Kirsten Kane’s mother was clearing out the attic in November 2022, when she stumbled upon a rare copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Kirsten’s name was written inside, so her mother asked her if she wanted to keep it.
“I was looking at it, and I was thinking ‘This is the first edition,'” Kirsten, 35, told The Glasgow Times.
“It was the original edition, it was one of only 500 printed in the entire world. It’s insane.”
She went through an online checklist, which identified all the important signs of a genuine original: publisher listed as Bloomsbury, copyright information 1997, serial number 10987654321.
Harry’s school supplies list on page 53 had a wand listed twice.
Kirsten said: ‘As I was trying it on I couldn’t believe I’d found it – but I wrote my name in Peru.
“I try not to focus on it too much because I can’t change the past, but he’s been doing well other than that.”
She sold the copy a few weeks later to a shop in Chelsea for £5,750.
The timing of the discovery of the first edition could not be more serendipitous.
Kirsten and her family have been coming off a series of difficult years after she and her husband lost their income due to Covid.
Their daughter Rosa, now three and a half years old, was struggling to socialize after spending the early years of her life in confinement.
Kirsten fantasized about finding a place to launch her own Baby and Toddler Club, one that kids like her could access.
She said: “Rosa was seven months old when the lockdown happened and then she hadn’t seen anyone for two years.
“It was really hard for her and us. So I’d take her to these classes and they’d either be really busy or really loud.
“None of it fit her personality and it was really stressful for both of us.”
Around the same time that the Harry Potter book came out, Kirsten was seeing the perfect setting for her playroom.
“We didn’t have the money for it, it wasn’t an option, but I saw it so I thought I’d keep that in mind for the future,” she said.
To take over the unit at RogArt Street’s East End campus, Kirsten needed around £6,000.
She said, “There was an auction at which I could have put the book in and maybe get more money, but I needed the money right away for this.
“I didn’t want to be too greedy about it.
“I basically need £6,000 to start a business, and I’ve just found it. It’s outrageous.
So I sold the book, moved on, and now I’m here.
“I just can’t stand it. Every morning I walk by, I can’t believe this happened.”
Kirsten got the keys to the studio room on January 11th and opened Daisy and Dragon a few weeks later on February 2nd.
She said: “I always thought Daisy and Dragon would be a little girl named Daisy and her fairy friend, the Dragon.
“Daisy is like Rosa. She’s very, very shy. She uses that dragon to help her be more confident.”
Kirsten uses the space for toddler and infant classes as well as mixed playgroups. Each classroom for young children is designed around a storybook theme.
Kirsten said: “Honestly, it was unbelievable. The first time I attended class, I almost started crying.
“Every time I look at the reservation system or get a notification that someone has booked, I can’t get past it.
“It completely exceeded my expectations of where I would be right now.”
Kirsten is now working on writing her own children’s books for inclusion in popular toddler classes.
She said, “Harry Potter made it possible for me to be able to write my own books because I wouldn’t necessarily have been able to afford it.”
She added, “It’s pretty much full circle how the book allowed the class and the books to come together.
“We had a tough year last year, and last year was traumatic, and that totally saved me.”
For more information on Daisy and Dragon, click here here.
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