As previously mentioned on this blog, J.K. Rowling hand wrote The Tales of Beedle the Bard (the fairytales that are mentioned in the 7th Harry Potter book). She wrote seven copies... six were given to friends and the seventh copy was auctioned at Southeby's in London to raise money for charity.
The auction was yesterday and the book sold for... wait for it... 1,950,000 British pounds. Which, at the current exchange rate converts into $3,979,933.51 American dollars. What the heck, I'll round that figure up to four million dollars. A bargain.. for an original unpublished book by J.K. Rowling.
Earlier reports, such as this one from Publisher's Weekly, announced that the winner was Hazlitt Gooden & Fox, a British art dealer. However, the art dealer was acting as an agent and the actual buyer was... wait for it again... Amazon.com. Intriguing.
And, before you get all excited, no, you can't go add it to your Amazon shopping cart. But, according to the Leaky Cauldron and Amazon's message boards, the book will go on tour to schools so kids can see it for themselves, which I think is a fabulous idea. And, to see a bit more of the book yourself, check out the pictures at Amazon's new Beedle the Bard website.
Update: Amazon is posting reviews of the stories in the book! Check the Beedle the Bard website mentioned above to see the reviews (essentially detailed plot summaries) of all five fairy tales.
Further update: The book is now being published! It will be available for sale on December 4, 2008. See this post for more details.