7 rare books that could be worth a fortune
Households have been told to check their attics and bookshelves in case they're sitting on rare book editions that could be worth a fortune.
Personal finance experts from The Money Pig have researched and revealed seven books that have been sold for hundreds or thousands of pounds. Could you unknowingly own similar copies?
The first edition of the first book in the Harry Potter series – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – has been known to fetch between £30,000 - £40,000 at auction, but only a few thousand copies were printed. Even first editions of rom-com favourite Bridget Jones’s Diary could be worth as much as £500 if signed by the author.
'Bookworms will likely have hundreds of books in their collection, and this means the chance of owning a valuable copy is even higher,' says a spokesperson for TheMoneyPig.com. 'First editions of many books – both modern and classic – will almost always be worth more than later editions, and if they’re signed by the author, it could increase their value
1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
The first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the only book in the series that credits 'Joanne Rowling' as its author with a print line number that reads '10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1'. First editions can fetch about £30,000 to £45,000 at auction, depending on its condition.
2. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
A first edition of this best-selling 1996 novel could be worth £175, and a signed copy could potentially sell for as much as £500.
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby with the original dust jacket is a rare book to track down. The novel wasn’t a best-seller when it was released in 1925, and only around 25,000 copies were sold by the time of the author’s death in 1940. However, a first edition with the dust jacket can now fetch upwards of £150,000.
4. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
George Allen & Unwin Ltd. printed only 1,500 copies of The Hobbit for its initial run, but the children's book quickly sold out just three months after its release. This is a limited book, but a first edition copy in near-perfect condition is worth about £50,000.
5. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
Irvine Welsh’s gritty modern novel filled with heroin addiction, crime and poverty in Edinburgh can currently fetch up to around £2,700 for a 1993 first edition.
6. Animal Farm by George Orwell
A first edition of George Orwell’s Animal Farm – which critiques the ideology of Stalin in the Soviet Union – is worth around £7,000.
7. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
A pristine first edition of Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding’s classic is worth up to £8,000.
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