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Today's Stichomancy for Neal Stephenson

The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from Enemies of Books by William Blades:

sold it to Stark's agent for seven guineas. Stark took it to London, and sold it at once to the Rt. Hon. Thos. Grenville for seventy pounds or guineas.

"I have now shortly to state how it came that a book without covers of such extreme age was preserved. About fifty years since, the library of Thonock Hall, in the parish of Gainsborough, the seat of the Hickman family, underwent great repairs, the books being sorted over by a most ignorant person, whose selection seems to have been determined by the coat. All books without covers were thrown into a great heap, and condemned to all the purposes which Leland laments