Do you remember the day that you brought home your first Harry Potter book? Do you remember going to the bookstore and picking up a copy of the story that stunned the world? I do. I remember my second-grade self holding my Dad’s hand as we strolled through the aisles of the bookstore to the “big girl section,” so I could pick out my first chapter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I loved that book with all my heart, but I did not take good care of it. Of course, back then, I did not know preserving books was necessary, for if it is a rare copy, it can be worth a lot of money one day. I wrote in my edition. I underlined words that I loved and drew pictures of the Hogwarts ghosts on the pages. I still have my first copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and so do a lot of other Harry Potter lovers, but the question is, are they worth anything?
A rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, if in good condition, could sell at auction for €50,000. One first edition will be put for auction next week. The book’s owner, a retired vendor who chooses to remain anonymous, said he bought the first edition copy over twenty-one years ago to help children learn English in Luxembourg. In the last twenty-one years, the book has been collecting dust on his bookshelf, until he decided to revisit the copy and read it one last time before seeing if it was worth any money. To his surprise, his edition was one of the remaining two hundred copies known to exist today.
A rare first edition of €50,000 must be published by Bloomsbury in 1997, must include duplication of “1 ward” on page fifty-three, and read issue number “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.” Without any of these markings, it is safe to say that the edition is not one of the first.
With that said, luck was on this retired vendor’s side when his book turned out to be a first edition. He will also be extremely lucky if he can get the €50,000 amount he desires. Most Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone first editions go for €20,000 to €30,000 in an audition setting. The retried vendor and book expect Jim Spencer think the first edition will get close to his desired amount because of the book’s fantastic condition. If the vendor receives the amount he wishes, he will pay off his daughter’s student loans and help her make a down payment on a house.
Personally, I hope that this book makes a splash at the auction next week. When books like these are found and brought to market, it shows that a piece of literature and history has been preserved and loved, which warms my heart. A story like this should remind people and children worldwide to take good care of their books because you never know what they could be worth one day.