Harry Potter and The Hobbit have topped a list of the nation’s most valuable books. But would you part with a treasured read simply for a handsome sum?
Being something of a bookworm, I’ve got quite a motley collection of books sitting on my bookshelf – there are no ebooks in my home! There are the classics, plays and poetry anthologies I read for A level English Lit and later my degree.
Sitting alongside these are biographies, books on history, paperbacks I can’t bear to part with, a whole collection of DH Lawrence novels and short stories (it was a phase) and, naturally, a dictionary.
Among my most treasured books are the ones I read over and over as a child including tatty copies of Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and The Faraway Tree adventures.
More are stored in some forgotten corner of my parents’ attic, alongside books from their own childhoods. And now I’ve read that some of the most valuable books include a host of children’s classics, I think I might have to dig them all out!
According to Matthew Haley, director and head of books and manuscripts at auction house Bonhams, the one book I should really be on the look-out for is a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone from 1997.
If it’s a hardback (ours* is) and has the numbers 10 to 1 printed down the back of the title page (doubtful), it could be worth a staggering £50k!
Then there are the first editions of The Hobbit and The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which could be worth £40k and £35k respectively.
But even if by some fluke I did have one of these valuable books lurking on my shelves or somewhere in my parents’ attic I doubt I’d part with it. Occasionally, I’ll pass on books to friends/family or give them to charity, but more often than not I’ll keep hold of them.
Your treasured reads
My most treasured reads are just that and, in truth, some things are worth more than money.
So what books do you treasure? What do you do with your books once you’ve read them? Would you sell a treasured read if it was worth a handsome sum?
(*I say ‘ours’ because it’s technically my nephew’s but I’m pretty sure he never read it!)
Would you sell a treasured read if it was worth £50,000?
Yes (59%, 748 Votes)
Maybe, it depends on the book (33%, 414 Votes)
No (8%, 104 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,266