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Harry Potter still manages to enchant 16 years later

A signed first-edition conjures up $228,000 at auction

A signed copy of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” sold for $228,000 at a Sotheby’s auction in London. This first-edition copy contained handwritten annotations, illustrations and Rowling’s own ideas on the writing process.  The book was sold to an anonymous phone bidder.

For those of you who’ve somehow been living under a rock for the past 16 years (seriously, if you haven’t read the books, stop what you are doing and make a beeline for the nearest Barnes and Noble), J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series spanned seven novels and became a worldwide sensation, appealing to readers of all ages. The publication of the novels even sparked an increase in childhood readership, in an age where movies and computers take precedence. Along with a movie series, theme park and every tie-in possible, the series has become one of the most successful franchises of all time.

Perhaps even more impressive, J.K. Rowling was near destitute when the first book, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was published. Much like Harry Potter himself, J.K. Rowling struggled and overcame every adversity thrown at her. Her hard work and creativity paid off as she became one of the richest women in the world.

“Harry Potter” editions often sell for high prices, but the bid at Sotheby’s was exorbitant, far surpassing all of the other auction items. Rowling’s edition brought in more than half of all the proceeds, with the second-highest price of $45,000 going to a first-edition of Roald Dahl’s “Matilda”. All of the proceeds at the Sotheby’s auction were donated to the English PEN Writers’ Association.

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