The top 20 most valuable books that could make you a small fortune (and how to spot a rare edition)
- Antique book expert has shared his list of the 20 most valuable titles available
- First edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone tops the list at £50,000
- But it must be a hardback and have the numbers 10 to 1 printed on the title page
- Work by Beatrix Potter, Agatha Christie and J.R.R. Tolkien also appear on the list
Harry Potter, Peter Rabbit and Winnie the Pooh are among the nation's best-loved children's books.
But some lucky readers will have even more of a reason to cherish the titles after they were named as some of the most valuable books of all-time.
An antique book expert has shared his list of the 20 most valuable books that could be tucked away in attics across the country - and could fetch up to £50,000.
Matthew Haley, director and head of books and manuscripts at auction house Bonhams, also shared his advice for buyers looking to invest in rare books.
A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone tops the list with an estimated value of £50,000.
But it is only worth the five-figure some if it is a hardback copy with the numbers 10 to 1 printed down the back of the title page, Mr Haley explained.
The second most valuable book on the list is a first edition of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, which can fetch up to £40,000 - but only if its in perfect condition and features a typo corrected by hand on the back.
In his advice for investors, which was commissioned by online antique marketplace loveantiques.com, Mr Haley explained that first editions, or a full set of volumes, can command the highest prices, as well as those that were manufactured as a one-off.
For any book, its condition and completeness is paramount, and any damage such as missing title pages or spine, could dramatically decrease the value of the collectible.
The guidelines also advise to keep the dust jackets for the books – most 20th century books need to have their original dust-jacket to be of collectable value.
Mr Haley said: 'Searching your bookshelves for treasures can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, but in every auction, we have sellers who are stunned by how much their old books make.
'If you have an extremely old, rare or a book similar to the ones on this list, which is in good condition, you really could be looking at a small fortune.'