There's a first-edition Ken Follett thriller lying on Michael Sharpe's library table. First editions are what Sharpe collects. This particular potboiler, however, is surrounded by what experts call one of the most extraordinary private collections of rare books in the world.
In just 20 years, Sharpe has amassed works of science, philosophy, medicine, exploration, religion, literature and mathematics, all classified as being in superb condition and worth about $25 million.
Together, they record the growth of Western civilization through everything from a Dead Sea Scroll fragment to "Gone With the Wind."