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There were 5150 paperback first printing copies of Philosopher's Stone, according to Bloomsbury publishing archives (Errington 8). The paperback first printing was printed simultaniously with the first 500 hardcover printings. Most of the paperback editions were sold in bookshops.


When examining a first printing of Philosopher’s Stone, there are multiple issue points present.


Copyright page:

  • The number line on the copyright page reads: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  • The full name, Joanne Rowling, is printed

  • The cover copyright illustration is printed as Thomas Taylor1997 with no space between Taylor and 1997



  • The phrase "1 wand" is listed twice on the “Other Equipment” list found on page 53


Front cover:

  • The cover includes a quote that reads  “A terrific read and a stunning first novel" Wendy Cooling


Back cover:

  • The words "Witchcraft and Wizardry" are printed backwards as “Wizardry and Witchcraft”

  • The word "Philosopher's" is misspelled as "Philospher's"

  • The picture present is that of a young Dumbledore

First Print Issue Points 

Philosopher's Stone (Paperback)

Front Cover Issue Points

Front Cover Issue Points

Back Cover Issue Points

Back Cover Issue Points

Copyright Page Issue Points

Copyright Page Issue Points

Internal Issue Points

Internal Issue Points

Do Judge A Book By Its Back Cover

(Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)



 Errington, Philip W. J. K. Rowling: A Bibliography 1997 - 2013. London: Bloomsbury, 2015. 8. Print.

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