Your old Harry Potter books could be worth thousands if they have this typo

harry potter first edition book sold thousands typo
(Image credit: Getty)

It’s pretty much a guarantee that most households around the country will have a bookshelf full of dusty old 90s favourites.

And even more than two decades after the world phenomenon was first released in the form of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the iconic red-covered book can likely still be found on numerous dusty bookshelves across country.

And as much as it is tempting to have a clear out and donate them to the nearest library, school or charity shop, there’s something stopping the wizard in all of us from ‘obliviating’ them from our lives.

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Well, it turns out that if you are one of the HP fans who couldn’t bring yourself to include the reads in your annual spring clean, you could actually be rewarded for your unwavering loyalty.

A recent sale of a rare first-edition of the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, has just shown how much money you potentially get if you were to sell your copy on.

At an auction on the BBC show Bargain Hunt today, a copy of the first book in the series went for an incredible £28,500 - after its owner picked it up for just 25p 20 years ago!

The Daily Mirror reports that the book was one of the very first hardback copies of J.K Rowling's much-loved novel. 500 copies of the first edition hardbacks were made, and 300 of them were actually sent to libraries.

The lucky owner on Bargain Hunt actually bought his copy at a library, before reading it and popping it back on his shelf for a couple of decades.

After deciding to get it valued, he was thrilled by how much his decades-old copy went for.

The owner confessed, “I can’t believe it. It’s what I’d hoped for but I never really believed my book would make that price.”

And it's not the first time this has happened to a lucky Harry Potter fan! Late this year, another man sold his copy of the Philosopher's Stone for the same price, approximately £28,500, after buying it years ago for just £1 at a second-hand book shop.

harry potter first edition book sold thousands typo

Credit: Getty

So how do you know if you have one of the coveted first editions? Well there are actually two particular typos you need to look out for.

First of all, the back cover of the book will have the wrong spelling of ‘philosopher’ in its first sentence.

Secondly, if you turn to page 53 you will see that ‘1 wand’ has been repeated in the list of school supplies.

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Other indications of the rare first-edition include JK Rowling being referred to as Joanne, the print line on the copyright page must be ’10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1’ and the latest date will be 1997.

Finally it has to be an edition published by Bloomsbury.

In fact, one social media user reckons they've already found a rare copy!

Well, we’re off to search our spare room bookshelves…

Aleesha Badkar
Lifestyle Writer

Aleesha Badkar is a lifestyle writer who specialises in health, beauty - and the royals. After completing her MA in Magazine Journalism at the City, the University of London in 2017, she interned at Women’s Health, Stylist, and Harper’s Bazaar, creating features and news pieces on health, beauty, and fitness, wellbeing, and food. She loves to practice what she preaches in her everyday life with copious amounts of herbal tea, Pilates, and hyaluronic acid.