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Amazon Purchases J.K. Rowling Original for $4 Million

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Online book retailer announced today that they have purchased an original, hand-written and hand-bound copy of J.K. Rowling's "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," a book of children's stories that plays a major role in the plot of "The Deathly Hallows." The book, one of only seven made, was auctioned off in London at Sotheby's for 1.95 million pounds. Proceeds from the auction are going to The Children's Voice Campaign, a charity that benefits needy and institutionalized children worldwide. The book was expected to fetch only about $100,000 -- clearly Sotheby's was underestimating the Potter fanbase.

The Amazon website has several large pictures and a brief description of this beautifully crafted artifact, which is bound in brown Moroccan leather (what, no dragon skin?) and embedded with moonstones and sterling silver embellishment:

"There is no easy way to define the experience of seeing, holding, or reading J.K. Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard, so let's just start with one word: "Whoa." The very fact of its existence (an artifact pulled straight out of a novel) is magical, not to mention the facts that only seven copies exist in all the world and each of the never-before-told tales is handwritten and illustrated by J.K. Rowling herself (and it's quite clear from the first few pages that she has some skill as an artist). Rowling's handwriting is like the familiar scrawl of a favorite aunt--it's not hard to read, but it does require attention--allowing you to take it slow and savor the mystery of each next word."
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If you absolutely can't stand that fact that you can't get your hands on one of these puppies, well, Sotheby's is releasing a limited edition commemorative booklet through their website. The six remaining copies were distributed to "those most closely connected to the Harry Potter books during the last 17 years."