Harry Potter fan’s old copy of The Chamber of Secrets ‘sat on shelf’ for 17 years but could be worth £10,000
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A signed Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets first edition recently discovered by a fan could be worth £10,000. Max Roe recently unearthed his old copy of the second book in the series which is signed by JK Rowling - a now world-famous author.
She made her mark on Max’s copy during a book signing at Leeds City Varieties when he was four-years-old, and it even comes with a little badge saying “Friends of Potter”. The 28-year-old explained that his mother had caught on early to the Harry Potter trend through her job in publishing at the time.
Max, from Chapel Allerton in West Yorkshire, said: “My mum worked in book publishing, though for Penguin not Bloomsbury. She loved children’s books and we got lots of early editions.
“She was always filling the house with books. It became a bedtime story book for my sister and I. When JK Rowling came to do a talk and book signing at Leeds City Varieties, my mum took us both along.”
The author was to read excerpts from her then latest book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. But Max admits at the time he was more interested in browsing a nearby toy shop then queuing for Rowling’s signature.
He added: “I was about four years old. I remember going - I remember her reading. But I couldn’t be bothered to queue for the signing. To my shame, I got a bit bored so my dad took me to the toy shop.”
It was Mr Roe’s sister, older by four years, who secured the signature, while he went off in search of something more entertaining. Fittingly, she is now an English teacher in Leeds.
Mr Roe said his memories of his childhood home in Pudsey, Leeds are of a house always filled with children’s books. Now the family is having two valued from the 1990’s Harry Potter era - the first run copy of Chamber of Secrets, and a 1st edition paperback of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Both are signed. Max said: “I always knew we had them.
“I just didn’t know where they were. When I was around 11 years old I put them somewhere safe. They’ve just been sat there on a shelf for years. I used to be a bit of a comic book nerd so I’d put them in a bag to keep them safe.”
Max came across the books recently when his mother, getting ready to redecorate, began clearing out some of his old stuff. The family is now awaiting a valuation, but one book alone could be worth a small fortune.
Some signed first editions in the UK can top £10,000, and this is a first run, meaning it was among the first off the printing press. Earlier this year a battered copy of the Philosopher’s Stone, bought for 50p from a charity shop, sold for £15,500 at auction.
The first edition was one of just 500 copies from the first run in 1997, and was filled with a child’s scribbles. It was found among the dusty boxes of a Manchester charity shop.