If you are a Harry Potter fan, chances are you already know what Pottermore is. But if you aren’t, here’s the skinny: Pottermore is a website, developed by J.K. Rowling (and a huge team of helpers) that let’s you interact with the books and the world of Potter in a unique way. As you make your way through the chapters of the book (and only a small portion of the chapter is actually shown; it assumes you’ve read and re-read the books), you get to read interesting behind-the-scenes snippets from Rowling and collect items to be used later. After a few chapters into book 1, you eventually make your way into Diagon Alley where you get to open a Gringotts account, buy your school supplies, and -hurray!- buy your wand. This is as far as I have gotten, cuz a girl has got to sleep, you know?
You absolutely should join. But only if you want to explore the world of Harry Potter. Clearly, this is made for the fans, not for the general I’ve-heard-of-Harry-Potter crowd. It is slow but not tedious, juvenile but not immature, and is quite lovely to look at. The sound affects are pleasant- no loud obnoxious music, more like background scene noise- and the organization of the site is clear and simple. The site does not give you any obvious direction (like “click HERE to find the hidden thingy!”) but just gives you enough hints to get the job done. Some areas are locked but, so far, unlocking them hasn’t been too hard. And Bonus! it doesn’t keep directing you over to the “Pottermore Shop” site, so you don’t feel like this is some huge money-making scheme.
I found a tiny irritation- some laptop screens are too small to see everything. This generally won’t matter but when you are directed to find your Hogwarts list, and the list is hidden somewhere on the edge, it may be impossible to find via laptop. I had to turn on my big clunky computer with it’s large monitor to find it. But once on the larger screen, the list was sitting right there, quite obvious.
Thankfully (for this), the internet has lots of answers to any questions you have. If you can’t figure something out, google your question and you will have guidance at the click of a mouse :).
It is a fun, silly, thrilling time waster- but if you love Potter, you will love Pottermore.