Six of the most collectible first edition books

Six of the most collectible first edition books

Have you looked at your bookcase lately? It may be possible that at least one of your favourite books could be worth bit of money… have you checked them out? The business of book printing is still booming somewhat, but there could be a much larger sum money to be made from books that have been gather dust for years.

First edition books can fetch a lot from collectors, but of course not everyone wants to trade their treasured reads in for money! Let’s take a look at our guide to some of today’s most valuable titles…


Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, J.K Rowling (1997)

Despite a string of spin offs and adaptations, the Harry Potter series continues to engross bookworms around the world. The series has been translated into 80 languages, and more than 500 million books have been sold globally. The most impressive figure fetched by the first edition of the Philosopher’s Stone stands at £106,250, and there are some ways to determine whether your copy could be worth a fortune. The phrase ‘I wand’ could be a clue, a mistake made on page 53 which was later corrected in the subsequent editions.

The Cat in the Hat, Dr Seuss (1957)

First editions of the iconic Dr Seuss title ‘The Cat in the Hat’ can make around £1,000 at auction, and in early 2019 a letter from the author to an old classmate was sold for £6,505. It was revealed that Theodor Geisel (under the pen name Dr Seuss) had deemed the book unsellable, but his old acquaintance convinced him otherwise: and so, the content of the letter was essentially a message thanking Seuss. The book has sold over 10 million copies and has featured on many lists celebrating some of the best children’s books of all time.

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The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J.K. Rowling (2007)

The children’s book is mentioned several times throughout the ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ series, so Rowling produced seven stunningly bound copies of the tales and gave six to her friends and editors. The copies are encased in brown leather and they are all handwritten with illustrations from Rowling, so it isn’t surprising that they have a staggering £3.1 million price tag.

The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling (1894-1895)

The family favourite has been a familiar tale for many youngsters growing up, but there are currently big profits to be made on it. Rare books, such as first editions and finely bound copies, are available with a price tag in the region of £4,000 upwards.

The four Winnie-the-Pooh books, A.A. Milne (1924-1928)

The lovingly drawn Winnie the Pooh and friends have become cult childhood characters, as countless youngsters recall their first encounter with A.A. Milne’s creations. Nowadays, his collection of four books can be sold for anything between £4,000 and £10,000.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter (1901)

Despite not being an immediate success, Beatrix Potter’s ‘The Tale Of Peter Rabbit’ sold for £43,000 at auction in 2016. The popularity of Beatrix’s tales lives on, as the World of Beatrix Potter remains a popular tourist attraction in Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria. Did you know that Peter Rabbit was based on Beatrix’s real rabbit, Benjamin Bouncer?

So, if you are lucky enough to own a first edition, what will you do? Treasure it in your collection forever, or swap it for the cash?

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