amazon and push it into your Kindle account. Even whispersync works, which is a feature I use a lot. I can read the same book on my iPhone and the Kindle and always be on the last page.

As a Kindle user I have not investigated the other options of downloading the books from Pottermore, but I can already see that the hassle off doing a manual download, putting the book in Adobe Digital Editions and then try to sync it to another ereader is too much hassle for me. This is the method.

But another option I might want to use is to download it and pull it into iTunes, to get it on my iDevices. I have family members that would really like to (re)read the series on their iPod and iPads.

There is not much to say about the ebooks themselves. Everything is there, quality is good and the story is great. There was some discussion that the ebooks were going to be released without DRM, but in this era where publishers are still in doubt what to do I can understand that they still use it. Although I would really see it as a breakthrough when books like these would be published without DRM!