The Pottermore Presents E-Books, content by J.K. Rowling

Last year, Pottermore collected and published in 3 separate e-books the supplemental texts J.K. Rowling had written about Hogwarts and the wizarding world and its people. Although I was curious about these e-books, I held out for as long as I could on purchasing them in hopes that physical copies would be printed and available at my library.

Last year, I didn’t see the point in purchasing these e-books since their content were (probably are) available for free on Pottermore. However, this year I succumbed to my curiousity and purchased all three e-books because of the convenience of having all that content in one place and not having to click around on a website to find it. (I’d still prefer a physical copy of them, though.)

I was driven to these e-books by my craving for more stories set in the Rowling’s wizarding world. Though these collections do not contain stories, my craving were satiated by the short pieces within them that provided facts about beings, individuals, places, and occurrences at Hogwarts and in the wizarding world.

These e-books are short, quick reads, and the content will appeal to fans who, like me, want to know more about Rowling’s wizarding world. Even if you’re a fan who isn’t interested in the supplemental texts and theories about the Harry Potter series (as I was), you’ll get a kick out of reading these e-books. They also show how much thought and research Rowling had put into the series to create a rich and believable world.

Here are my thoughts on each book:

Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide

Of the three, this one is my favorite and the one that drove me to purchase the e-books. I think I’d just reread the fourth book in the series for the nth time and wanted to read Hogwarts: A History, but since that book doesn’t exist in our world, I tried to find the next best thing and so bought Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide.

This e-book covers a bunch of things: King’s Cross Station and whether there are other platforms there, why a train is used to transport the students; the Sorting Hat and whether it has ever made mistakes in placing students; and even castle residents like Sir Cadogan and objects like the Marauder’s Map.

I found the passage on the Gryffindor sword most interesting because of the allusion to Excalibur, and also the Sorting Hat chapter because it proves my theory (kind of) that when the Hat can’t decide, it places you where you want to go. I also liked what Rowling had to say about the Mirror of Erised and holding on to dreams for too long:

“…there comes a point when holding on to your dreams becomes unhelpful and even unhealthy. Dumbledore knows that life can pass you by while you are clinging on to a wish that can never be — or ought never to be — fulfilled.”

Overall: ★★★★★

Because it gave me the history of Hogwarts that I wanted, albeit a brief one.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

I’m not sure if one can borrow an e-book, but I really don’t think it necessary to purchase these books. Anyway, I do recommend this one.

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists

First of all, I wouldn’t call these short stories. That’s misleading. They are more like articles providing facts about Dolores Umbridge, the ministers of magic, Prof. Slughorn, Prof. Quirrell, Peeves the Poltergeist, Azkaban, and many other things.

It was a good read and I appreciated learning about the past of the individuals it focuses on as well as their motivations. Of the subjects mentioned, Peeves was the most interesting and entertaining. It wasn’t explicitly stated how Peeves came to be at Hogwarts, but I got the impression that he was “generated” there. That’s the term Rowling used. I guess a combination of Hogwarts’s atmosphere and occupants caused the existence of Peeves. If such is the case, then it makes sense that it’s nigh impossible to get rid of him because he’s so strongly associated with the school. My theory is that Peeves is Hogwart’s personality/consciousness personified, somewhat (I was reading Equal Rites when I thought this).

Overall: ★★★★☆

I took a star off for the misleading title and also because I didn’t care much about most of the topics in this one.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

Unless you don’t care for the topics listed in the table of contents, in which case you could just Bypass this one.

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies

Again, a misleading title, but these articles are certainly longer. This collection focuses on Prof. McGonagall, Prof. Lupin, Prof. Trelawney, and Prof. Kettleburn, who was the Care of Magical Creatures teacher before Hagrid. Other topics discussed include animagi, werewolves, and seers.

Another good read, but I wasn’t much interested in this one. I enjoyed learning more about McGonagall, which helped me better understand her character and understand the reason/motivation for some of her lines in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

I also appreciated learning more about Lupin, especially his background, but I didn’t care about him much in the books and I still don’t. However, it was interesting to learn about werewolves and how the condition is passed on and such. Kettleburn was fun to read about, but I didn’t know who he was when I started this book. I’d forgotten that he used to be Hogwarts’s groundkeeper.

Overall: ★★★★☆

Again, I took a star off for the misleading title and because I didn’t care much for the topics in this one, except Prof. McGonagall of course.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

Unless you don’t care for the topics listed in the table of contents, in which case you could just Bypass this one.


8 thoughts on “The Pottermore Presents E-Books, content by J.K. Rowling

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