“Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
-J.K Rowling, The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Premiere.
So, over the last couple of weeks I’ve been re-reading my Harry Potter collection, which includes the Hogwarts Library (‘Quidditch Through the Ages’ by Kennilworthy Whisp (with a foreword by Professor Albus Dumbledore), ‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard’ (with a foreword by Professor Albus Dumbledore) and ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ by Newt Scamander.). However, this reading marathon was hard to complete… considering the fact that I was missing the first two books in the series, ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’.
And so I began the weeks-long search for probably two of the hardest books to find in British Modern Literature.
Anyway, moving on… so.
All my Harry Potter books are first edition copies- they have the original covers, the original insights; I’m really proud of my collection really. Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, I was missing the two earliest books, one of them being highly crucial to the beginning of the telling of Harry’s fine story.
And so began the search!
I spent hours in a row searching on the Internet, on Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith, Foyles..there was nothing. If I found a copy it was often a hardcover, which are quite expensive. So I carried on..
One day I went into Waterstones and asked after the books. The man at the counter said that to buy a first edition would cost a fortune, and would take a long time to find. At that point a rain cloud materialised over my head and washed away the last shimmer of hope that I had had of finding the two books that would complete a perfect collection. I walked away sad, clutching the new book I had just bought (which, for the record, completed yet another collection).
A couple of days later my mom told me about this online book store which sells both used and new books which are rare and hard to find, and lo and behold…: there they were. Used, yes, but there they were, within my reach and available for purchase. A couple of clicks, and they were on route to my house in the next couple of days.
Today the second of the two arrived: ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’. No outside visible signs of wear and tear aside from a slight nudge in the paper and some pages folded down; all easily remedied. I proudly (and delicately!) wedged it next to Simon Pegg’s ‘Nerd Do Well’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’.(At this point in the writing of this entry, I beamed up at the book.)
Now I wait for the first book (if only Owl Post existed!) so that I can begin a complete re-reading marathon and go back home to Hogwarts once again.