If you think you might have some old Harry Potter books gathering dust somewhere, now’s the time to dig them out – one that was bought for 25p has been sold for £28,000 on Bargain Hunt.
The rare first edition book was one of just 500 hardback copies of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and it’s now made January all the brighter for its proud (former) owner.
The book, which was bought in Staffordshire, was one of 300 that was sent to libraries across the UK out of 500 first edition copies. It was sold last summer after a bidding war and was eventually bought by a UK collector.
The delighted – and now loaded – seller said afterwards: “I can’t believe it. It’s what I’d hoped for but I never really believed my book would make that price.”
Auctioneers knew the book was a first edition as the book still had a sticker inside which showed it had previously been owned by Staffordshire Libraries.
The 500 genuine originals are unique as the word ‘philosopher’ is mis-spelled on the back cover. Also, the word ‘wand’ appears twice in a list of spell equipment on page 53.
The author’s name is also credited as ‘Joanne Rowling’ in the publishing information – in later editions, it was changed to her initials.
On the BBC show, auctioneer Charles Hanson told presenter Natasha Raskin: “All our client wants to do with [the money] is buy a new bathroom.
“Even now the softback publications, which were first editions, are fetching thousands of pounds. But this is a hardback and one of only 500. It’s so important in that great history of Harry Potter.”
Jim Spencer, head of books at Hansons, said: “I was slightly caught in disbelief when I first saw it. I receive calls every week from people saying they have a first edition Harry Potter.
“In fact, when news of this discovery broke, I was receiving 50 emails a day. But most copies can invariably be ruled out in seconds.
“I found the book when I was called to a client’s house near Stafford to value three boxes of books. And here it was – the holy grail of Harry Potter books. I was so excited. Every book valuer dreams of finding one of these.”
Well there you go, there are potentially still 499 books out there that are worth an absolute ton of money – meaning there might still be hope if your bank account is struggling to make it to the end of January.