The Good "Book Reverend" October 31, 2009 – Tags: , ,

Reverend Martin Weskott

In 1987 President Ronald Regan made his now famous plea, “Tear Down This Wall,” to Mikhail Gorbachev in front of the Berlin Wall. Nowhere in his speech did he say Tear Down This Wall and Throw All the Books Out.

Twenty-nine months later the wall was gone and with it went upwards of 100 million books published in East Germany that were simply thrown away.

Enter Reverend Martin Weskott. After seeing an image in the newspaper of thousands of books in the Leipzig garbage dump Weskott went to work. With a truck and a few friends he went down to the dump to save as many books as he could.

To date, Weskott has gathered over one million discarded books. Many he has sent to libraries around the world but about 50,000 of them live in the barn next to his church where after Sunday services parishoners and book hunters are allowed in to shop.

Here’s the story and a video tour of the place via the AFP.

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