Harry Potter and the (Junior Library Guild) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?
Updated Post with new Info, January 6, 2019.
Earlier, I discussed how the only valuable book club edition (BCE) of the US Harry Potter series is the Junior Library Guild (JLG) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone–this is still true and they’re quite valuable in almost any condition. And, while rarely seen on eBay and other book selling sites and shops, they’re around.
But, the Sorcerer's Stone JLG may not be the only JLG Harry Potter book club edition. The Junior Library Guild website also lists a Chamber of Secrets next to the Sorcerer's Stone, but I have yet to knowingly see one and the same can be said for my other Potter collector friends and dealer acquaintances who collect.
So if we’ve never seen one, how do we know there is one? Also, a collector friend of mine spoke with a bookseller many years ago who claimed to have sold one. And, the Junior Library website lists the book and claims it to be out of stock–so it looks like it was for sale at one time. So, I’m guessing there is one about, just it’s not well known and the ones that have been listed on eBay aren’t well described and/or the seller(s) don’t know they’ve potentially got a valuable book on their hands.
And while I've not knowingly seen a JLG Chamber of Secrets, I do know what the Sorcerer’s Stone JLG looks like. The jacket carries a white box to the lower right corner near the spine on the back of the jacket and spine says Junior Library Guild on the bottom. The boards also share the same cover art as the jacket, so I am guessing the Chamber of Secrets is similarly designed and lovely as a result. But it may not be. There are a few Chamber of Secret book club editions that I've seen running around on different websites. The most common book club seems to have a flat jacket with "made in the US" on the front inside flap in place of the price and black boards. There is also one that has a similar jacket to that of the just mentioned book club, but the boards are different shades of blue. So maybe the the JLG Chamber of Secrets followed a different format than that of the Sorcerer's Stone? OR, like the elusive JLG Sorcerer's Stone, print numbers are quite low and they're just tucked up into private collections with few showing for sale over the years--which I think is the case.
While there's been little to confirm this Chamber of Secrets book was produced, I'm lead to believe the JLG Chamber of Secrets exists because why would the JLG website list one if they didn't make and sell it? But if this book does exist, what's the value? That's a tricky question, at least until a market has been established. The demand is non-existent for it currently because it's an unknown; if any have been sold on eBay they're probably just passed off as another book club edition or an interesting first edition. If a verified JLG Chamber shows up, however, the price it sells for would help set the market and demand may or may not increase as the book's existence becomes known.
All that said, I'm keeping my eyes open for a copy, because I know it's a book I'd like to have. :) And if anyone has seen one OR has one, drop me a line with a few pics. I'd love to see it.