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José Eduardo Agualusa em destaque na Livraria Lello
A copy of the first edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, similar to the one acquired in 2019 by Livraria Lello, has now been auctioned for more than 117 thousand euros. In just two years, the work valued almost 50 thousand euros, proving that books are, in fact, smart investments.

In 2019, in an absolutely innovative approach, Livraria Lello issued an OPA – a public takeover bid for the first editions of truly outstanding literary and cultural works. Therefore, Livraria Lello acquired the first issue of A Gazeta da Restauração for 3 thousand euros and one copy of the first edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone for 70 thousand euros. At the same time, Livraria Lello offered 250 thousand euros for the first edition of Os Lusíadas (value updated to 300 thousand euros). Livraria Lello continues its hunt to add this book to the treasures in its collection.

Evidence that Books are, in fact, smart investments continue to appear. On July 16, Sotheby's New York auctioned the first edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone for $138.600, approximately 117.500 euros at current exchange rates.

“Valuing the Book as an object of art, culture, but also as an investment has become one of Livraria Lello's main missions. This news encourages us to follow the dream of continuing to value and safeguard the literary and editorial heritage”, stated the administrator of Livraria Lello, Aurora Pedro Pinto.

Why is the first edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone so valuable?

In 1997, the year in which Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone was first published, it was on sale for 10.99 pounds (approximately 12.70 euros at current exchange rates). Today the same book may be worth 10,000 times more!

Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone was the book that started a global phenomenon. The series sold more than 450 million copies worldwide, in 79 languages, continuing to captivate readers of all ages.

The book written by J. K. Rowling and published in 1997 by Bloomsbury, is the scarcer from the Harry Potter saga and the most sought after. It had an initial print-run of 500 copies. Three hundred of these were distributed to libraries.

The quality of the paper and the audience for which the work is intended (children and young people), make it even more difficult to find a copy in excellent condition, as it happens with either the copy that integrates the collection of Livraria Lello, or with the one auctioned by Sotheby's last week.

How to spot a first edition of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone

Identifying the first edition of a book is not always an easy task. However, there are some points, and sometimes editing errors (as in the case of this book) that can help readers and collectors in this task. In the case of the first edition of the first book in the Harry Potter saga there are four points you should pay attention to:
  • “First published in Great Britain in 1997” is stated on the copyright page;
  • First editions will have the number line of “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1”;
  • Copyright page also states “Joanne Rowling” instead of J. K. Rowling;
  • On page 53 the item "1 wand" is repeated (as the first item and last item) on the equipment list.