For my daughter’s 7th birthday, I ordered Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Charlotte’s Web from my local independent bookstore, R&R Books in Oakville.
While I could’ve gone to Chapters and probably picked up a copy of Charlotte’s Web with Dakota Fanning’s picture on the cover, I certainly couldn’t have found a copy from the first print year, 1952. Although not a first edition, it’s still very cool (and it only cost $7).
In some ways, shopping at R&R reminds me of 84 Charring Cross Road where Helene Hanff would request books and Frank Doel, owner of the antique bookshop, Marks & Co., would hunt down unique copies. R&R have hunted down affordable firsts for my collection like Breakfast of Champions and an American hardcover version of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
When I arrived at the bookstore, I saw a beautiful box set of the Harry Potter series. I briefly considered it, but it was too expensive and I wasn’t sure if my daughter would even be interested in the series. I saw a cheaper box set of the first three books that was more in the budget.