First edition Harry Potter books go on sale at St Mary's Bookshop in Stamford for £95,000 and £12,500
At first glance it could be a children’s paperback found in any charity shop, but this copy of Harry Potter is a spellbinding find for book collectors.
It is a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and it is in remarkably good shape for something presumably thumbed by a young muggle back in 1997, before films, fame and merchandise deals made Harry Potter a multi-million pound enterprise.
The copy, once £4.99, is on sale with St Mary’s Books, the antiquarian bookshop in St Mary’s Hill, Stamford, with a rather hefty price tag of £12,500.
A hardback first edition, also on sale at the shop, is priced £95,000. That works out at £426 per page.
The books, which will not be stored at the bookshop for security reasons,were tracked down by St Mary’s book dealer Chandray Roux and shop owner Marcus Tyers, who specialises in Harry Potters, Ian Fleming novels, and Wisden cricketers’ almanacks.
While they might seem pricey to the typical Harry Potter fan, the books could be considered an investment.
“The value of first edition Harry Potters has become very high very quickly and continues to climb,” said Chandray.
“They can sell for more than a first edition from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and now have similar value to Charles Darwin’s Origins of the Species.”
The two copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone books are thought to be the only first editions currently on sale.
Just over 5,000 paperbacks were printed in the first run of the JK Rowling book, and only 500 hardbacks. Most went to libraries where their condition deteriorated.
For any potential purchasers, or those hoping to find value on their bookshelves, Chandray has a top tip for keeping books in pristine condition: “Clean, dry hands,” she said. “There is no need for gloves or temperature-controlled cabinets. Just make sure books don’t get damp and are not left in sunlight.”
To find out more or to purchase a book visit the St Mary's Books website.