“They bought Harry’s school books in a shop called Flourish and Blotts where the shelves were stacked to the ceiling with books as large as paving stones bound in leather; books the size of postage stamps in covers of silk; books full of peculiar symbols and a few books with nothing in them at all.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
I. Harry Potter Behind the Scenes Books
1. Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey by Bob McCabe
If this book were a character at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series, it’d be the youngest Seeker in a century, a Prefect, a Headgirl/boy, and able to cast a corporeal Patronus. It’s the total package.
Truly living up to its name, Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey takes us into the unique world-building that went into all eight films.
An authentic insider experience to what it was like to be on set, this oversized coffee table book is over 500 pages of spectacular behind the scenes photographs, concept art, and so much more. It’s the next best thing to visiting Leavesden Studios!
2. J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic Volume 1: Extraordinary People and Fascinating Places by Jody Revenson
Revenson’s book is a playfully crafted exploration of the main characters in the Harry Potter films and some of the most iconic locations. Written in a voice accessible for even young Potterheads, this is behind the scenes fun for all ages.
There are a lot of fun interactive elements tucked into the pages. There’s a teeny tiny collection of Quibbler covers that fold out accordion-style and a front cover page from the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them American wizarding newspaper The New York Ghost.
You also get a Chudley Cannons poster, one of many hanging on Ron’s bedroom wall! This book is a keeper!
3. Harry Potter: The Creature Vault by Jody Revenson
Featuring chapters on Forbidden Forest and Black Lake dwelling creatures, Shape-Shifters, and Companion Creatures, Revenson’s The Creature Vault is home to a variety of concept art, digital renderings, and tie-ins to the eight Harry Potter films.
The full-color fold-out brochure featuring photos of the various species of Hogsmeade’s majestic Post Owls and factoids about the real animals on-screen are a hoot.
Take how the catactor for Crookshanks (a Persian named Crackerjack) went to hair and makeup to achieve his unruly fur-do and grumpy expression! Or how three different Maine Coon cats played Mrs. Norris, and Argus Filch actor, David Bradley –a huge cat lover– instantly bonded with each of them! On a scale of one to Hagrid, this book is a giant hit!
4. J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World: The Dark Arts: A Movie Scrapbook by Jody Revenson
Living up to the adage “good things come in small packages” is The Dark Arts: A Movie Scrapbook. Easily the most portable one on the list, this artfully designed book is filled with crisp, glossy, and vibrant photographs and reproductions of prominent props from the films.
Revenson’s book takes a closer look at Snape’s (and later Slughorn’s) Potions class, complete with its over 500 hand-labeled jars, bottles, and vials.
It also brings the handwritten letter teen Dumbledore wrote to his ex-flame Gellert Grindelwald, as well as the Dumbledore’s Army parchment signed by Hermione, Ron, and the other Hogwarts students in The Order of the Phoenix film.
While not an exhaustive look at the eight films behind the scenes, The Dark Arts Movie Scrapbook is an entertaining and appealing read. It makes a great traveling talking piece and addition to Harry Potter game nights, brunches, or marathon meetups.
5. The Archive of Magic: The Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by Signe Bergstrom
I cannot praise the breathtaking elegance of Bergstrom’s Film Wizardry highly enough. Whatever your feelings are on the controversial Crimes of Grindelwald ending, the film in its entirety has, in the words of the Auror Kingsley Shacklebolt, style.
The visual effects, costuming, and production design are all honored in this beautiful book. Many of the pages feature MinaLima’s dazzling and inimitable graphic designs, typography, and concept art, and the exclusive content is plentiful.
The chapter dedicated to Crimes of Grindelwald’s depiction of Paris and its feature on the Circus Arcanus is especially extraordinary. The only criminal thing here would be not to consider adding this book to your Potteriffic collection.
6. Harry Potter: The Artifact Vault by Jody Revenson
The Artifact Vault immerses us into the world of Harry Potter with its focus on the small details that go into making up Hogwarts.
It takes us into a quirky sea of classified ads from the Daily Prophet — An advert for a Floo Powder accelorator, an exam study guide (“No more fouls in your O.W.L.s! Soar above expectations with our new O.W.L.s Crammer and get off to a flying start!”) and even a “Blemish Blitzer” made with Dragon Claw!
Surprisingly, there’s also a chapter dedicated to Food and Drink. It takes us into Honeydukes, Bill and Fleur’s wedding feast (three words: violet cream swans!), and of course the Great Hall!
We may not have noticed it in our thousandth repeat viewing of the movies, but it’s in this hallowed hall where the humblest of all brekkie foods are served alongside the platters of sausages and trays of toast–cold cereal! Pixie Puffs and Cheeri-Owls anyone?
- 5 Best Harry Potter Fanfiction Stories to Read this Year - I've searched the world of Harry Potter fanfiction far and wide to present you with some of the most surprising, best Harry Potter fanfiction stories for the ages. Let's explore alternatives such as Slytherin Hermione, a Harry and Snape friendship, and a Harmione love story.
7. Harry Potter: Magical Places from the Films: Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and Beyond by Jody Revenson
Magical Places from the Films takes us Potterheads into the extensively researched, finely detailed, and deliberately crafted architectural design that went into many of the most spellbinding locations in the movies.
In one of the many fascinating bits of insight, longtime Harry Potter production designer, Stuart Craig, reveals that he made the entire space in the Room of Requirement in The Order of the Phoenix film mirrored so the room “reflected the students and their needs back to themselves.” Clever!
Another chapter takes us into the fantastical Wizarding Homes in the Potterverse. Especially dazzling is the close-up of Luna and Xenophilius Lovegood’s quirky home. Particularly the watercolor illustrations the dreamy Ravenclaw painted all around her bedroom and the rest of the house.
If you’re a Potterhead more in the market for dark abodes, there’s also a feature on the foreboding and aristocratic Malfoy Manor and to what was once temporarily the Death Eaters and Voldemort’s headquarters. If you’re a Muggle Studies professor, you might want to sit this chapter out!
II. Harry Potter Companion Books and Spin-Offs
“He lay on his bed reading late into the night, Hedwig swooping in and out of the open window as she pleased.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
8. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them Illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill
For the aspiring Magizoologist, Dragonologist, Care of Magical Creatures professor, or creature enthusiast, one of the most iconic Harry Potter companion books and Hogwarts required reading Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them has received an illustrated upgrade.
It features stunning art watercolored and inked onto its oversized pages, and a pallet of colors textured enough to bring to life the most realistic and fantastical wizarding world creatures.
This version of Fantastic Beasts begs to be read aloud and shared. The Charlie Weasley approved multi-paged section on Dragons is especially dynamite.
The book as a whole is gorgeous enough to be read as bedtime stories. However, maybe stay away from the entries on Red Caps and Lethifolds unless you have your wand handy to Lumos up some extra light and banish the inevitable nightmares!
9. The Tales of Beedle the Bard Exclusive Amazon Collector’s Edition by J.K. Rowling
I like to imagine this is Dumbledore’s edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard that he bequeathed to Hermione in his will in The Deathly Hallows. This Amazon exclusive book is a handsome faux leatherbound treasure, adorned with silver motifs and encrusted with sapphires.
It could easily be a book nestled in the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library or the many bookshelves in the Headmaster’s Office. Unlike other copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, this collectible book comes in a handsome velvet pouch tucked inside a large false “book.”
It includes a handwritten introduction from J.K. Rowling and original illustrations Rowling exclusively drew for this edition.
The classic wizarding world fables are written in calligraphy, rather than the traditional Adobe Garamond typeface in the U.S. editions of the Harry Potter books. Along with the unique design of the book, this gives it an otherworldly feel. It’s like you plucked them off the set of one of the movies.
This collector’s edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard is enough to make any Potterhead swoon and might justify busting into that Gringotts vault of savings to buy.
Another magical perk that doesn’t come with all Harry Potter companion books? All of the royalties go to the charity organization The Children’s High Level Group.
10. Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History Of Magic
Don’t be fooled by the “History of Magic” in the title. This is no Professor Binns snoozefest. This book is the companion to the Harry Potter exhibition of the same name that opened in the U.K. in 2017.
Curated by the esteemed British Library, A Journey Through A History Of Magic is a ‘grammable collection of J.K. Rowling’s personal artifacts. Some examples are her pen and ink drawings of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and her handwritten early drafts.
The book also features illustrator Jim Kay’s art and glimpses at ancient historical texts that occurred in or inspired Harry’s world. These are currently under the safeguard of the British Library.
There are some of the earliest depictions of witchcraft and the occult in these ink splattered parchment designed pages!
There’s an illustrated alchemy scroll from the 1400s (The Compound of Alchymy by George Ripley) that’s over 19 feet long and supposedly has instructions of how to forge the Philosopher’s Stone.
There’s even an illustrated text dated from 1725 (A Compleat History of Druggs) that glimpses into Bezoar Stones (Yes, they exist!). It looks at the goats who “bear” them and how they originated in ancient Arabic medicine before traveling to medieval Europe.
So Potterheads, which of these books are you ready to Accio your way like, NOW?
Do you own any of these yourself in your dragon’s hoard *cough?* I mean erm, entirely respectable and not at all alarming amount of Potter merch?
Apparate right into our comments below or tweet us on our Twitter or our Facebook and let’s geek out as true Harry Potter fans!
Hiya, my name is Vicky and I’m your friendly neighborhood Marvel-loving, Studio Ghibli-obsessed, Queer Potterhead.
I may be in my mid-twenties but I’ve been an enthusiastic Potterhead for over a decade. I can’t go a day without firing off at least half a dozen Harry Potter references and have a small museum of Potter and Wizarding World merch… one with FAR too many Funkos.
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