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Harry Potter finds new home while Britannica bows out

Harry Potter fans can find a new digital home for their hero. Pottermore is a website promising an exhaustive Harry Potter experience, and will be the exclusive site for sale of e-books of the much-loved literature series about a young wizard by author JK Rowling.

Pottermore has partnered with e-book company Overdrive to bring the e-books to more than 18 000 libraries and schools around the world.

Announced OverDrive CEO and President, Steve Potash: “J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter is a once-a-lifetime phenomenon, and has been an extremely significant catalyst for reading and literacy for current and future generations. We are honoured to bring this beloved storytelling experience digitally to public and school libraries worldwide.”

The first Potter e-books will be released in English, Italian, Spanish, French and German, with other languages on the cards. The e-books will be accessible via smartphones, e-readers and tablet devices as well as computers. Fans will also be able to access audio-book versions for use on iPods and in MP3 format.

Meanwhile, Encyclopaedia Britannica (EB), first published in 1768, has declared its 32-edition set, published in 2010, its last printed editions. Over 243 years, EB set the gold standard for encyclopaedias, but the final set sold only 8 000 units worldwide.

Effectively, EB charged for something that is now freely available: information via the internet. And despite early criticism, Wikipedia has proven that crowdsourcing information is a popular democratic option.

Category: Winter 2012

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