Library Reveals a Treat for ‘Potter' Fans

Handmade copy of J.K. Rowling's 'Tales of Beedle the Bard,' displayed just in time for the tome's commercial release

Harry Potter fans don't need us to tell them that The Tales of Beedle the Bard -- the tome of wizard fairy tales referenced in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- hits stores today. But if you want to get truly up close and personal with the book, which J.K. Rowling created as an appendix of sorts to the seventh Potter volume, get yourself to the very Hogwarts-esque New York Public Library, where a handmade copy (one of just seven hand-illustrated by Rowling) was unveiled Wednesday.

"The copy on view at the library is one of seven copies that Ms. Rowling created by hand, six of which were distributed to people who were key in her career," the City Room reports. (The seventh sold for $4 million in an auction last year, with proceeds going to Rowling's advocacy foundation for kids in Eastern Europe, the Children's High Level Group.)

The copy that NYPL got its hands on is being loaned by Arthur A. Levine, the editor at Scholastic who first took a chance on a book about a boy wizard back in 1994, when he purchased the initial Harry Potter manuscript for $105,000.

Fans can find the precious loaner in a custom-made display case, treatment otherwise reserved for library holdings of the Gutenberg Bible and the Declaration of Independence.

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