Your Old 'Harry Potter' Books Could Be Worth A Lot

Holy side hustle, Batman, it turns out that your biggest financial win in 2016 could be as easy as ... well, magic. AbeBooks recently published a guide explaining how much your old Harry Potter books are worth, and if you happened to get into the game early, you might find yourself winning the wizarding jackpot. According to AbeBooks, an early 1996 edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone recently sold for £26,700 — a whopping $37,151.98 in No-Maj money. That's at least enough to outfit your whole squad with brand spanking new Firebolts with a few Galleons to spare.

So how do you know if you've got the real deal on your hands? Odds are pretty slim that you've got one, seeing as there were only 500 printed for sale and 300 printed for libraries. But AbeBooks says you'll be able to tell if you've got an early hardback edition based on two things:

  1. A print line that reads "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1"
  2. An author credit to Joanne Rowling, not J.K. Rowling.

In short, if you were not a British kid who jumped on this hella fast in 1996, CONGRATULATIONS. And also let's all go get dinner on you, eh?

Other early editions might be worth some swag too, if you're willing to look into it. I know I'm personally screwed, because I had to be dragged into the Harry Potter fandom tooth and nail about the time the third book came out, as I was convinced I wouldn't enjoy it in the least. (Oh, eight-year-old me, if you could only see us now.) But those of you who had the foresight to jump on the wagon before it was a bandwagon, some of the earlier U.S. and Australian editions are worth a chunk of change as well.

I can only see one drawback to this plan to become a Harry Potter millionaire, and that, of course, is that you'd have to give up your Harry Potter books. And I know that there are all these swankified new versions — the Harry Potter books designed for each house and the lovely new e-book editions, for instance — but I kind of feel like giving an original copy away would be like giving away part of your soul. And unlike our home skillet Lord Voldemort, I'm not mentally or psychologically prepared to do that just yet.

But for those of you lucky few in possession of the early editions, you can head over to AbeBooks to see how much they might be worth. Their full article is here, and there is also a (slightly outdated) video explaining why these books are so valuable to collectors. (Aside from the most obvious reason, of course, which is MAGICCCC.)

Images: Emma Lord/Bustle; Giphy