RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS

14 December 2007

J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. 1998.



J.K. Rowling. HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS. Bloomsbury,London 1998. ISBN: 0747538492


Current Selling Prices
$1500-$3000 /£750-£1500



CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
I thought I would republish this entry to commemorate the £1.95 million ($3.98 million) paid yesterday for a shortish Potter manuscript -"The Tales of Beedle the Bard". One of seven copies of the Tales, bound in brown leather and decorated in silver and moonstones. Six have been given to people closely connected to the Harry Potter books. Nice presents. Obviously an absurd price but the money goes to a great charity (The Children's Voice) so one cannot knock it and the buyer will have bought many quarters of an hour of fame. (Stop Press--now known to have bought my Bezos of Amazon for publicity, kudos and out of sheer decency etc., The purchase is a pittance compared to his investment in space flight. ) A 'Mad Hatter' price - higher than that achieved for an Alice manuscript even if you adjust the price for inflation. Will do the math on this later - the Alice sold for about £35,000 in the 1930s as I recall. The money will help a very good cause so who really cares?



'Chamber of Secrets' is the second in the immortal Hogwarts series. Print line must read 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. If that is there you have a first edition. In the copy inscribed to her father and stepmother sold in NY 2003 for $9000 JK has circled the figure 1 and written 'First Edition- I got one!' We were once offered a copy by the dedicatee of the book and the owner of the Ford Anglia pictured on the cover. Deal fell through because the guy wanted to buy a house with the notional money, however we asked the all important question. Where is the Ford Anglia? Apparently it was scrapped years ago - a pity because I could see that making housebuying money.

Harry Potter seems to have brought into being a new kind of slightly naff bookseller with plenty of patter and heartfelt blandishments in their book descriptions:
'Hand signed directly onto the main title page'...'Unread with good square corners'... '100% ironclad provenance' ... 'great addition to any serious collection'....'we wish you every success with your collecting'.. 'Books laced with contemporary and long-term appeal, distinguished by fine condition and that touch of the unique'...'providing the astute collector with high quality books for pleasure and investment'...'everything is just right about this one, you have our assurance... highlights of long-term promise in all genres... A most attractive acquisition...'
It is curious how those who promise some kind of long term return on your investment are always charging twice the price of any other dealer. I guess you just have to hold on to the book that bit longer. The book is often 'A VERY FINE copy in VERY FINE dustwrapper...unusually lovely...' How fine can a book get, if you have 'very fine' and 'extra fine' can we assume that 'fine' is actually not very fine?

One thinks of Leonard Rossiter as the unctuous Mr Shadrack in 'Billy Liar' - determined to modernise his funeral service. The books are often trumpeted as investments with added stuff loosely inserted and illustrations by the artist etc., Putting the bland in blandishments...but perhaps these guys are providing a service and a new breed of punter has arisen to buy their wares, as they used to say 'wally goes to wally.'



VALUE? Hard to find a decent one fine in fine for less than £1000, but one should not have to pay more than that. The book is nowhere near as scarce as 'Philosopher's Stone' and copies can usually be found on Ebay every day. Auction records showing a slight flattening of prices with the book selling for betwen £600 and £1000 in 2006 about 6 times. It may rise, as exquisite copies are not especially easy to find anymore, even though the book is less than 10 years old it usually shows up used in some way. People have read the book, never a good idea. We sold a copy at Christmas 2000 in fine condition for £1500 and haven't bought one since. Pottermania was then at its height. De Luxe ed goes for £100, the Deluxe of Azkaban is the one you want - it can make £800+. Signatures are best avoided unless there is good provenance - usually a ticket or buying from an established firm who will take the book back if the signature doesn't pass the 'blink' test. [ W/Q **** ]

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a paper back Chamber of Secrets ISBN 0747538484 published 1998 with a print line 10 9 8 7 6 what does this mean? (if anything?)

mugwort the appraiser said...

It means its a sixth edition and possibly worth 50p, maybe £1, sorry. How you tell is that the last number is the edition. so 1098765432 is a second edition. Gerrit? There's a lot more of this stuuf over at Bookride's post on Philosopher's Stone. Keep searching!

mugwort the appraiser said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hi
I have found this item on ebay:
170181252239 (just put the number into the searchbar). Are these books a worthwhile investment as i am really tempted to purchase them.
Can you give me some advice please?
Thanks

mugwort the frog said...

Looks like an overpriced hodge podge that might fool someone, the paperback is not a first (its a second) and rough--the Chamber regular ed is lacking jacket and I doubt they are easy to find and the best book is the limited ed Azkaban which can just make a £1000 once in a lucky while--evitez comme la peste, mon ami!

Mary said...

I'm trying to sell an American print Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone signed, hardcover and I'm wondering the value. It's in good condition, no pages are bent but I have read it (I was 12 when I got it). Any advice?

mugwort the appraiser said...

You may find a copy at bookfinder.com or http://used.addall.com/
Check you have a first and if selling on Ebay you may need some explanation of provenance--IE when and how JK got to sign it--Bon Chance / N

Mary said...

Thanks very much that was helpful. I have just one more question: if I want to sell my book somewhere other than eBay, like to a collector or bookstore or something, where would you recommend? In the US is preferred if you know anywhere. I just think if would be easier and more profitable to me to sell it to a known buyer rather than auction it, what do you think?

mugwort the appraiser said...

Best thing is to approasch (phone/email) some of the people you found with expensive copies of the book on bookfinder.com or http://used.addall.com/

remember -they are dealers and need to make a profit!

Best / N

Anonymous said...

I just bought a Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Hardcover book, that says first american edition, June 1999 isbn 0-439-064864 numberline 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 9/9 0/0 1 2 3 4 Its in perfect condition, no soiling, no bent pages, it doesnt even look like its been read. Would it be worth anything?

mugwort the appraiser said...

no

Anonymous said...

ok.. glad i only spent a dollar on it

mugwort the appraiser said...

sorry

Anonymous said...

I have 3 books signed by JK Rowling from her US Book Tour back in october. I have just a normal 7th book signed, a deluxe edition 7th book signed, and the best one is a Deluxe Leather Bound Sorcerers Stone Signed. Each of these were signed by JK Rowling and have the hallogram sticker for authenticity. I was wondering what places i should go to or email if I wanted to sell one of these books, as well as what you think each of these are worth? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, GH

mugwort the appraiser said...

See above and possibly sell on ebay. There are alot of these about but even more punters so good luck--also you could try a decent dealer like Any Amount of Books or the Harringtons in London....

Anonymous said...

I have a limited edition sorcerers stone leather bound, and Chamber of Secrets that I got signed at JK Rowlings Book signing at Carnegie Hall last october. Any idea about how much they are worth. I tried looking up similar on ebay, but there weren't any comparable. Thanks

Eimile said...

Hi there. I have an english, first edition , 1998 copy of The Chamber of secrets with the Mistake that was printed in the second chapter which they later took off the selves and replaced with new copies! i was just wondering if anyone knew what value it may carry??? any ideas? the
ISPN number is:
0747538484
and the edition reads :
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Anonymous said...

I have a paper back editon of the UK published Chamber of secrets.
It has 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 on it.
Is this worth anything?

mugwort the appraiser said...

All prices can be found at https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchEntry
if the above is a 1998 Bloomsbury some people ask £40!!!!

Emile's one could go for more on Ebay cos of the error

Anonymous said...

Question. I have new hardback copy of the Chamber of Secrets and there is white stitching that goes around the outside of the cover..it actually covers up some of the title. Is this normal?

Anonymous said...

I have an English first edition of the chamber of secrets book in a dust cover, the ISBN number is 1-85613-612-4 and it had the numbers 10-1. It is printed by bloomsbury. Is it worth anything and where do i sell it?

Anonymous said...

i have a Harry POTTER, chamber of secrets with the nos. one to ten on the inside cover and the ISBN no is o 7475 4577 4. It is the type that has the picture directly on the book without the cover. Any ideas anyone on price or lack of?

Grippen said...

Hi, don't know if you still reply to questions, but here goes.
I bought a Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, US hardback from 1999. It is the first American edition with the numbers 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Illustrations by Mary Grandpre and 'ancestor' typed on page 332. No number two on the dust jacket. Scholastic press. So far so good, but I am confused because the book does not have the price, 17.95, listed anywhere, nor does it have red end papers. And the spine is blue, not green.
I've tried to look it up, but no such luck. Can you tell me if this book is a 1st/1st and/or why it isn't quite like the other US firsts?

Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

hi, i have a hard-cover, english, first edition of the chamber of secrets, but it is slightly tatty after many reads, how much does this reduce its value? thanks

Anonymous said...

i have the chamber of secret with the numbers "20 19" at the bottom, does this mean anything? i also have first editions of the "prison of azkaban" and the "Philosopher's Stone" ,where is the best place to sell them?

Anonymous said...

My copy has 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Does that count as a first edition?

Badger said...

10 9 8 7 6 5 9/9 0/0 1 2 3 4
Means a 5th edition copy, correct?

Katie Delaney said...

I have a first edition chamber of secrets with a signature. Unfortunatley it's been read, and read again as I got it in a second hand book fair a long time ago. So, rag order. It wouldn't be worth anything now I'm guessing, would it?

Anonymous said...

I would like to clarify.
A number line that reads
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 means that it is from the FIRST PRINTING of that specific edition. If the number line reads 10 9 8 7 6, then you have a book from the 6th print run. You can find out which edition you have by looking up the ISBN number, looking for "First Edition" or "First American Edition" at the bottom of the copyright page.

Anonymous said...

I have a Chamber of Secrets, paper back first edition 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 never been read....is it worth anything??? it has the Gold Smarties book prize stamp on the front also

Vern said...

I have a Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that says First American edition 1999 Printed in U.S.A. 12 ISBN 0-439-06486-4 25 24 23 21 21 9/9 0/0 1 2 3 4. Is there any worth to it?