A rare first edition of George Orwell's bleak totalitarian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four has been found in a charity donation bin in Australia.
The 1949 British hardback was found at the bottom of pile of 200 books in the town of Wollongong, one hour's drive south of Sydney.
Its red dust cover, though slightly dog-eared, was still intact.
Paul Hol, a volunteer for the charity Lifeline, found the book when he was sorting through the pile of donations. "It's in a remarkably good condition for a book that's 61 years old," he said.
Bruce Elder, an expert on the modern classic, said that the unusual find was a collector's dream, and he hoped it would fetch several thousand dollars at auction over the weekend. "It's likely that this is the only copy that's for sale in Australia," Mr Elder said.
The novel was one of 66,000 books donated and Lifeline said it could not identify where it had come from. The proceeds will go to the charity.
First editions of Nineteen Eighty-Four sell for thousands of pounds, as there was an initial print run by publishers Secker and Warburg of just 25,000 copies. It was published with both red and green covers, and the red is reportedly the rarer of the two...
(thankfully, it didn't get snatched by the Bin Snoopers. nor did it get erased from our kindles -fc)