Twenty five years ago on June 26, the first Harry Potter book was published. No one realised then that it was the birth of a global cultural sensation.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has sold 120 million copies since then. Its success inspired six more books and a hugely-successful film franchise.
Author JK Rowling, in a tweet on June 26, recalled feeling dumbstruck when she saw her first book in a shop window.
25 years ago today, I saw Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in a bookstore (Waterstones, Prince's Street, Edinburgh) for the very first time. It was one of the best moments of my life. Thank you, @BloomsburyBooks, for taking a chance on a total unknown. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/yPwaqPbvie
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 26, 2022
A single mother struggling financially, Rowling had faced rejection from multiple publishers when she approached them with her manuscript. It was eventually Bloomsbury that agreed to publish her work.
"I had absolutely no idea what was coming as I stood dumbstruck in that book shop, staring at my name on the spine of a published novel," Rowling said. "Thank you to every single reader who boarded the Hogwarts Express in 1997 and stuck with Harry until the very end. What a journey it was..."
Rowling thanked Bloomsbury for placing its bets on an unknown writer.
"25 years ago today, I saw Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in a bookstore (Waterstones, Prince's Street, Edinburgh) for the very first time. It was one of the best moments of my life," she added.
The Harry Potter series, treasured by children and adults alike, chronicles the life of a young wizard at a school of witchcraft and wizardry called Hogwarts.The book series has been published in 80 languages, selling over 500 million copies across the world. The Harry Potter film franchise, comprised of eight films, is estimated to be worth $25 billion.