The Sword and Laser discussion

337 views
The strangest thing found left in a book?

Comments (showing 1-50 of 64) (64 new)    post a comment »

Warren | 1275 comments When I've checked a book out from the library or bought used books
I occasionally find odd things left inside.
In most they're odd but not totally unexpected.
Airline tickets, grocery lists and the occasional two dollar bill.
What the strangest thing you've found left behind in a book?


Bradley (FertileSpade) Not that strange but jury summons.


message 3: by Kevin (last edited Jan 06, 2012 06:24PM) (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 915 comments Warren wrote: "When I've checked a book out from the library or bought used books
I occasionally find odd things left inside.
In most they're odd but not totally unexpected.
Airline tickets, grocery lists and ..."


Lucky you found a two dollar bill.


Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 915 comments I found what appears to be a prom picture from what looks like to be the style of 90s from a used copy of King of the Murgos that I bought last summer.


Ryan Curtis (Kingtriton92) | 62 comments I used to work for Goodwill in Portland Oregon and we once had a customer buy a very rare book which he was quite excited to find. About five minuets after leaving the store, he returned and revealed that book was actually a book safe and that it contained $10,000 in cash, gold coins and diamonds. He donated the money to Gooodwill and in turn we tracked down a signed copy of the book he thought he had purchased and hand delivered it to his home. Now that I no longer work there, I am free to shop there and let me tell you, the Goodwill book department is a hidden treasure waiting to be found. In the last year I found a first edition first of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. A first edition signed copy of Watership Down, A first edition copy of Atlas Shrugged, A first edition third printing of the Hobbit and countless other great/ valuable finds.


Ryan Curtis (Kingtriton92) | 62 comments OK, I digress. The coolest thing I ever found in a book was in a book I had purchased for $5.00 in an antique shop. The book was written by Henry Davenport and inside the book was a book mark sized ticket that said something to the effect of "Dear Mr. Davenport, on April 16 1910 you were photographed using the new Kodak moving picture camera. To view the above mentioned film please bring this ticket to Millers Pharmacy on..." I don't recall all the specifics as the book was lost in a move some years later but this ticket along with some hand writen notes in the book made me feel certain that I had ended up with Mr. Davenports personal copy of his book. To me this find was on par with digging up Pompei or finding the lost tomb of a forgotton Pharoh. Amazing how powerful books can be.


Marshall Thompson | 9 comments I bought a book from a used bookstore and when I got in line to check out I noticed the pages on the top of the book looked folded pretty badly. When I opened it to see how bad the damage was I found it wasn't damaged but a waded up $20 bill someone left in there.


Brad Haney | 11 comments Blood.


Tacuazin | 22 comments Some years ago I bought in a street market a French travel guide published in 1917, De Paris à Constantinople. Apart from recommending places long gone, I also found in the front and back covers half-hidden pockets with beautifully drawn extra maps.
Best spent 3€ ever.


message 10: by Kevin (last edited Jan 07, 2012 11:33AM) (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 915 comments Ryan wrote: "I used to work for Goodwill in Portland Oregon and we once had a customer buy a very rare book which he was quite excited to find. About five minuets after leaving the store, he returned and revea..."

Yeah, at my local library book sale, I too found a first edition of Watership Down and Atlas Shrugged both in hardcover mint condition about a year and half ago.


John (DowdyKitchenMan) | 104 comments Brookline Booksmith has a hilarious "Used Book Cellar find of the week archive" page: http://www.brooklinebooksmith.com/eve...


Brad T. | 217 comments i think the only thing Ive ever found in a book was a smeared bloody booger. Guess what, I wasnt very excited about it.


Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 769 comments My copy of Ulysses that I stole from my parents had cinema ticket stubs from the late 70s. I couldn't make out the name of the film or the cinema though.

Related: I used to really enjoy the marginalia on the books in my university library.


Daniel Shearon (CapnHP) | 8 comments Another, smaller book.


Jessica Duffy | 25 comments A few years ago I bought a used copy of John Gardner's 007-Licence Renewed. The book has a foil sticker for a Taiwanese Book store and inside was a Kodachrome photo of young woman in a less than conservative state of dress and on the back of the photo was written a short dear john letter.

Finds like this are always amazing to me. Why would a man hold on to such a painful memory and bring it back with him from over seas?

I donated the photo to a colleague of mine that teaches twentieth century american history.

The book still sits on my book shelf along with all my other James Bond novels.


Walter (walterwoods) | 144 comments Daniel Shearon wrote: "Another, smaller book."

This would be a great prank; Matryoshka books!


Andrea Lipinski (AndreaLipinski) I work in a public library, and I make a point of checking books for damage or other "surprises" as I pull books off of the shelves and as patrons check them in and out. I've found pages stained with water, coffee, and (I think) blood. I've found underlining, highlighting, and lots of comments in the margins. In terms of objects physically inside of books, I've found bookmarks, letters, Post-It notes, bank receipts, napkins, Metrocards, ticket stubs, photographs, food crumbs, loose (dry) tobacco, insects (living and dead), and money.

Okay, I only found money once, and it was just a dollar. But it still counts!


AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 1314 comments I just picked up a copy of Kushiel's Scion for $1 and inside was a nice purple and black bookmark for Beautiful Creatures and a someones shopping list for Lowes hardware.

Oh yes, and this is another book cover with the obligatory girl with tattooed back:)


L.S. Burton (lsburton337) | 56 comments A hockey card from 1975. Old book.


William Chinda (willchinda) | 14 comments I found this in a library book:




Scott | 41 comments Strangest thing had to be a photo of my dad and my 6th grade teacher at prom. Found it inside a copy of A Wrinkle in Time.


Christopher (theliterarygeek) | 96 comments marijuana leaves neatly dried and pressed with a pack of no 7 rolling papers in old medical textbook...


Warren | 1275 comments Burning those last two might be a good idea.


Linguana | 137 comments I found a French Magic the Gathering card in a library book (granted, it was from a French library) which I kept and am still using as a bookmark. :)

Other finds - albeit not so nice - were all kinds of dirt, one of which I'm thinking was probably snot. *yuck*


Jim (kskryptonian) | 202 comments An unused condom. I guess someone thought he'd get lucky reading Twain?


message 26: by Jlawrence, S&L Forum Mod (new)

Jlawrence | 811 comments Mod
When I worked at Half Price Books, we'd find various oddities left in books people sold us, but the oddest I found was a color polaroid snapshot in some innocuous book (think it was a gardening book) of a...er, dungeon roleplaying scene (and not the RPG kind). A 30-ish, bearded, shirtless gentleman was facing a padded wall, his wrists in rubber restraints, looking at the camera sideways with a 'who, me?' expression while his dominatrix mistress stood behind him in black leather dress and black facemask, smiling, whip in hand. The scene seemed consensual, but I don't think they meant to share that memento with us.


Turi (turi_b) | 10 comments Another librarian chiming in. I personally haven't found anything too interesting in returned books, but have a co-worker who has a collection of "bookmarks" he's found in books over the years. I think he should have a blog of them, but I think he's lost interest.

Also: I always thought the "bacon as a bookmark" thing was an librarian urban legend until a different co-worker actually found a slice in a book. Smelled better than cigarette smoke, at least.


Noel Baker | 364 comments Jlawrence wrote: "When I worked at Half Price Books, we'd find various oddities left in books people sold us, but the oddest I found was a color polaroid snapshot in some innocuous book (think it was a gardening boo..."

Errr.....could I have my picture back please????????


message 29: by Jlawrence, S&L Forum Mod (new)

Jlawrence | 811 comments Mod
Noel wrote: "Jlawrence wrote: "When I worked at Half Price Books, we'd find various oddities left in books people sold us, but the oddest I found was a color polaroid snapshot in some innocuous book (think it w..."


Errr.....could I have my picture back please????????


Well, it was still at that Austin store when I left for California in 1999. You may have to travel to Texas to reclaim it. ;)


Warren | 1275 comments Tom used to work at a book store in Austin.
Hummm. You sure the photo is your?


Noel Baker | 364 comments Ah, but we know what Tom looks like.


message 32: by Jlawrence, S&L Forum Mod (new)

Jlawrence | 811 comments Mod
Yes, I met Tom through another Half Price Books store in Austin, and the gentleman in the photo was definitely not Tom. Noel, on the other hand....


Noel Baker | 364 comments Hehe, I like this, makes me sound much more interesting than I actually am.


Sean O'Hara (SeanOHara) | 1724 comments This is exactly why my profile pic is twenty years old.


Warren | 1275 comments All of them more interesting hen what I've found.
Not to mention more embarrassing.


Noel Baker | 364 comments Sean wrote: "This is exactly why my profile pic is twenty years old."

Twenty years! Sean,I always thought you had the wisdom of the ancients, now I know you're just ancient!!!


Skip | 502 comments Sean wrote: "This is exactly why my profile pic is twenty years old."

Mine too! (Slick's closer to 30, but who's counting?)

I found notes that were more than 50 years old in a book that was a 100 year old reprint of The Bloudy Tenent Of Persecution For Cause Of Conscience Discussed And Mr. Cotton's Letter Examined And Answered. I guess my librarians were careful to check the returned books.


Nokomis.FL (NokomisFL) | 104 comments Way, way, way back when, I bought a Mad Magazine Don Martin collection at a used book store and found a $5 silver certificate inside. As far as I know, it's still in a file back at my parents' house.


Shylina (SikeChick) | 4 comments If anyone found a Bon Jovi concert ticket in The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, that was mine.


Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 915 comments Shylina wrote: "If anyone found a Bon Jovi concert ticket in The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, that was mine."

I was at my local Barnes and Nobles, a while back, and overhead two girls talking about Bon Jovi. She said that I don't remember if it was her dad or a friend of his that was in Bon Jovi's band in high school. He thought that the band was not going to make it big, so went to college instead, and missed out on making it big, but everyone in a band in high school is not sure if they are going to make it big. So he took the safe route.


Mark (Mndrew) | 31 comments Bought a signed ARC of a book from EBAY about 8 years ago that the previous owner had forgotten his bookmark in. Not a big deal except he was using his birth certificate as his bookmark. I returned it via mail; would have loved to see the look on his face though.


Therazor | 15 comments I love the liner notes or underlined text. While it pains me to deface the book, I always wondered why the hell is that line so important as I sit there for five minutes dissecting every syllable.


AndrewP (AndrewCa) | 1314 comments Turi wrote: "Also: I always thought the "bacon as a bookmark" thing was an librarian urban legend until a different co-worker actually found a slice in a book. Smelled better than cigarette smoke, at least. "

If you ever find a piece of bacon in a book then I hope you take a picture and post it to John Skalzi's 'Canonical Bacon Page':)
http://whatever.scalzi.com/about/the-...


message 44: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 741 comments Mod
Governor George W. Bush's business card


Nick (Whyzen) | 1260 comments For some reason, every time I read this forum post's title I get visions of the scene where they open up the tiger sharks stomach in the original Jaws.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_zt2n...


Mercutiom Miller | 28 comments I once found a crushed mummified mouse between the pages of a dictionary. I can only imagine how it got there and why the person who smashed it didn't remove it.


Stan Slaughter | 359 comments If you smashed a mouse in a book would you want to remove it ?


Graeme Ellis (KAPT_Kipper) | 65 comments I found a book in a used book sale with a memorial in it to my name. I have an "uncommon" English name and to find a book with a note that it was donated to a school in memory of, was all the reason I needed to buy it. It's a beat up copy of The Kon-Tiki expedition by Thor Heyerdahl.


Andrea Lipinski (AndreaLipinski) Over the last few weeks at my library we've found several unusual objects in books when they were returned, including a used tissue, airline boarding passes, and sonogram pictures.


Warren | 1275 comments I hope you mean when the book was returned
and not when the used tissue was returned.


« previous 1
back to top