While the Harry Potter series might be made up of seven very successful books in our world, there are dozens of books in the Harry Potter universe that are mentioned. These books range from spell books used at Hogwarts to autobiographies to fairy tales, and everything in between. Some of these books aren’t very useful to anyone in the series at all, especially those by Gilderoy Lockhart. However, others were extremely important to learning magic and solving mysteries about Voldemort.
Here are the 10 most useful books in the Harry Potter series ranked by usefulness.
10 ONE THOUSAND MAGICAL HERBS AND FUNGI
This book, written by Phyllida Spore, is one that Harry has to pick up on his way to Hogwarts for his first year. It's is used for things like potion-making and Herbology. While it’s not talked about that often in the series, it’s clearly a foundational text. Knowing the different magical uses of various herbs and fungi would be essential for all witches and wizards. These are key ingredients in making potions, and it’s also important to know which of these are poisonous and which are not.
9 THE LIFE AND LIES OF ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
A book's usefulness is rather subjective, and usefulness can have a lot of meanings. For example, The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore written by Rita Skeeter might not be that useful in a practical sense, but it was useful in some ways to Harry. While a lot of the information in the book wasn’t factual, some of it was. Without this book, Harry wouldn't have learned about Dumbledore's family history or his involvement with Grindelwald, so in that sense, it was a useful book.
8 COMMON MAGICAL AILMENTS AND AFFLICTIONS
Harry didn’t grow up in the magical world, so he isn’t as aware of the different household books that witches and wizards use. However, this book that’s mentioned in the series is definitely one that your average witch or wizard would want to have on hand. Considering all the ways that magic and potions can go wrong, it would be essential to know what to do when minor illnesses and ailments happen. This is definitely the type of book you’d need to keep around.
7 A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO TRANSFIGURATION
This is another book that Harry and his classmates must have during their time at Hogwarts. It’s used as a coursebook during the first few years of Transfiguration classes. While it might just be a textbook, it’s definitely an essential one. Transfiguration is a serious branch of magic that could go quite wrong if not practiced carefully. Learning how to transfigure things, especially living creatures, is definitely worth knowing if you’re a witch or wizard, and this textbook teaches all about that.
6 FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
One of the great things about the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them book is that it exists in Harry’s world and in ours. J.K. Rowling wrote this book, and it’s definitely a fun read. Plus, there is also a movie based on the book and the ideas behind it. Written by Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts is a handy field guide to the common magical creatures in the wizarding world. Learning about these animals is important as far as safety is concerned, and it’s also really fascinating.
5 ADVANCED POTION MAKING
Advanced Potion Making by Libatius Borage is another textbook Harry uses while at school. It’s the textbook used by Horace Slughorn in his N.E.W.T. level potions classes. The book itself is quite useful, because it teaches witches and wizards how to brew advanced potions of all kinds. But even more useful than the original textbook itself is Snape’s copy. He included so many tips and tricks that aided in making perfect potions. While there were some less than savory thing in the book, such as Sectumsempra, it definitely was useful to Harry.
4 THE STANDARD BOOK OF SPELLS
If there’s any book that is the cornerstone of education at Hogwarts it’s The Standard Book of Spells by Miranda Goshawk. There are different versions of this book that are used as the students advance in magic. This series helps students learn all the basic spells that they need to know, especially charms. Learning these basics is really the core of a magical education, so it’s definitely extremely useful.
3 A HISTORY OF MAGIC
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot might not seem like the most useful or interesting book on this list, but it definitely has an important place. While it might not have been an interesting read, this book contained a lot of necessary knowledge about the history of the wizarding world, even if Harry and Ron didn’t like to learn about it. Plus, Bathilda Bagshot as a character turned out to be more important to the plot of the Harry Potter series than anyone would have realized early on.
2 TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is the equivalent to a fairy tale or fable in our own world. While it might just seem like a story that wizarding parents tell their children to learn about morals, it’s actually more than that. This book turns out to be the key to learning about and finding the Deathly Hallows, and that makes this story one of the most useful and essential in the entire Harry Potter series.
1 HOGWARTS, A HISTORY
One of the books that is referenced the most in the series is Hogwarts, a History. While Hermione might be one of the only people who has ever read this book, it's actually super useful. Her knowledge of Hogwarts that she gets from reading is essential in many of the adventures that the Golden Trio get up to.