Harry Potter paperback goes $19,120


Bull market or bear market, Harry Potter is still in demand.

Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries reports that it has sold a 1997 copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for $19,120. The book is one of just 200 copies from the first printing by Bloomsbury, and includes illustrated wrappers and a card signed by author J.K. Rowling.

The Harry Potter book was one of the few things that has surpassed expectations in recent months. The pre-auction estimate was just $12,000.

The sale price was nearly double the previous record for a Harry Potter softcover, although it's not close to being a Harry Potter record: In 2007, a Harry Potter prequel handwritten by Ms. Rowling sold for $4 million in a charity auction to benefit disadvantaged children.

The Harry Potter sale aside, the market for collectibles is in decline with the rest of the economy. Desperate consumers scrounging through their garages for baseball cards has led to market saturation and falling prices, exacerbated by declining consumer demand.