In what feels like a scene from a Stephen King story, tragedy has struck a rare book dealer in Bangor, Maine. Countless priceless first editions and some original manuscripts have been destroyed in a flood.

On Wednesday, The Bangor Daily reported that the Maine bookstore, Gerald Winters & Son suffered a tragic loss. Primarily operating as a bookstore that specifically specializes in rare King books and paraphernalia, the store lost close to 2,000 books manuscripts in a small flood.

The owner, Gerald Winters, has been collecting Stephen King books for decades, which includes some original author manuscripts. Though Winters prices are unknown, the first edition of Pet Cemetery, signed by the author goes from $350 to $500 on eBay right now.

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Winters also dealt in rare George R.R. Martin and J.R.R. Tolkien books, too. If one could procure the first edition of say, the original version of 1937 The Hobbit before Tolkien made extensive changes which altered the character of Gollum and the origin of the One Ring, that person would be several thousand dollars richer.

As of this writing, Winters wasn’t able to assess his financial losses. However, Stephen King did comment that: “I’m horrified. As a book lover, my heart goes out to him. I will eventually reach out and see if I can help in any way.”


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