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Harry Potter and the Upside-Down Signature

(EDITED TO ADD: This poll is now technically closed, since my decision has been made. See this post to find out what I finally did.)

I need some advice.

As I was reading my copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I discovered that one of the signatures (meaning a stack of pages that are sewn into the book as a unit) was sewn in upside-down. The upside-down pages are 501 to 532, for those who want to see what section of the story has that problem. (The book is complete; I have all the pages, and managed to read the story simply by turning the book upside-down when I got to page 501.)

Normally, I would bring the book back to the store and exchange it for another copy, but then I got to thinking. Sometimes books with errors in them become more valuable than regular copies. And theoretically, I could sell the book as a unique item; after all, it's entirely possible that Lord Voldemort cursed my copy in an attempt to prevent people from reading it. But I would only sell it (or offer in on eBay) if I thought I get get at least $50 for the book (hopefully more). So, what should I do?

Poll #546262 Harry Potter and the Upside-Down Signature

What shall I do with my copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?

Exchange it at the store for another copy
Attempt to sell it as a "cursed" copy
Keep it as my personal copy


That's been my thought. However, I've been watching eBay a bit recently, and notice that some auctions never seem to get going. And since I don't yet have an eBay account yet, I'd need to take some steps to have an auction.

But I'm thinking that this sort of item might generate a lot of interest....
Buy yourself a normal copy, because you're gonna want it as part of your set. But hold onto this mutant copy for, oh, at least 20 years. And then sell it. It'll be worth more then. Or you may encounter some promising young fan who would treasure it.
I Agree a first edition copy with a printing error will be worth a lot more later than it would be now. It may be part of a small run that got messed up and only a few copies made it out the door. If that's the case you need to keep it until it becomes a pop collectible.
ditto both of these! buy another, cheaper copy to "use," and stick this one on a shelf (maybe wrap loosely in paper--not plastic--to help keep out the dust) for a while.
Yeah, this. :-)


Lend it to someone without telling them about the mixup. Act all surprised when they are confused and wonder how they "wrecked" your book. Confess at your leisure!
Hi! Whoever this is, my policy is to ask anonymous posters to identify themselves. Please do so as soon as possible, or this reply will go bye-bye.
I agree with those above. Keep it. Get another to read, and put this someplace relatively safe. The normal run of HBP is worthless as first editions, which is why I didn't mind that my own copy had bent pages.

Your copy, on the other hand, will be worth something in a few years.
I agree with what everyone's said here about keeping it and selling it later. When you're ready to sell, talk to me. I've done a ton of business on eBay and know some tricks that could help. This assumes, of course, that a) we'll still be in touch in 20 years (which we will, of course), and b) that eBay is still in business doing what it does best.
I agree with the others -- it'll probably be worth more later. If you don't mind your personal copy having this quirk, there's no need to buy another copy now (it's not like they'll run out later).

If you want to try the "good story leads to sales" approach on eBay now, you could always set a reserve or minimum bid or whatever it is they do. If it gets you $50 then great; if not then just put it away for a while and try later.
Did you get your copy at a local store?

If so, have you considered going back to see if there are more copies like yours?
I think the answer is clear.


That's gotta be worth a few bob.

Seriously, I can't believe how many people are voting 'keep it'.
Ah, keep it for a bit and THEN sell it - from a sensational story standpoint, cursed by He_who... Voldy is good.

From a "books are actually worth some money" standpoint, it'll be worth more in 20 years.

(Cursed is good though. I like that. You could come up with a piece of paper with the "curse" on it, and slip it into the book, just 'cause.)
When I was about 13 years old I was reading a beat-up paperback of The Exorcist (and of course, reading it into the wee hours with a flashlight way past bedtime), and I can't remember which section exactly, but I still remember turning the page and see the next one printed upside down, and the next, and the next.
That very scared child finished the book during his daylight hours from then on.

return it. don’t participate in the stupidity of the flawed-things-are-worth-more-to-collectors business. there is no good reason why an error in mass production should make an item more valuable.


I don't participate in the "stupidity" as you call it from a buyer's perspective; but I have no problem taking advantage of this opportunity from a seller's perspective.
Thanks! These have been useful to watch.

You're welcome.

December 2016

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