J. K. Rowling’s Stories – a New Website Launched part 2

Yesterday I shared my observations from the Stories website noticeboard, today we will look at the rest of the desk and shelf area. So lets switch the desk lamp on (with a satisfying audible click) and join me after the break to take a look around.

There are two pictures to the left of the notice board, the first, a Mina Lima picture from their illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone showing Dumbledore and Harry in the hospital wing at the end of the book. Below this is a portrait of Hermione Granger from Jim Kay’s illustrated edition.

Sat on top of the lamp is a plastic pig partnered with a blue plastic unicorn. To the left of this is some cut thistles in a glass of water, a rather angry looking black unicorn, a scrunched up piece of paper (no interactive content on this site) and a leather bracelet.

The lamp itself is placed on a hardback copy of the Latin translation Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis, which itself is on top of a very handsome hardback book with gold edging (possibly the deluxe edition of Prisoner of Azkeban). Also on top of this book is a strange translucent dome shaped object. If the the dome is pressed you hear a repeated mechanical knocking or clunking sound. The sound file associated with this is called paperweight.mp3, but why it should sound like this, I don’t know.

To the right we have a desk calendar with today’s date highlighted in red, a Deathly Hallows necklace suspended from the board by a Niffler pin and a collection of three Chinese Coins tied together with red string. The coins are of a type popularly called Feng Shui or Chinese New Year coins and are reproductions of Chinese Imperial Coinage.

Below them are a pair of prescription glasses that if pressed take you to the ‘My Story’ section of the website that takes you to J. K. Rowling’s biography, but below this is a real gem of the new desk. It is a piece of paper, not really legible at this angle, but the same piece is just visible on the Ickabog page.

This is an early manuscript of the Ickabog story, before Lickspittle became Spittleworth, and shows a different encounter in the marsh.

Next to the manuscript is a dodecahedron showing the signs on the zodiac on each face. This appears to be vintage item and occasionally shows up on auction websites in either green or red leather.

To the right of the zodiac ball is a mother’s day card with a fountain pen below and what look like packets of fountain pen cartridges. Above the cartridges is a grey mug which if pressed makes a sound of a spoon stirring and displays the following text:

When I’m writing, my absolute favourite thing to drink is tea. My husband sometimes brings me a cup, without me even asking. 

Next to left is a stack of four notebooks on top of an edition of the Writer’s and Artist’s Yearbook. If the notebooks are pressed then you are taken to the ‘My Story’ section.

In front of the yearbook is an old hardcover book that I can’t identify and some post-it notes. To the left is a Scotland branded rugby ball that if pressed makes a pleasing thunk and displays this text:

The thistle is an emblem of Scotland, where I have lived since 1993.

In front of the ball is a keychain, but there is a better view of this on the ‘Book News’ page. The keys contains the macarons, Eiffel tower and bronze medallion from the Ladurée macaron shop in Paris. [warning do not click that link if you are hungry!]. This Ladurée set also appear on the keys in her adult website, but seem much less worn (an indication this is actually used). The keys themselves are also different, and one here is obviously an uncut blank. It is, of course, a very bad idea to have your actual keys photographed. A new addition is the jewelled owl and the wooden fob that reads: ΙΘΑΚΗ ΟΔΥΣΣΕΑΣ or Ithica Odysseus. Ithica was the home Island of Odysseus and this is presumably a souvenir from one of Rowling’s visits to Greece.

Lastly on the desk we have a blue lanyard, a blue plush rabbit, a book with bookmarks and a brown paper package tied up with string (these are a few of my favourite things?). The package also appears on The Christmas Pig page together with a chess piece and a Christmas Tree decoration.

We can now move to the top of the bookshelf.

First on this shelf is a miniature model under glass. It’s too dark to make out clearly but there appears to be trees and a white horse. Next is a clock that displays the current time (and makes a quite relaxing electric tick). A copy of the Mina Lima illustrated Sorcerer’s Stone is next to a Christmas Elf facing away and a quite eclectic mix of books. The first four books make a page turning sound if you touch them, and the Christmas Elf takes you to the Christmas Pig page.

Colette – La Chatte

E. Nesbit – The Story of the Treasure Seekers

Elizabeth Gouge – The Little White Horse

E. Nesbit – The Railway Children

William Shakespeare – The Complete Works

Collins – Concise Dictionary

Now the middle self:

The first item on this shelf is another wonder of the website. A very beautiful red leather Roberts Radio that will play if pressed the following audio:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – read by Stephen Fry

The Ickabog – read by J.K. Rowling

Quidditch Through the Ages – read by Andrew Lincoln

The Song of The Ickabog – The Ickabog

Please listen at least to the Song of The Ickabog in the different languages – it is quite beautiful. The book of The Ickabog is next on the shelf (which if pressed takes you to an ‘about the book’ feature) and behind some golden tread is:

Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice

Dodie Smith – I Capture the Castle

Anna Sewell – Black Beauty

Pressing either of the last two will display a text bubble:

When I was a child, I read absolutely anything.  These books are the ones I particularly loved then and read time and time again. 

And lastly one of J. K. Rowling’s beloved West Highland Terriers.

The last shelf contains a collection of Harry Potter Editions:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Bloomsbury modern hardback – (This takes you to the Harry Potter Stories Page)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Bloomsbury vintage paperback

Harry Potter À L’Ecole Des Sorciers – Gallimard Jeunesse paperback

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone – Scholastic modern hardback

Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen – Carlsen hardback

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Bloomsbury Hufflepuff House edition

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Bloomsbury Slytherin House edition

Fantastic Beasts and Were to Find Them – Bloomsbury vintage paperback

Quidditch Through the Ages – Bloomsbury vintage paperback

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Bloomsbury Jim Kay Illustrated edition – (This takes you to the Harry Potter main page)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Bloomsbury Jim Kay Illustrated edition

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Bloomsbury Jim Kay Illustrated edition

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Bloomsbury Jim Kay Illustrated edition

This concludes our tour of the new homepage, look out for a peek at the sub pages tomorrow. Please let me know in the comments if I have missed anything.


  1. Thanks for this Nick – I *love* your observation that the keychain is worn & has different keys! A brilliant spot of the Writer’s and Artist’s Yearbook too and thank-you for making that page of The Ickabog more visible – that is a real treat to see. I think the gold thread on the middle shelf is probably an Ickabog reference – to the sumptuous golden clothes Mrs Dovetail sews for Fred.

  2. Nick Jeffery says

    Thank you Beatrice! I think you must be right about the gold thread, amongst J. K. Rowling’s many talents, needlework would be a surprise.

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