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Posted at 01:34 PM ET, 06/23/2011

J.K. Rowling unveils Pottermore to groans and yawns: Weigh in here


British author J.K. Rowling, creator of the “Harry Potter” series of books, poses with 12-year-olds Ivy Aris, right, of Marden and Simran Sethi from Maidstone. (Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters)
After a week of mysterious buildup, J.K. Rowling unveiled the Pottermore Web site Thursday. Was it magical? Mythical? Bursting with wonder?

Eh, not so much. The announcement revealed that the “Harry Potter” series will be offered as e-books in “an online reading experience unlike any other.”

The announcement elicited polarized reactions, with the words “interesting” and “boring” popping up the most.

On fan site Mugglenet.com, comments on a post with the press release displayed the aforementioned range of emotions. “I’m disapointed (sic) that we have to wait so long! and I still don't understand what exactly what it will mean,” one wrote.

The Post’s Melissa Bell thinks the whole thing is a “Potterbore,” with tech site Gizmodo simply tweeting, “Yawn.” Perhaps thinking the announcement would be revolutionary, Slate’s BrowBeat live-blogged it. Writer Chris Wilson later said it turned into “the world’s most pathetic live-blog.”

It seems the announcement means the most to the book publishing world. Olivia Solon, a writer for Wired U.K., wrote for the Telegraph that, while the site isn’t perfect, it “represents a significant landmark for digital publishing.” She called this decision a “Radiohead moment” for book self-publishing, referring to the rock band’s decision to self-release an album that cost whatever buyers wanted to pay.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom from fans. Twitter user Half-Blood Princess, who has over 46,000 followers, wrote: “Pottermore is an amazing concept — at least there’s something to look forward to after Deathly Hallows Part II is released.”

Perhaps part of the disappointment stems from the fans’ overactive imaginations running a bit too far afield. There was talk of a sprawling real-life treasure hunt with magic wands hidden about North America. There was speculation Rowling would write new stories about the Potter universe (she does promise to stop by and reveal more clues about the characters — though that’s not the same as whole new stories.)

Instead, the announcement sounds as if the site will be about reading the book on a computer screen, with small side activities, such as finding which hall you would be sorted into. (You can already do that here.)

Of course, there could be more magic in store and we just don’t know it yet. One of the biggest complaints seems to be the wait. Pottermore won’t be available to the public until October, while some lucky fans will get a peek on Harry’s birthday on July 31.

What should Pottermore have been? Let us know what you want in the comments — or should we all move on from Harry Potter and start focusing on Katniss already?

What do you think: What would you change about “Pottermore”?

What do you think J.K. Rowling should have done on "Pottermore"? Tell us by using #PotterWebSite on Twitter and we'll post some responses right here.

#Potterwebsite should have been a preview to a new branch off series of Harry Potter.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

@washingtonpost #PotterWebSite should have been total rewrite of that limp, phone-it-in Book Seven.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

By and  |  01:34 PM ET, 06/23/2011

 
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