In December 2014, Max Brown was picking through an Incline Village dumpster for a community service project when a collection of 1980s cassettes caught his eye. Fancying himself a collector, he pulled them out and inspected them.
Then he noticed the substantial pile of worn books buried beneath them.
Then it started raining.
Quickly, Brown grabbed about 15, all he could carry, and left, narrowly avoiding the snowstorm that was to blanket the area that night and ruin the books remaining in the dumpster.
It wasn’t until six months had passed that Brown offhandedly bent back the cover of one of the books and saw “from the library of Thomas Jefferson” inscribed on the open page.