The basement of the Gerald Winters & Son Rare Books store in downtown Bangor was flooded with several feet of water Tuesday, damaging books, manuscripts and ephemera. Credit: Gabor Degre

Stephen King said Wednesday that he was “horrified” to learn that tens of thousands of dollars worth of rare books — including his own original manuscripts and rare editions — were ruined after a burst pipe flooded the basement of several downtown Bangor businesses.

Gerald Winters’ bookstore, which specializes in rare and limited edition copies of King’s books, was among the handful of businesses damaged by flooding from the broken pipe in front of 46 Main St.

“I’m horrified. As a book lover, my heart goes out to him,” King told the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday. “I will eventually reach out and see if I can help in any way.”

[Original Stephen King manuscripts among items ruined by downtown water main break]

Winters estimates he lost about 2,000 books, and as many as seven of King’s original typed manuscripts, including, “Dolan’s Cadillac,” “Maximum Overdrive,” and “The Eyes of the Dragon.” Dozens of first- and limited-edition King books, galleys, signed copies and prints in different languages are among the items believed to be damaged.

He had moved much of his inventory to the basement while he reorganized his shop, and estimates that 90 percent of his inventory was ruined.

On Wednesday afternoon, he met with insurance adjusters to assess the overall damage.

Winters opened Gerald Winters & Son in October 2016, after moving his business to Bangor specifically to be in King’s hometown. He has spent nearly two decades amassing a collection of rare King books, ranging from first editions of most of King’s books to rare Japanese and European editions, as well as a number of letters from King and other ephemera, like copies of King’s old fan newsletter.

Winters also deals in works from major fantasy and science fiction authors, including rare and signed books from J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin and J.K. Rowling.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.