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The short story was about a man about to go on a space journey/colonize a planet and having to abide by an extremely strict weight limit. He talked about starving himself, shaving hair and doing everything possible to reduce his weight. The story says some people were doing this to bring diamonds or gold with them, but the main character is revealed to be doing it because he wants to carry a book with him because he thinks it's the most important thing.

I think the book he brought with him was Charlotte's Web.

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This is Scott Westerfield's Ass-hat Magic Spider. All the details match: the diamonds, the starving and shaving himself and so on the book being Charlotte's Web.

Being a space colonist going to Tau IV is tough – you need a certain body type, the right psychological make-up and you must endure being frozen for many years. Plus, you and all your belongings must come in under a very strict weight quota. This is the story of a 13 year old boy who is trying to shed some extra pounds (oh, I mean kilograms) so he can bring his most prized possession on the multi-year voyage. He does all the extreme dieting and exercising, but when it is time for the final weigh-in he gets a bit of a surprise… two surprises actually.

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    I've edited in the description from the link as it is helpful to include it in the post. It's also worth mentioning that whilst I couldn't find a "hard" copy online you can listen to it online at The Dunesfeef or podbay.fm. – TheLethalCarrot Nov 29 '18 at 10:01

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