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This man bought a ‘Harry Potter’ book for his children over 20 years ago, and now it could be worth $65,000

The copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” which is one of only 500 first edition hardcover copies of the book, has been sitting on a man’s shelf for 20 years after he originally bought it to teach his children English

Sotheby’s director of the department of printed books and manuscripts Dr Philip Errington poses for photographers with a first edition copy of the first Harry Potter book “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” containing annotations and illustrations
Dr. Philip Errington, Sotheby’s director of the department of printed books and manuscripts, poses for photographers with a first edition copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” containing annotations and illustrations. A first edition copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is expected to bring in nearly $40,000 at an auction next month.
Matt Dunham, Associated Press

A first edition “Harry Potter” book has been valued at nearly $65,000 over 20 years after a father bought the book to help teach his children English, according to Fox Business.

The reason? It is one of only 500 hardcover first editions of the book, according to BBC.

The copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” will go to auction next month. And the anonymous seller — who is British but lives in Luxembourg — had no idea what the book was worth before recently having it appraised, BBC News reported.

The man said that he originally purchased the book for his children as a way to help them learn English while they went to school in Luxembourg, about 18 months after it was first published, according to Fox.

“I was prompted to buy it after reading a positive review in the Weekend Financial Times,” the seller said, according to Fox. “I needed English books to read to my three children at bedtime as I was on a mission to teach them my native language from an early age.”

“It’s just been sitting on a shelf ever since with the rest of the Harry Potter books, with no special care,” the man added.

There are specific ways to tell if a copy of “Philosopher’s Stone” is a first edition, according to Hansons Auctioneers, which will sell the book next month. First edition copies have a duplication of “1 wand” on page 53 of the book, and the issue number must be “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.”

“True first issues are seriously scarce,” said Hansons’ book expert, Jim Spencer. “Only 500 were printed, 300 of which were sent to schools and libraries. This is extra rare because it’s one of the remaining 200.”

The book will be sold at auction on Oct. 13, and is expected to sell for between 20,000 to 30,000 pounds, according to Fox. However, because the book is in good condition, its worth has been estimated as high as $65,000.

The book’s seller already has plans for what he will do with the money from the sale.

“I have decided to sell now as I would like to pay off my daughter’s student loan for her, which will give her a good credit history and help her to apply for a mortgage,” the seller said, according to Hansons.