Hardcore Harry Potter fans would go to great lengths to acquire special copies of the eponymous books. However, it’s not often you see someone paying tens of thousands of dollars for one such book. And yet, that’s exactly what happened just recently. The book in question is reportedly a very rare copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The price? A whopping £56,250. That’s somewhere in the ballpark of $74,000 at the time of this writing.
The buyer of the book chose to remain anonymous but we do know that the valuable novel was purchased at an auction house in Dallas, Texas. The seller is a British woman who reportedly bought the book at a railway station 21 years ago. Back then, Harry Potter wasn’t yet a worldwide phenomenon so she managed to get the book for just £10,99. The seller is said to be a collector of rare books but it’s likely she didn’t know just how rare the novel was until recently.
What Makes This Book So Special
There are a few reasons why this particular copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (also known as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in some countries) is so special. First off, this is the first edition of this book so that already makes it pretty unique.
Only 500 copies of the novel were published as part of the first run, which came out back in 1997. About 300 of those went to British libraries so there aren’t many copies still owned by private collectors. It also helped that the book was maintained in pristine condition during all this time.
Another interesting thing to note here is that the author’s name on the cover is not J.K. Rowling. Needless to say, she is indeed the one who wrote it. But back in 1997 when the first Harry Potter book came out the famous novelist actually went by the name of Joanne Rowling. Hence, the unusual name of the cover.
The first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone also contains a number of spelling errors. Most of these errors can only be found in the first edition as they were later corrected when the second run came out.
This Wasn’t Even the Most Expensive Harry Potter Book to Date
£56,250 is definitely nothing to sneeze at but this wasn’t the most expensive Harry Potter book ever sold. That honor actually goes to a different copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone that went for no less than £68,000. That’s roughly $81,250. This particular copy was sold in September 2017 and was also part of the first run. It’s hard to say why that copy was bought for so much more but it’s possible that the book was in even better condition than the one recently sold in Dallas.