A rare first edition Harry Potter book is up for sale at auction, expected to sell for between £20,000 and £30,000.
Bet you’re wishing you hadn’t binned all your old books now, eh?
The slightly worn, ex-library copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is being flogged at Forum Auction on Thursday, where the lot is described as a ‘first edition, first printing’ – making it one of just 500 copies.
Now, if you’re thinking you’re going to get yourself a brand-spanking new book for your £30,000, then you’re wrong.
According to the description, the book has the ‘usual light browning to text margins’ and is an ex-library copy with ink stamps and a little mark left from where a bar-code was placed.
The book also has ‘bumped corners’ and spine ends as well as ‘laminate peeling’ and ‘chipping to joints’ – oh, and the edges are ‘a little rubbed and chipped’.
Despite that lengthy list it’s described as ‘still a very good, bright copy, preserved in a fine example of a later dust-jacket’.
The description also notes that it is ‘rare in any condition and a far better ex-library copy than usually encountered’.
Two years ago, another book from this same print run sold for an eye-watering £60,000.
So now you want to know if your old copy is worth a mint, don’t you?
Well, according to The Mirror, things to look out for include a misprint on page 53, which means that ‘1 wand’ is included twice on a list of things Harry needs for Hogwarts.
If the print line reads 10987654321 and the book is credited to ‘Joanne Rowling’ (rather than JK Rowling) on the title page then you’ve got a first edition on your hands.
Not all first editions are worth as much as the one about to go up for auction on Thursday, though, with less-rare ones worth anything from thousands to around £20, depending on its print run.
To get the big bucks, the rule to pay attention to is ‘the rarer the better’ – so signed copies of first editions, for example, or ones with different covers or illustrations inside.
Speaking to The Mirror, Matthew Haley, head of books at auctioneer’s Bonhams, said:
“That first book in the series is worth hugely more than the subsequent volumes, and condition is everything. More recently first editions of the first book in fair condition have sold for around £4,000.
Obviously genuine signatures or even better inscriptions by JK Rowling can add tremendously to the value.”
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m just about to shin-up into my loft to see if I’ve got a small fortune gathering dust up there.