In Real Life

If We Can't Have Real Magical Books, At Least We're Getting J.K. Rowling's PlayStation-Powered Harry Potter "Wonderbook"


What if there was a book that had no words in it? What if this book that required a camera, a TV and a video game console in order for you to “read” it? Would you call this progress? Would you call it science fiction?

Sony calls it the Wonderbook and has enlisted Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling to write some spells for the first Wonderbook, the Book of Spells. It is — and, come on, this is cool — a way to simulate the concept of the magical book.

You don’t really read Wonderbook. You interact with it, while seated on the floor or with the book on a coffee table. You don’t look at the book. You look at the TV. You hold a PlayStation Move wand controller in your hand to “touch” the pages. It’s weird, but it’s also clever. It probably wouldn’t be a great way to ready any Joyce or Dostoevsky or even any of Rowling’s real books. But for those of us who are fascinated by crazy contraptions and/or would like to feel as if we own at least one book that has creatures living in its pages, this one’s for us.

Our video up top gives you the tour. Wonderbook and its debut title, Book of Spells, will be out later this fall.