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Treasure Hunter's Dream: Rare Edition Unearthed at Book Sale

September 15, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa – There's a treasure hunt underway in Des Moines for book fans, and one of the best finds may have already been discovered. Every year, thousands of books are donated for the Planned Parenthood of the Heartland book sale. Most are worth no more than a few dollars, but this year, an anonymous donor left a rare book at one of the donation drop sites. Volunteer Coordinator Wanda Anderson explains they took the Martin Luther King, Jr., first-edition autographed copy of "Stride Toward Freedom" to the "Antiques Roadshow" when it stopped in Des Moines, where experts estimated the value.

"I took it to the book section, and he said that if he had this in his store in Boston, it would be between $1,500 and $2,500."

Anderson says they have priced the book at $1,750, and it can be found in the "collector's section" of the book sale, which opens Thursday and runs through the 20th at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. She adds they have no idea who to thank for the generosity.

"We have a book drop, and they can drop books there like 24/7. And we never know who it comes from, or anything. It’s a great surprise when we do get a book of unusual things."

All money raised at the book sale goes to educational services provided by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA