When I searched online about the value of a first edition Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling after reading about the value of first edition books in a magazine article, I was bowled over at the values quoted. If you had one of these, especially a signed copy you would be looking at over £1,500.00 with the unsigned copy fetching a lesser amount of about £500.00. This gets me onto my topic, Valuable Books.
After the initial shock of the value first Harry Potter novel, which I may add I don’t actually own a copy of but the Order of the Phoenix pictured is mine, I carried on doing a little more research and came across Blackwell’s Rare Books (twitter: @blackwellrare). To say I was astonished at the value of some of the books on Blackwell’s is an understatement. There are many categories including Theology, Historical, Modern Illustrated and Modern First Editions however I concentrated on the latter to see if I recognise anything. My knowledge of author’s is limited however the list is so vast that anybody would recognise a few if not many of the author’s or any of their works.
The first point to consider is that you would not get the full amount quoted on Blackwell’s for your book as they would buy and resell so do not expect 100% market value for your book, unless it is extremely rare. The books range in value, a first edition Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl may fetch anything from £250-£300 if sold, whereas The Remorseful Day by Colin Dexter would be around the £60.00 if bought from Blackwell’s so you may fetch between £30-£50 depending on the buyer. Now if you have something a little more special such as a first edition of Almayer’s Folly by Joseph Conrad published in 1895, you could pocket in excess of £2,000.00 or around £2,500.00 if you were to purchase it from Blackwell’s.
I wish my repertoire of novels read was as extensive as my partners, the reason I say this is that the more of these classics you read the more obvious it becomes to why they have become so valuable. All books have some sort of value at the end of the day. But those worth a little more which have been blessed with the author’s skill and imagination, these books are valuable because the content is priceless. So have a root around the house, see if you can find your book on Blackwell’s. Don’t worry if you cant as you can do a little more research online. If you do find a book which you may think is worth something, contact Blackwell’s. So in short, to answer “Is my Harry Potter book worth anything?”, it will be eventually but I wish I had a Philosopher’s Stone first edition.
*Please note that the amounts above are estimates based on figures quoted online and my not represent the value of your book.
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