There’s no mistaking it, I’m a positively HUGE Harry Potter fan, which makes this a discussion I genuinely never thought I would be capable of writing. It’s a question I would have thought inconceivable. There have been loads of Harry-Potter-related developments in recent years, and even as a super-fan, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about all of them. The time has finally come when I’ve had to ask myself, is there such as thing as too much Harry Potter?
We’ll start with the obvious, and work towards the obscure, shall we? Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in 1997, and I started reading the series in 1999. All of my books are the original Bloomsbury covers, and some are even First Editions (not the ones worth a small fortune, unfortunately). I’ve decided that I really want a First Edition of the first book. I’ve been keeping an eye on rare book auctions, and some of them are reasonably priced. I feel like it’s the ultimate collector’s item, and basically an investment. The perk of being an adult Harry Potter fan is that you get to spend your hard earned money on First Editions, if you want to.
Harry has had many new cover releases over the years, from really bright colours (which I hated), to adult-appropriate versions (to reduce the embarrassment of reading a “children’s book” in public), from Scholastic’s beautiful American editions (I loved these but couldn’t deal with it being “the sorcerer’s stone”), to Bloomsbury’s latest releases by illustrator, Jonny Duddle (see right). As much as I love my books with their original covers, if I wanted to preserve them as much as possible, the time came when I could really do with a new set. I eventually went for the new Bloomsbury covers. Luckily, I’m not the kind of super-fan who needs to own multiple sets of the same series. There was a logical reason for my decision to purchase a second set of Harry Potter books. But then, the illustrated edition was released…
Well. That changed everything. With an RRP of £30, there wasn’t a hope in hell I was paying that, die-hard fan or not. But of course, the book was being sold from the majority of retailers for £15. Much more palatable, and definitely worth it for this book. The quality is fantastic, and the illustrations are superb. But, this is only book one. It has been confirmed that book two, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, is being released as an illustrated edition, but I can’t seem to find confirmation that the entire series is being re-released (if you know the answer, tell me in the comments!). And if it is, surely the massive tomes that are Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows, will require more than one book each for the illustrated versions?
I don’t currently own any of the spin-off books, though I have had my eye on “the Vault” series (Character, Artefact, Creature), whether or not I’ll ever add them to my collection? At present, it doesn’t seem likely. Until recently, I also didn’t own any of the books released for Comic Relief (Quidditch Through The Ages, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). I picked up Fantastic Beasts last week in honour of the upcoming movie release, and I’d like to have Tales of Beedle due to its significance in the original story. I could live without Quidditch, but why not go the whole hog and have the set?? Sigh.