As a twenty-something gal that grew up in England, I’m the proud owner of quite the Harry Potter book collection.
Of course it began simply because I wanted to read the next in the series, but we all know that the Wizarding World has grown exponentially since those early days. Fun fact: the final Harry Potter book was released on my final day at secondary school and instead of getting drunk in a field like every other kid, I read the entire thing sat cross-legged with my friends in the school field.
When it comes to gifts whether for Christmas or my birthday, I always, without fail, unwrap a new Harry Potter title to add to my already-extensive Wizarding World collection.
From the beautiful illustrated editions to themed stationery, I’d never knowingly turn down a Harry Potter present, and so I thought I’d create a little review round-up of the bonus Potter books in case there’s a Potterhead in your life (you or a loved one!) that could do with a dose of Felix Felicis this month.
A History of Magic
Ten months after receiving a beautiful hardback copy of Harry Potter: A History of Magic assembled by the British Library, I spent a cosy Thursday afternoon and evening poring over the pages that document a sell-out exhibition.
Sadly I never made it to the exhibition which I’m still gutted about, but the book has satiated my thirst for more Potter.
Harry Potter: A History of Magic is another untraditional tome in the Harry Potter universe.
It’s a non-fiction anthology of everything you could possibly imagine in the Harry Potter world, from notes about cauldrons to the intricate work Rowling rifled through in order to conjure up fitting names, spells and more.
The book takes the reader through the archives, introducing you to the artefacts with bonus notes and essays from a ‘host of experts’. For those less interested in the etymology and roots of J.K. Rowling’s unparalleled imagination, you’re rewarded in Chapter Nine with plenty of original extracts from Rowling’s work, the original plot for each of the books in the series, and unedited first drafts that were removed from the books.
There are even annotated pages from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: this unique, annotated edition was sold at a charity auction in 2013 and exhibited at the British Library last year in 2017. My favourite chapters are Charms, Astrology and Care of Magical Creatures… but you knew that already 😉
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
First released exclusively for Comic Relief, this little paperback has now been rereleased several times. I personally have the original version, a hardback edition, and the newest illustrated edition.
I absolutely loved flicking through Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them over Christmas. We’d just seen the newest film in the series, and it’s fascinating to read a little more about the creatures that Rowling conjured up once upon a time. Although I do find it jarring when I notice the discrepancies across the Wizarding World, I personally still retain the OG image of each beast from the first time I met them.
Additionally, I think this particular title would make a wonderful gift for younger fans of the universe.
The Illustrated Novels
I began collecting the illustrated versions of the Harry Potter novels a few years ago.
Like I mentioned before, I receive one for Christmas each year and they remain some of my most beloved gifts, alongside my very battered, original books.
By far more of a collectable, these books are decked cover-to-cover in Jim Kay’s stunning illustrations and the original copy throughout the book.
I’d love to imagine myself reading these Harry Potter books to my children someday, as the imagery is just stunning and it absolutely bridges the gap between kiddie book and adult book. The story is pretty kid-friendly, and I think these would make wonderful keepsakes for your little wizards-in-training.
Harry Potter: Film Wizardry
Finally, I’ve saved one of my favourites for last.
Harry Potter: Film Wizardry is a film companion book. It contains all of the insider info from the popular film series, shares anecdotes from the set and even includes real-life replicas of Harry Potter paraphernalia like the Yule Ball invitation, Marauder’s Map, Ministry of Magic ID card and more. (I use them in SO many of my Potter-themed flatlays!)
I honestly dip into this book all the time. It’s stunningly put together and a real joy to flick through. While the novels are of course my first love, this is a beautiful ode to the Harry Potter films and I feel like I get something new out of it every single time.