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Celebrating 20 years of Harry Potter magic...

Stephanie Sutcliffe
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Potter fans around the world are celebrating two decades of what has become one of the most popular and well-loved characters of all-time. 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released on June 26 1997, and went on to sell more than 450 million copies in 79 languages.

Author J K Rowling’s brilliant idea to have the characters grow up at the same rate as readers has ensured that those of us now in our late 20s and early 30s are still equally enamoured with the story as we were after reading the debut novel in our pre/early teens.

Not that the wizarding world of Harry Potter is limited to this demographic, children and adults alike the world over continue to be consumed by the magic of J K Rowling’s books and excitedly await any new release associated with the boy wizard. 

In fact, the adult demand for Harry Potter books saw Bloomsbury release more sombre covers in 1998 and called them the ‘adult edition’ to appease those too embarrassed to be seen reading children’s books in public.

On June 26, in honour of the 20th anniversary, J K Rowling tweeted her fans “20 years ago today a world that I had lived in alone was suddenly open to others. It’s been wonderful. Thank you. #HarryPotter20.”

The Twitter universe subsequently erupted into reminiscing about time spent reading the books with many thanking Rowling for the years of magic. 

Since the initial explosion of interest in ‘The Boy Who Lived’, the books have led to a major movie franchise, a perpetually sold-out theatre production, multiple theme parks around the world and a booming memorabilia market.

The excitement continues…