JK Rowling marks 20 years since Harry Potter appeared

J.K. Rowling
FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2012, file photo “Harry Potter” novels author J.K. Rowling poses for a photo at an appearance at The David H. Koch Theater in New York. Rowling is to receive the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award, PEN America told The Associated Press on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. (Photo by Dan Hallman/Invision/AP, File)

LONDON (AP) — Wizarding legend Harry Potter’s tale has turned 20.

Author J.K. Rowling’s first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published in Britain on June 26, 1997.

Since then, it has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 79 languages. The books’ magical world has inspired multiple films, spinoffs, memorabilia and amusement park attractions. The White Elephant Cafe, the Edinburgh spot where Rowling wrote the first book, has become an international tourist destination.

“20 years ago today a world that I had lived in alone was suddenly open to others,” Rowling tweeted. “It’s been wonderful. Thank you.”

Rowling’s publisher, Bloomsbury, will release four new editions of the book, one for each house at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, in honor of the anniversary.

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