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Five Tales, Seven Copies, One Book: J.K. Rowling's Tales of Beedle the Bard

As you may have heard, J.K. Rowling has created a new book of fairy tales, but unlike her last book, which has reached print runs in the tens of millions, this one has a very limited edition: seven. Handwritten and illustrated by Rowling herself and bound in morocco leather, silver ornaments, and semi-precious stones, The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a collection of five wizarding fairy tales. (The tales played a crucial role in the plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows after Dumbledore left them to Hermione Granger, but only one of them, "The Tale of the Three Brothers," was included in the story.) Of the seven copies, Rowling gave six to "those most intimately involved" with the Potter books (names as yet unknown), and the last was auctioned off this morning at Sotheby's in London, with proceeds going to The Children's Voice, an organization cofounded by Rowling that campaigns for children's rights.

The book, which according to the AP was expected to sell for around $100,000, ended up selling for 1.95 million pounds (or, given the state of the U.S. dollar these days, $3.98 million). The buyer was unknown at the time of purchase, but later today was revealed to be ... Amazon.com. So needless to say, you can now read more about the book on our site, including some lovely photographs, a few of which I've added below. And there's an already-busy discussion board, where we (and our customers) are answering as many questions as we can about the book. --Tom

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