Today marks the birthdays of Harry Potter and JK Rowling during the 20th anniversary year of the first book, so it’s just all sorts of significant. To say that the Harry Potter books were a “big part” of my childhood feels like a massive understatement… in many ways they were my childhood.
Such a huge part of our generation grew up at Hogwarts that it now feels less like a fictional world and more like a shared experience to me. It’s a story we all have in common and can use to connect no matter how different our backgrounds. I’m not sure that some older adults really get this because I’m often asked when I’ll be done with this “phase” (despite it lasting for most of my life). So my short answer is: never. These books have gotten me through hard times, taught me a ton, and introduced me to some amazing people.
There have been so many gorgeous editions of the Harry Potter books published over the past 20 years that I wanted to share some of my favorites! (Thank you to Scholastic, Bloomsbury, and Juniper Books for providing me with some of these copies and/or a generous discount). I didn’t have the best lighting yesterday when I decided to do this blog post, but hopefully you get the general idea! The title of each set is also a link to where you can find more information:
1. Paperbacks of the original US covers
2. Special edition set (with Hogwarts on the spines)
3. The new UK hardcover set with sparkly stars
These are some of my favorites because the cover art is AMAZING. I found a couple of these as dent/scratch books on Book Outlet and then my first two books are actually in Latin. So it’s a mixed set, but still just as pretty! The ISBN number is 1408856786.
4. UK “Adult” set with pretty covers (can you tell I’m making these titles up)
Excuse my horrible pictures, but I promise this set really is GORGEOUS. I linked to one of the hardcovers in the title and then you can find a similar paperback set with slightly different covers here. The ISBN for the hardcover of the first book is 9781408865279 and the paperback set is 1408850753.
5. Juniper Books Ravenclaw edition
Juniper Books sells an edition for each of the Hogwarts houses and you can buy just the covers separately to fit a whole bunch of international hardcovers! Mine are on my original US hardcover set (which I forgot to get pictures of, so there’s another edition).
6. Some other UK adult edition with black covers
I only have the last two books because I found them on Book Outlet. Here’s the full boxed set and then you can find a similar paperback set here!
7. Illustrated editions!!!
8. Ravenclaw 20th Anniversary edition
All four houses look really neat together and there are paperback versions for each house as well, but so far I’ve only been able to buy this one. I absolutely love it and hopefully this shows some detail! The ISBN is 9781408883785.
9. Gift edition with foil slipcase
I LOVE these slipcase special edition books so much and was thrilled to get a copy of the third book! The ISBN is 9781408869130.
10. Juniper Books Hedwig Edition
Ok, here’s yet another gorgeous edition from Juniper Books. They seriously make the most incredible sets. I wish my lighting was better, but you can bet I’ll be posting more of these on instagram this year!
11. My original set
I didn’t get a picture of my original battered US hardcover set because they’re under some one of the Juniper Books jackets. Those will always be a favorite because they’ve been with me for so long. And I know I obviously don’t need multiple editions of the same books, but if I could only pick one series to have more than one copy of it would always be Harry Potter (and in my defense I only bought a few of these). I’m quite grateful to everyone who’s sent me these amazing editions and can’t wait to see what the illustrated third book looks like this fall!
How did you get into Harry Potter?
I love hearing everyone’s unique experience with how they discovered the Harry Potter books. I don’t think I’ve ever shared how I got into the books, so here’s my semi-gross story:
In elementary school there was an ongoing lice infestation that would not go away (thanks to a girl whose mother thought the answer was spreading mayonnaise on her hair), so my school finally shut down for a few days so everyone’s parents could delouse their kids. I didn’t have a lot of books and my aunt had recently sent me the first Harry Potter book. I remember being rather skeptical about it, but had absolutely nothing else to do while I sat still for hours on end. Sure enough, I ended up being totally into the story and made my whole family read it! We had just moved into our new house after living in a 5’x5′ tent trailer (like the pop up kind for camping), so finding a kid who lived in a cupboard that was just a bit bigger than my own space made me super happy for some reason. And then by the time the next lice infestation came around, I had acquired the second book and was ready to go!
So, yeah. Not really a story I’ve felt the need to share a hundred times before but it was a pivotal point in my bookworm life, so there you go. What’s your favorite edition of the Harry Potter books and how did you first get into them?