It sounds like a mystery, or something carried on by magic. But, in this case, wizards probably had nothing to do with the disappearance of the First-Edition Harry Potter book. According to reports, two thieves broke into SN Books in Thetford, Norfolk and stole a rare copy of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, worth $50,000.

It’s rare not only because the publisher printed a small first-run of 500 copies, but also because the book featured Rowling’s first name, Joanne, and it was in a custom red box.

While the Harry Potter thievery is what’s making the story front-page news, the thieves also made off with a whole slue of books, including:

  • Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (First Edition)
  • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925 first impression, in a dark blue custom case)
  • Brief History of Time, by Professor Stephen Hawking (1983 paperback edition, with thumbprint
  • Gunslinger, by Stephen King (2 First Editions)

There’s nothing quite like the immediate response when you mention Harry Potter or J.K. Rowling, particularly in any way paired with controversy, theft, or mysterious circumstances. Perhaps we’ll just all have to sleuth our way through the case. Or, perhaps more likely… the book will soon be in the lucky ownership of some wealthy book collector somewhere (who just happens to be an avid Harry Potter fan).

So, here’s the question… Given the choice, which rare, impossible-to-own book would you add to your collection — if  money or availability were not hindrances?

The other brutal reality is, of course, that rare books are stolen every day. Would you buy a stolen book, even if it was that book that you’d wanted all your life?

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