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Rocket scientist Robert Goddard's Uncle Spud gave him a copy of The War of the Worlds in 1898. More than a hundred years later, it passed into the hands of essayist Amanda Katz.
Full piece on NPR
and well worth reading in my opinion.
From the piece:
Lehman died in 1966, and the book passed to his own widow, also a writer and an editor. She lived till the age of 93. In March of this year, she died, and The War of the Worlds was packed into boxes with her other books. Weeks later, as her grandchildren sat on the floor sorting through them, they found it. They read the words from Uncle Spud and Robert and Esther and Milton, and realized what it was. Or, I should say, we realized what it was. I am one of those grandchildren, and the book sits on the table in front of me.
Comment: What is scary is how easy it might have been for the family to miss the significance of this book and toss it into a dumpster.
Because of this article I was looking at the Wikipedia entry for Goddard and noticed a mention of his book - A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes. There is a copy of the book on Amazon for sale for $3750. It is an ex-library book. Libraries have to weed and this book may have left a library's collection 70 years ago when it did not have a huge value. This is a good chance for librarians to think about what procedures they have in place to understand the value of the items they are weeding.
....and with a crystal ball we'd be able to separate the wheat from the chaff - no, the golden truffles from the chaff - at weeding time.
Another librarian limited by what cannot be done.
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