Your old Harry Potter book could be worth as much as £28,000

This is how to find out if you’re sitting on galleons

Everyone has a Harry Potter book stashed away. And those who could stand to part with theirs could make serious money, especially if they were an ‘early adopter’ and got into Philosopher’s Stone before it was cool.

Writing in his book J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography 1997-2013, author Philip J. Errington explains that the first few books regularly appear at auction, and sell for thousands of pounds if they’re in good condition. First editions, and those with misprints or special illustrations are worth as much as £28,000.

The most valuable is the original: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which features Harry standing in front of a train.

Here’s how to find out if you’re sitting on big galleons.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

You want a hardcover, first edition printings from 1997 – there were only 500 published, and 300 were put in libraries. This is what to look for:

  • The print line (the series of numbers of the copyright page) must read “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1”
  • The author is credited as “Joanne Rowling”, not JK

Prices vary, but there are some listed on Abebooks for as much as £28,000. A rare first edition was sold for £19,000 at auction back in 2007. Paperback first editions of the Philosopher’s Stone also have four-figure pricetags.

Even if you got into Harry Potter a bit later, deluxe editions from 1999 are also in demand. Prices range from £320 to as much as £1,800.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

This second book was released in 1998, when Harry Potter was yet to go massive. Hardcover first editions can go for £6,000, according to Abebooks. Signed deluxe editions can get upwards of £1,000.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Something went wrong with the print run and “Joanne Rowling” resurfaced – that’s valuable. There are quite a few of these floating around, starting at £1,500 and go up to £8,000 for books in perfect condition. other details include:

  • First edition imprints can go for £6,000
  • They will have the number line “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1” and a block of wrongly aligned text on page seven.

Even second editions of the Prisoner of Azkaban can get you a few hundred pounds.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By the time she released the fourth book, JK Rowling was writing more books and signing fewer. A signed copy of the Goblet of Fire could get you more than £1,000. There are limited editions with original watercolour illustrations by Giles Greenfield, which can also push the value of the book over £1,000.

Other books

As Harry Potter got super popular, the value of the books decreased. If you were lucky enough to get your copy of the Order of the Phoenix or the Half-Blood Prince signed then they’ll be worth a few thousand pounds.

Buyers are also looking for books accompanied by items such as entrance wristbands or golden tickets from events where JK Rowling conducted a signing.