A rare-book collector was dumbstruck when he heard a guy he met say he had thrown out an old Bible that had been packed away for generations. “What a waste! The collectors could have spent a fortune for a vintage book like that,” thought the collector. But, his surprise didn’t end there, because the guy further mentioned that the book had been printed by somebody named Guten-something.
“Not Gutenberg!” gasped the book lover. “You’ve just thrown away one of the most famous books ever printed. One copy recently sold at auction for over $4 million!”
Had it not been for the guy’s further remark, the collector would have spent hours explaining how rare the book in question might have been.
The guy was unmoved, however, and said, “My copy wouldn’t have brought a dime. Some guy named Martin Luther scribbled notes all over it.”
Being one of the Gutenberg’s Bibles alone would have been enough to make the book a treasure. Having been in Martin Luther’s possession would have made it priceless. The guy didn’t know that. For him, it was valueless just as a modern used book with scribbles on it, and he had disposed of it.
The collector, now speechless, just kept staring at the guy.