The Harry Potter Obsession… er, Collection

Finally, this is the much-awaited post about my growing Harry Potter book collection, the second blog entry in this year’s HP Series, in celebration of Harry Potter’s birthday.

I’ve always been fascinated with the different editions of Harry Potter, but I only started collecting them last year. Today I have over 80 books already, and a bunch more on the way. Most of the books were acquired through BookMooch, thanks to the kindness of people from all over the world.

I’ve been wanting to do this post for a long time, but it required me to rearrange my Harry Potter shelf (top shelf of one of my bookcases, now nearly reaching the ceiling — see cover photo) and take photos of the books (took me three hours!). 

So here it is. I hope you enjoy the collection, and I hope I get more HP books to share with you in the future!

Scholastic Editions

I’ll have to start with the Scholastic (US) Editions, because they’re the primary edition sold in the Philippines, making it the default edition for Filipino readers, and the editions I read (except for book 1, which was a Bloomsbury edition my cousin and HP partner in crime Dianne bought in Hong Kong).

For the first five books, I actually started out borrowing them from Dianne, and later on got the paperbacks one by one, because they were pretty expensive for someone barely subsisting on allowance.

As soon as I was earning my own money, I bought the next books as soon as they were released, but ironically,  I’ve always received duplicate copies for free.

Scholastic (US) Editions

The hardcover boxed set, along with the Half Blood Prince, is pretty special because I actually won it during the Powerbooks event on the release of HBP, where I entered a model of The First Task (with the Hungarian Horntail) in the Harry Potter diorama contest.

I didn’t actually plan on joining the contest. Dianne cajoled me into joining with her then she ended up backing out and I was too far along to back out, hahaha! Luckily I finished it in time and my entry came in first place.

the Hungarian Horntail (cruddy shot, I know... I don't have any other photos)
the Hungarian Horntail  (cruddy shot)

I also like the US editions because of Mary Grandpre’s cover illustrations and chapter art, which are simply awesome. It makes me wonder how it feels to illustrate a landmark series like Harry Potter.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 10th Anniversary Edition have their own entries this year, so click the links to check them out.

I don’t have the US adult editions yet, though (the mass market paperbacks), perhaps this year will be a lucky year for those.

Bloomsbury Editions

At first I had planned on collecting just the British editions, after I found the Bloomsbury Adult edition of the Philosopher’s Stone (see below, left) at the Dasa Book Cafe in Bangkok, Thailand early last year. So when I had enough points on BookMooch, I decided to mooch the books one by one. Here is the stash so far:

PS and CoS 1997 and 1998 editions
Adult Bloomsbury (UK) edition. CoS mooched from Allie in UK
Bloomsbury (UK) Kids' EditionBloomsbury (UK) Kids’ Edition. Mooched from Maire, Shell8, Meloncolly, and Allie  in UK, Suprig and StaceySwiss in Switzerland
adultBloomsbury (UK) and Raincoast Bloomsbury (Canada) Adult Editions. Mooched from Raj, Ruth Dorsey and RJames in UK and Sarahgat in Canada
Bloomsbury (UK) CoS and PoA Celebratory EditionsBloomsbury (UK) CoS and PoA Celebratory Editions. Mooched from Rjames in UK and Cizi.

I like the British editions because they’re handy and there are so many choices available! I like the cover art of the adult editions — dark and brooding — and the kids’ editions are a hit and miss  but offer a different sort of flavor.

International Editions

Soon I began hankering for international editions too (which led to Dianne now collecting them as well!) of the books, which are not easy to find, even on BookMooch. There was even a time  I started to write to BookMooch members individually to help me find the books. I should do that again soon, it’s been a while since people listed international editions.

Of course, I can’t read Harry Potter in the other languages (even the French ones are too complex for my classroom French), but I enjoy comparing the international editions to the English ones, especially the art, the name translations, and even the production quality!

Here are my international editions so far:

French Harry PottersFrench Harry Potters- squarish shape, crayon-y cover art. Mooched from Liard in France and Soraya in South Korea.
Spanish editionsSpanish Harry Potters – soft and evocative watercolor cover art. Mooched from Christina Lucchi in Argentina, Yosemite in Canada, Kalise in Austria.
portuguesePortuguese (Brazil, Portugal) Harry Potters – same cover art as US but different fonts, although Dianne has a couple of Portuguese that have different (original) cover art. Mooched from FCutin, Carla S, Newton in Brazil
Latin, Greek, and Irish editionsLatin, Greek, and Irish editions- I found the Latin and the Irish for P35 each at Book Sale (I was hopping with glee all the way to the cashier) and Flipper/Bookmoocher friend Cecille found the Greek one for me.
germanGerman Harry Potters – two mooched from abroad, one mooched from Peng locally. I like how their Harry Potter has so much character! And I like how the illustrator chose the key elements to illustrate in the cover.
Italian Harry PotterItalian Harry Potter – mooched from LilacWhisper in Italy. Italian editions very hard to find! The art has a surreal quality to it. Haha, I don’t know why but in Book 1, Harry is in a mouse costume.
Italian Chapter artLove the Pensieve drawing!
Japanese Harry PottersJapanese Harry Potters- mooched from wired_lain in Japan. The chalky cover art is very intense!
jap-22-volume Japanese Harry Potters – The books from GOF onwards come in two volumes. I’m still missing books 6 and 7 in the Japanese series.
japanese chapter artLove the chapter art in the Japanese editions – funny little doodles! This one is of Mad-eye Moody turning Malfoy into a ferret.
Danish Harry PotterDanish Harry Potter- very old school, semi-realistic rendition of Harry. Mooched from scarface133.
Dutch (Netherlands) Harry PottersDutch (Netherlands) Harry Potters – Manipulated photos make up the cover art.
Croatian Harry PottersCroatian Harry Potters- Titles are a mouthful to pronounce! The cover art is the same as the US, but the endpapers inside are glossy spreads of the artwork.
Hebrew (Israel) Harry PotterHebrew (Israel) Harry Potterv- the Hebrew characters make it look ancient and exotic. Mooched from Brandon in Canada.
Farsi/ Persian (Iran) Harry PottersFarsi/ Persian (Iran) Harry Potters- mooched from Katayoun. Textbook-looking and some far-out illustrations (t-rex?!?). I read somewhere that these are not authorized editions by JK Rowling.
traditional Chinese Harry Potters (China)traditional Chinese Harry Potters (China)- mooched from Lil in China. I like the Chinese characters on the books! The books are like school workbooks, in newsprint, a unique format for HP books
Swedish Harry PotterFinnish Harry Potter- The big noses never fail to crack me up! I like the whimsical quality to the art. Mooched from Laureline.
Hungarian Harry Potter - Same cover art as US but smooth matte dust jacket. Mooched from Emszi in Hungary.
Hungarian Harry Potter - Same cover art as US but smooth matte dust jacket. Mooched from Emszi in Hungary.

Outside the series

Here are books and other items outside of the series, some official some are not. I started collecting Beedle the Bard books this year, although I’m not collecting the other two school books because their covers are all the same.

Tales of Beedle the Bard (clockwise from front: UK, US, Chinese, Spanish)Tales of Beedle the Bard (clockwise from front: UK, US, Chinese, Spanish). UK edition a gift from my sister in Singapore. Chinese and Spanish mooched from Lil in China and Beatriz in Chile. It’s great that I have them in less than a year. The Spanish isn’t Mary Grandpre but mimics her style and is almost identical to the US. The Chinese is identical to the UK, which makes it different from the rest of the Chinese set, which is based on the US covers. I regret not buying the Amazon Collector’s edition – people are selling them for twice the price now, grr!
school textbooks, sticker book, journalHP school books- softcovers from Book Sale, hardcovers mooched from abroad. Sticker book and journal from Book Sale also. And the Gund Harry Potter doll (completely flexible, clothes removable except for the shoes) is from Book Sale too!
book of collectiblesbook of collectibles- mooched from Czar
HP reference booksHP reference books – mooched internationally too!

I have a small collection of HP merch too, but I don’t really go out of my way to buy them. Most are gifts from my sisters and friends.

other HP collectiblesOther HP Collectibles

I usually don’t like the movie-based collectibles, but i love this Golden Snitch and Time Turner replicas. The monster in the cage  is supposed to be one of Hagrid’s pets. It’s motion-activated and it either groans or snips at your finger.

Oh, and the Mystery at Hogwarts game is something my sister picked up at a garage sale in Singapore, complete except for the instructions. If anyone out there has the mechanics, I hope you can send them to me so I can play the game! :)

There you go, that’s my HP collection for now. I hope I get to add some more to it in the next year, as I’m still missing so many foreign editions. I’m still a long way from completing all the Harry Potter editions, but the fun is in hunting them down.

A big thank you to all the moochers that have helped me build this collection — I don’t have all the names, but I really appreciate the effort. I am sorting through my “mooched books” list so I can match each book to the giver and list the names here. Will update this post accordingly in the next few days.

And to other moochers who have HP books they want to take off their hands — I’ll take them, no matter what condition they’re in! :)

I hope you had fun reading this visual post as much as I enjoyed putting it together for you. To those on standby for the DH Bloomsbury Kids’ Edition giveaway, please check back again soon. I promise it’ll be up in a few days!


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