Twenty-one-year old Hayley Malsom bought three Harry Potter volumes for £9.00 at a British Heart Foundation charity shop, not realizing that they were first editions. However these copies of The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince are worth an estimated £60,000 (approx. $85,000).
Malsom tweeted her delight shortly after making the discovery:
Still can’t quite believe I found three first edition Harry Potter books in the charity shop today!
‘As far as I’m aware the staff in the charity shop are unaware that they are first editions as I obviously didn’t realise until later that day!’ she told Gloucestershire Live.
‘I haven’t had mine valued but after a quick Google I did see that one went for around £60,000. I am a massive Harry Potter fan and have been since I first read the order of the phoenix in 2007 as part of a summer project before starting senior school.’
Recently, one of the first run of 500 editions of The Sorcerers Stone, which was published in 1997, was sold in Texas for more that 5,000 times its original price tag, setting a new world record for an unsigned work of fiction.
A rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (known as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the USA) has been stolen from SN Books in Norfolk by two men, who broke in sometime between between 11:50pm on 8th January and 1:30am on 9th January. It’s not the only rare book missing from the store. A first edition of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and a set of four Winnie-the-Pooh books have also been stolen, along with a signed first edition of The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett, a first impression of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, a copy of A Brief History of Time featuring a thumbprint signature from Professor Stephen Hawking, two editions of The Gunslingerby Stephen King worth £2,000 each, and a sketchbook from the early 1800s by an anonymous artist.
According to the Norfolk Police, the pilfered volumes are “not the sort of thing you see every day.”
Josh Laffar of SN Books said, “These books were a company asset which were going to go towards the staff to do with pay rises and increasing morale. Now these have been taken unfortunately none of these things can happen.”
PC Gideon Weigelt-Holmes from Norfolk Police is urging people to keep an eye out for the books. “I am urging people, especially book dealers or those working in specialist book shops, to be vigilant in case they are offered for sale.”
Sounds like the work of Deatheaters to me…or maybe a book-obsessed niffler.