Harry Potter is one of the biggest fictional franchises in human history.
The books, first published in the Summer of 1997 very quickly took the world by storm, and the ensuing rights battle over the franchise from studios such as Disney, Warner Brothers, and Universal Studios eventually led to the cultural juggernaut that we now know today!
The series has spawned numerous successful films, video games, theme park attractions, and mountains of merchandise. So much so that it is often easy to forget about the books that started it all!
But how many Harry Potter books actually are there? How many are important to the canon? And are there any spin-offs to take into consideration?
If you’ve been wondering how many Harry Potter books there are, then make sure to keep reading below, because we are going to find out exactly how many there are!
How Many Harry Potter Books Are There?
Though you may initially assume that this would be an incredibly easy question to answer, the answer itself is actually slightly complicated when you take into consideration the number of spin-off and sequel books there are that have spawned from the franchise.
Let’s take a look at the major books first.
The Mainline Series
The simple answer to this question is that there are seven books currently to be found in the mainline Harry Potter franchise.
These include the books:
- Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone
- Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
- Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
- Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
- Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
- Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows
These books were published from 1997 to 2007, and are considered to be the essential mainline canon of the franchise and chronicles Harry Potter’s journey from a fledgling young wizard to an important figure in his own right within the Wizarding World.
If you are totally new to the franchise, and you just want to experience the essential content, then these seven books are the ones for you!
The Harry Potter franchise currently only has one officially recognized and canonical sequel, in the form of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. If this were to be considered as part of the mainline series, then this would put the franchise at around eight books in length.
However, the difficulty with Harry Potter And The Cursed Child is that it does not actually take the form of a standard prose novel like the original books.
Instead, the book actually takes the form of a stage play script, due to the fact that the sequel story was actually produced as a stage play!
Some fans have trouble considering this as part of the mainline series, as it was released many years after the main series had concluded, and the book has also been critically panned in some circles.
Of course, as with any franchise as massively successful as Harry Potter, you can expect a fair share of spin-off books that help to supplement the main story and build up the Wizarding World.
For the sake of brevity, we will only be considering books that add additional depth to the Wizarding World, and we will not be covering superficial books such as guide books to specific wands, or fully illustrated versions of the original books.
The most well-known set of spin-off books associated with the Harry Potter franchise is the Fantastic Beasts books.
Similar to The Cursed Child, these books actually do not take on the form of ordinary prose novels but are written as if they were encyclopedias created within the Wizarding World.
These books are written by fictional magizoologist Newt Scamander, and detail some of the magical creatures that populate the Wizarding World.
The Fantastic Beasts books, of which there are two, are perhaps best known for being adapted into their own equally-successful franchise of live-action films of which there are currently plans to create more than five films.
Another well-known spin-off from the main Harry Potter books is The Tales Of Beedle The Bard.
This is a book that early Harry Potter fans were desperate to get their hands on after Hermione received it as a gift from Dumbledore in one of the mainline books.
The Tales Of Beedle The Bard is a fictional collection of short stories that are popular fairy tales within the Wizarding World.
Included within this collection are classics such as The Tale Of The Three Brothers, Babbitty Rabbitty And Her Cackling Stump, and The Fountain Of Fair Fortune amongst many others.
Though neither of these books would be considered essential to the mainline canon, they help to provide some extra depth to make the Wizarding World feel more lived in and real, making them valuable to any die-hard Potterheads!
Are There Any Other Harry Potter Books?
Of course. Alongside the main books, the sequel book, and the important spin-off books there are also numerous other fun books such as fully illustrated versions of the novels, coloring books, and activity books.
However, if we were to include these amongst books that are in the mainline series, then the number of books in the Harry Potter franchise would be truly gargantuan!
In Total How Many Harry Potter Books Are There?
In terms of canonical books in the Harry Potter franchise, there are around eleven books in the series. This includes the original seven books, the sequel, the Fantastic Beasts books, and The Tales Of Beedle The Bard!
To Wrap Up
There you have it.
Although the Harry Potter franchise is fairly sprawling, and contains multiple multimedia properties such as video games, films, and even music, there are only a few books in the franchise that contain truly vital information and canonical story elements.
If you are a total newbie to the franchise, and want to check out only the most important material, then we hope that this article has helped to clear up some confusion!