The edition I’m reading is an early hardback (it came out with the first four books boxset) ISBN: 9780747532699
UPDATE: 20th October 2015
One chapter in! And comparing it to the kind of stuff I read today, IT’S REALLY GOOD!!! What I think is particularly amazing is realising that JK Rowling had a HUGE plan right from the outset. It’s quite clear that there’s a helluva lot going on in this book that’s not being relayed in this first story. What are all the wizards and witches celebrating? What’s with the owls? And what’s with this special little baby??? I think I thought the books were much more simplistic when I first read them, but now I can clearly see that the huge world-building is already at play. Also, I don’t remember Sirius Black being mentioned so early on. I’m not sure I even knew he existed before book 3? But there he is, right in the first chapter! I wonder how much Rowling knew about her world when she first wrote this. Am dead impressed!
UPDATE: 25th October 2015
p.34 – vaguely remembering a time when the post used to arrive early enough in the morning for breakfast…
UPDATE: 26th October 2015
p.67 – just read the Diagon Alley chapter – SO DARN MAGICAL. I don’t know why I ever thought that Rowling was such a mediocre writer. Having now read so much kids lit (and studied it under my MA) I’m coming to realise that JK is a fantastic writer. There is nothing else quite like this book, and what’s still so amazing to me is the amount of world-building going on – seriously, did she know what was to come in the future books when she wrote this? Because there is so much depth and room to explore, plus hints about things maybe not being quite as safe in this world as they seem (particularly with regards to Gringotts and the Ministry of Magic). Also, is Hagrid hiding half of his broken magic wand in the pink umbrella???