As a child, whenever someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I would immediately tell them: A witch. That occupation made perfect sense to me at the time, or you might say, the little me was too fascinated with anything about magic, and the idea that the world wasn’t a magical place just sounded impossible.
I picked up the first Harry Potter volume when I was only 11 – the same age as Harry when he discovered his ability. It felt like someone just entered my head and helped me write my fantasy life. That said, Harry and I grew up together over the next few years. I still recall waiting for my owl letter and the bitter disappointment when it never came. Since school served as a stabilizing factor in my life, I could relate to Harry strongly (even though the only magic in my school was books).
Even now, I still find myself quite gripped with the franchise and on my dream bookshelf there would be at least one of the gorgeous Harry Potter hardcover sets. Unfortunately, until now, all I have are several non-matching books that were bought at different times and from different places. The list is partly me planning out my ideal library of the future and partly wanting to share all the gorgeous Harry Potter books I have come across on the Internet with fellow Potterheads out there!
But Why Are There So Many Harry Potter Editions, You Ask?
Let’s clear up some confusion. There is a thread on Quora that asks, “why are there so many editions of a Harry Potter book? Are they all the same in content?”. This post by user “Nicky Dyson” has attracted 133 answers, and truth be told, it’s also a question I frequently come across.
Since the series is very popular, there is no surprise it has been reprinted many times over the years and translated into different languages. Mirror errors have been fixed by J.K.Rowling so the texts can be more coherent, hence the editions are not all the same in content.
For example, Nearly Headless Nick’s death year has been fixed to make sense for his 500th deathday party in book two. In the first edition of “Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone”, Nick stated that he has passed away for 400 years (“I haven’t eaten anything for four hundred years”). Rowling herself admits that Math isn’t her strength, so you can find mistakes regarding the ages of characters in older publications.
There are also changes made in translations from country to country. When Harry Potter packed his bags to head to US bookshelves, the British wizard had to make a few changes because readers across the Atlantic weren’t exactly au fait with his way of talking. For instance, the American publisher decided to rename the first book “Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone” instead of keeping “Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone”. According to them, the use of the word “philosopher” was different in the US. Therefore “sorcerer” would be more appropriate. Not to mention how Neville’s toad Trevor magically transformed into a turtle in the Spanish version.
Of course, none of these tiny alternatives affects the major plot points. Still, this list of the best Harry Potter hardcover sets contains mostly British versions since I think the series is most authentic in British English.
List Of The Best Harry Potter Book Sets For Die-Hard Fans
Deciding which is the most gorgeous Harry Potter set is a challenging task. Since the first release of “Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone”, all the novels in this series have seen new life in bookstores thanks to anniversary editions and new illustrations. While you have dozens of collections and book sets to choose from, these are the must-haves for every Potterhead:
Classic Harry Potter Paperback Box Set
“Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone” hit the shelves in the United Kingdom on June 26, 1997. That means 25 years have passed since the release of the first edition, and you might drop your jaw knowing that this edition is now sold for a whopping $471,000.
While it is undoubtedly the most expensive copy of Harry Potter, the classic paperback edition published in 2009 is more emotionally valuable for most 90s kids. Many of you can recall these beautiful books – illustrated by the American artist Mary GrandPré – since they were the first Harry Potter novels you got your hands on.
So, instead of a Harry Potter hardcover set, illustrated editions, or even anniversary editions, I put this on top of the list. These good old paperback copies remind me of the first time I read the series, the enthusiasm and curiosity it sparkled in me as a child.
All 7 volumes now come in a beautiful box, which would look stunning on your shelf. Just like Amazon user “Bianca Santiago” wrote, this classic is a staple for every Harry Potter fan and is suitable for readers of all ages.
Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Special Edition)
If you often carry a book around and would like to find some copies that won’t weigh down your bag, here is another option: A special edition Harry Potter paperback set. All the novels in this box set are light, easily transportable, and able to be bent or stuffed into a corner of your purse. Most importantly, they are absolutely breathtaking! Behind the design of covers and box artwork was Kazu Kibuishi, The New York Times’ acclaimed creator of Copper, Daisy Kutter, and AMULET.
“The Harry Potter covers by Mary GrandPré are so fantastic and iconic,” Kibuishi, a longtime Harry Potter fan, explained in a statement. “However, I felt that if I were to handle the project, I could bring something to it that many other designers and illustrators probably couldn’t, and that was that I was also a writer of my own series of middle-grade fiction. As an author myself, I tried to answer the question, ‘If I were the author of the books — and they were like my own children — how would I want them to be seen years from now?’ When illustrating the covers, I tried to think of classic perennial paperback editions of famous novels and how those illustrations tend to feel. In a way, the project became a tribute to both Harry Potter and the literary classics.”
And as always, he doesn’t let us down. Each cover is a beautiful work of art, featuring a remarkable scene from the book. In case you think paperbacks are not eye-catching enough, Kibuishi will prove you wrong: When lined together, the spines of 7 volumes create a picture of Hogwarts. That’s why it is said to be the best Harry Potter book set to purchase by Quora users.
If you would like to find an affordable yet gorgeous collection that will create a magical vista on your bookshelf, this is the one to go!
Harry Potter Box Set (The Children’s Edition)
“Why is there a ‘children edition’?”, you might ask. Isn’t “Harry Potter” meant for children in the first place? Here is a fun fact for you: Initially, J.K.Rowling wrote the fantasy series for children aged from six to seven up. The books eventually became popular among adults, but some readers would feel uncomfortable reading Harry Potter while in public.
Hence, the author and the publishers came to a marketing decision: They took out two different book covers, one for kids and one for adults. There is no difference in the text or story of these two versions, but the children’s edition has very colourful and childlike illustrations. The font for the kids’ version is slightly bigger than other editions, too.
Say, what better way to introduce your kid to the wizarding world than a set of 7 beautiful books in a delightful container? The children’s hardcover version is outstanding with a bright red box, especially if you are a Gryffindor at heart and can’t resist the scarlet house’s color. According to Amazon user “Monica A.”, the paperbacks are more kid-friendly as they won’t weigh down their wrist like heavy hardcover books.
It has long been proven that reading with children can stimulate their imagination and expand their understanding of the world. And trust me, Harry Potter is the ideal book to get them started reading. Give this set to your kid and let them embark on the series that already transformed so many young readers’ lives!
Harry Potter Box Set (The Adult Edition)
As mentioned, the children’s edition and adult edition are not different in content. Hence, if you expect some R-rated scenes, sorry for disappointing you, but there aren’t any!
So what does this version have that the one for kids doesn’t? Sophisticated and beautifully detailed covers that feature woodcut prints by the award-winning Andrew Davidson. These books will look great in your living room, too, thanks to the bright-colored spines and typography that will catch everyone’s attention! I’d tell any minimalist out there not to miss out on this adult edition – the color scheme is perfect on a shelf full of vibrant and modern books.
Just like the children’s edition, you can choose between the hardcover and paperback versions. The former is more aesthetically pleasing, but at a more reasonable price, the quality of the paperback set is superb. “The books are printed on high-quality paper. Very sturdy books indeed, these will last for generations if cared for. The quality is far superior to other hardcover books I’ve purchased as of late — my preferred medium for books by my favorite authors”, Amazon user “Donna” wrote.
Overall, despite being the most forgotten Harry Potter box set, the adult version will be one that you are proud to display. Prepare yourself because your guests will bombard you with questions and admiration!
Harry Potter Box Set (The 20th Anniversary Edition)
In honor of Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone’s 20th anniversary, this special edition paperback box set was released in 2018. It contains all 7 volumes and was redesigned by Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick. The covers are illustrated in his signature black-and-white style, depicting the main characters up close with wonderful detail. When placed side by side, the covers form a single image that tells the overarching story that begins with Harry’s arrival at Number Four, Privet Drive, through the epic conclusion of the Battle of Hogwarts.
You can collect all of the gorgeous new Selznick covers together in one place, but the additional illustrations on the box set are my most favorite. Outside of the box, you can see a close-up image of Harry’s green eyes. Once the novels are removed, the inside of the box reveals a surprise (creepy) Voldemort staring out at you! Additionally, your Harry Potter collection will look stylish no matter which direction you display it thanks to the house crests on the two sides.
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Edition Box Set
This collection is not only visually appealing but also highly functional. When the set of covers by Kazu Kibuishi was released, some customers commented on the box, saying it was too flimsy to withstand shipping or heaving handling. Scholastic really considered this feedback because they changed the box material in later printings, and that same durable quality is evident in this 20th-anniversary box set.
Just as Redditor PeverelPhoenix said, “this special edition will bring a genuine smile to your face and a deep swell of pride for being a Potterhead”!
Harry Potter Hardcover Sets – Chest Set
Compared to the paperback sets, this toy-chest box comes at a higher price, which might make you hesitate. But there is a reason it receives a 4.9 out of 5 on both Amazon and Walmart with over 81,000 customer ratings: This Harry Potter hardcover set is indeed worth every penny.
All 7 books come in an adorable “trunk” with handles. While appearing textured, the trunk is smooth, making it easy to slide in and out of its storage place. With a functioning plastic lock on the front, the lid stays closed – which I find to be a neat extra feature. There is a tiny downside, though: Some Amazon users were concerned about the trunk’s durability since it’s made of cardboard, so you probably don’t want to take it on the Hogwarts Express or anything, but it will still look amazing on your shelf!
Now, here comes the treasure! The hardcover books are neatly displayed inside and all of them are of excellent quality. I love how they take care of small detail: The lid is beautifully decorated inside, in case someone wants to leave it open and showcase the books within. And just like opening a real treasure chest, you will be greeted with pleasant surprises, too: There is a cute sticker set included for you to personalize the trunk, and inside the books, you can find exclusive illustrations on each chapter page.
Harry Potter Chest Set Unboxing
Well, this might not be something to use on a trip but is great as a lifetime collection!
Harry Potter Hardcover Sets – The Illustrated Collection
Heading into Harry Potter: The Illustrated Collection, many weren’t sure what to expect from these 3 new renditions of the iconic fantasy-adventure tale. It’s understandable if you think that J.K.Rowling and the publisher just try to milk as much money as possible from the series. Nonetheless, when I actually had a chance to see it, I found that this hardcover set was anything but a cheap shot for money.
Upon opening the box set, the sheer quality of the production is tangible from the very beginning. My fingers can glide effortlessly over the thick page, which offers a lush, canvas-like feel. It’s a satisfying touch that takes the experience to the next level and helps justify the whopping $39.99 price tag for each volume. Still, when I picked up Prisoner of Azkaban, I was put off by how heavy it was. It had me concerned about the massive size of 2019’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – The Illustrated Edition. But what is living and breathing on those pages is enough to make up for this flaw.
Simply put, Jim Kay has offered us breathtaking illustrations. Each of his artwork feels like a monumental discovery thanks to her use of brilliant colors and boundless creativity. It is true that his vision of the Wizarding World is influenced by other media, such as the film franchise and popular fan art, yet he still infuses it with an entirely fresh and bold flavor.
So, obviously a recommend. Amazon user “Ulinuper”, who had given this Harry Potter hardcover set a 5-star rating, speaks my mind: “This set will have a place on my bookshelf, and I will continue to collect them”. The next illustrated edition is expected to arrive by the end of 2022, so until then, grab the previous volumes before they run out of stock!
Harry Potter Hardcover Sets – Castle And Owl
Most of the Harry Potter hardcover sets are exquisitely designed and would go well with a dark-academia-styled library. If you are on a more modern side, though, Juniper Books also have something for you: The Castle And Owl Edition will look super fancy in a room of any minimalist!
The spines line up to create an illustration of Hedwig delivering you your Hogwarts letter, and the castle in the background set in a neutral color. The books published by Juniper all come with custom dust jackets, so you don’t have to worry about the cover stains.
Harry Potter Hardcover Sets – The Hogwarts Express Set
The moment I saw this box at Barnes and Noble, I know that I must get it. “Every Juniper Books creation begins with the same handful of elements: high quality, carefully curated books, creative and thoughtful designs plus exceptional customer service”, as acknowledged by Redditors, and the Hogwarts Express set is no exception. When you place the books in order, their spines form this beautiful, whimsical scene of the Hogwarts Express off on its journey to the Wizarding school. The gold metallic detailing and classically styled covers take the aesthetic to the next level!
To me, this Harry Potter hardcover set gives off the most enchanting feeling. Place them on your bookshelf and they will add a touch of magic to your reading place, especially with the help of this Hogwarts Express bookend!
Harry Potter Hardcover Sets – House Sets By Juniper Books
Perhaps you belong in Gryffindor, “where dwell the brave at heart”. Maybe you are a loyal and patient Hufflepuff or a wise old Ravenclaw with a ready mind. Me? The Sorting Hat says I’m a cunning Slytherin with a touch of Ravenclaw, but I love all these covers in Juniper Books’ house sets, and I can’t decide which one to choose.
This may just be another package for the story we all know and love, but this package is unlike any other: It celebrates every inch of your chosen house! These covers are exquisitely designed with each house’s traits in mind and are high-quality hardcover books.
When I say that meticulous care has been taken to make this collection, I really mean it: There are so many minute details, down to the dust cover, that it’s almost impossible to take them all in on your first glance through. Many Amazon users said that the set is even more beautiful than in the picture, and according to user “Elizabeth Lane”, she was “blown away by the care, beauty, and craftsmanship that can only be realized in 3-dimensions”.
If you can’t decide which color design you like most (just like me), mix them up! Juniper Books also put together this Harry Potter collection of mixed covers that will brighten up your bookshelves even more! These are the American edition published by Scholastic, but you also can purchase the UK editions. Both the house sets and mashup sets come in a sturdy chest box.
Looking for more Harry Potter gift ideas? We’ve compiled a list of fantastic gifts for your Potterheads & where to find them!
Harry Potter Hardcover Sets – House Edition (Illustrated By Levi Pinfold)
Looking for some Harry Potter hardcover sets that can pay homage to your house without hurting your wallet? The house collection by Juniper Books is absolutely stunning, but for those on a budget, Levi Pinfold’s edition is a more reasonable option f. And who says it’s not beautiful?
These books are sparsely illustrated and may seem a surprising pick, but they are thoughtfully designed volumes in either hardcover or paperback. Levi Pinfold has created intricate house crests inspired by medieval heraldry, using excellent line drawing and a little ink.
For a special gift, choose a box set in the shade of your favorite house: Red for Gryffindor, blue for Ravenclaw, green for Slytherin, and yellow for Hufflepuff.
Harry Potter Hardcover Sets – The Hogwarts Library
“The Hogwarts Library” box set does not contain the 7 main volumes, but you won’t complete your Harry Potter collection without this. Inside, you will find books treasured by the readers of the great library at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry:
- “Fantastic Beast And Where To Find Them”: Newt Scamander’s masterwork on magical creatures.
- “Quidditch Through The Age”: A comprehensive history of the game and its rule.
- “A Tales Of Beedle The Bard”: A popular collection of Wizarding children’s fairytales with an extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore.
Altogether these Harry Potter new books provide you with a lot of knowledge about the Wizarding World. The annotations (made by our beloved characters) add a quirky touch to each story, too, making us feel like borrowing the books in Hogwarts Library for real. My favorite is “Fantastic Beast And Where To Find Them” – I just don’t know how J.K.Rowling can come up with all these weird and wonderful creatures!
As user “Jesse Vollmer” commented, “the books are well-made and aesthetically pleasing”. Coming in a fancy box, this hardcover set is a must-have on the bookshelf of any witch and wizard. Both the content and design received a 4.9 out of 5 by Amazon and Walmart users.
Fill Your Bookshelves With Magic!
Re-reading Harry Potter as an adult, to me, is more than just a chance to relive the delight and wonder of the magical world Rowling created. I’m able to see everything in a new light: All the underlayers, emotions, and complexity of the plot. For the first time, I truly understand Dumbledore’s fatherly love for Harry, Snape’s courage and sacrifice, Fred and George’s heroic moments, Ron’s internal battle with his insecurities, and the reason behind Dursley’s maltreatment of Harry.
So, there is no better time to gift yourself one of these amazing Harry Potter hardcover sets and embark on this magical journey once again! Which one is your favourite? Let us know in the comment section!
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