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Found: The Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World (FOUND Magazine)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,783 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
Discarded valentines. Ransom notes. To-do lists. Diaries. Homework assignments. A break-up letter written on the back of an airsickness bag. Whether they are found on buses, at stores, in restaurants, waiting rooms, parking lots, or even prison yards, these items give readers an uncensored, poignant, and often hilarious peek into other people's lives. By collecting them in ...more
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Turtleback Books (first published April 19th 2004)
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I don’t know about you, (really, I don’t) but when I was little, I was one of those kids that LOVED finding stuff. Especially if it was on the ground, with a few shoe prints embedded in it, maybe torn, OOH! Gum wrappers!
Anything shiny set off a Pavlovian response and I’d scamper towards it gleefully. Fastened to a gutter? No problem. Sticky? Bring it on. Drifting across a busy street? Set me free.

Now, my Mom… Oh, yeah.. Mom. I think I gave her a mini cardiac infarction every time I dropped her
Aug 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The bad news about this book is that it looks like it was made on a copy machine (and not a very good one). I'm sure that was supposed to be part of the charm, but still - it's a bit rough. The good news is that you can get past that pretty quickly just checking out all the scraps, lists and notes that the author has collected. He's the creator of Found Magazine, and this book represents some of the best finds over the years, all "litter" or found material gathered by the author himself or submi ...more
Jun 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
There's nothing I enjoy more than reading things that are none of my business. Each and every time I've encountered somebody's diary in my life, I've picked it up and flipped through, and ten times out of ten the contents are far more compelling than a bookcase full of acclaimed literary classics. Yes, I will read your diary, if you leave it lying around. I'm just that good a friend. Now that tiny locks and keys and lame hiding places have been replaced by a simple click of the mouse for the mos ...more
Oct 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You might not believe this, but I literally FOUND this book today on the street. I was already a big fan of FOUND the zine but I just couldn't bring myself to pay $14 for the book (I know - I'm a terrible person). Low and behold, there it was, in close to perfect condition, on Liberty Street in Petaluma, CA, lying next to a dead plant and an old, broken juicer. If I were a smart cookie, I would have taken a photo, to capture this genius moment, but I was so excited to find this book that I had b ...more
Mar 23, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who believe one man's trash is another man's treasure
I know I'm in the minority, but I had a real problem with Found. The actual "found" content is entertaining, but the layout of the pages was atrocious (lots of photo-ready pages with intentionally visible Scotch tape to mimic the aesthetic of the concept). I had a hard time getting past that. The commentaries that "finders" submitted was equally distracting and unnecessary. I felt the "found" notes, letters, etc. would be more special without knowing the who, what, when, where, and why of how th ...more
Jul 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: PostSecret fans, pack rats
This book was fun to read. Some of the notes made me laugh, some made me cry. Most all of them made me frustrated about the American public's inability to write proper English. Davy himself seems like a pretty annoying person -- his affected gangsta commentary seemed out of keeping with the overall effect of the book. But the interviews were interesting -- I liked getting more background on some of the finds. Definitely worth flipping through.
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was fascinating to read these little snippets of people's lives. Because all of the letters, notes, drawings, whatever are stuff people found there is no background to any of the stuff in this book. Which in a way makes it more interesting, because you can imagine what that person's life was like when they wrote the note, or list, or drew the picture. It's a really ingenious idea for a book and I loved these brief snnapshots of stranger's lives.
Apr 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: based-on-zines
I got this book at the Spring '09 Friends of the Library book sale. SCORE!

This book has really great stuff in it: notes of love, notes of anger, letters that will break the heart, shopping lists, lists of things to do, photographs, art by kids and art by adults, interviews (including one with Lynda Barry, who is one of my heroes), stories, and lots more.

I love finding stuff. I love hearing about/reading about stuff other folks have found. This book is awesome!
This is a collection of items that have been found all over the world. Forgotten notes, tossed grocery lists, pictures and much more make up this collection. This is definitely a book to pick up and read a few pages at a time. It was very interesting and funny, but I think reading a lot of it at once just highlighted the fact that there's a lot of really bad handwriting out there in the world, along with some very creepy people!
Sendie P
May 20, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have gotten this book in an effort to "discover" a jewel such as PostSecret.

Unfortunately, I have found myself going over numerous pages while reading this book and oftentimes thought that the items found were boring.
Sep 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
entertaining, emotional, and sometimes haunting...take a peek into the lives of people around the world by just taking a peek at their trash...
Sep 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not heavy reading by any means... But the first note I opened it to said "It Stayed on the grill BITCH." I am now addicted.

God almighty, WHAT IS THE CONTEXT for that note???
There is voyeurism and mystery in Found, laugh-out-loud hilarity and tragedy too. For the most part this collection is well-curated with only a small amount of mundane to keep the rest honest. It makes a point to place similar objects together, but also to make unlikely pairings as well. The best part: Because Found's contents were never intended to be public, it effectively subtracts any possible exhibitionism, an unwanted trait that sometimes enters the world of similar community art projects- ...more
Jan 02, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is addictive. I found it on a list of books for reluctant readers, and thought it sounded interesting. I thought it would contain all sorts of found stuff – you know like the found art movement where you go out into the world and find stuff and then use that in your art. This was a bit different. It has mostly letters, scraps of paper, lists, pictures, drawings, and photographs, along with commentary from people who found these things about where they found them and stories that go alo ...more
Sometimes, it is AMAZING the ideas that people have that make them money. In the "oh man, WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THIS FIRST!?" kind of way. See, basically, this guy picks up trash. For a living. Even better, he has other people pick up trash and mail it to him.

Davy Rothbart put a magazine together, basically a scrap book of scraps of paper, notes, drawings, signs, etc that he found. this book is basically a best of the best collection. And it is FASCINATING. Seriously. It's like digging through
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

I don't read non-fiction all that often, but I was intrigued by FOUND when it was nominated as a 2007 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. And I'm very glad I picked up a copy!

FOUND is, quite simply, a book filled with notes, letters, lists, pictures, and other miscellaneous items that have been found--either in the trash, on a sidewalk, stuck on a windshield, or just about anywhere else--that people have sent to the editors of FOUND Magazine for inclusion.

Aug 12, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It's not hard to see why people like this book. After all we're a country that loves its reality TV. And that's what this is, in book form. It reminded me both of Was She Pretty? and PostSecret Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives, both of which I enjoyed more. I found it very hard to read, especially in terms of deciphering handwriting and making sense of snippets of text and poorly written pieces. It has the feel of something that should be quickly read, but is too dense to breeze thr ...more
Emily Mellow
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: story
I don't even know which category to place this marvelous book, but I absolutely loved it. It's a great book to share with someone; I wanted to show almost every page to Nik, who picked it up to browse anytime he saw it lying around. It's the kind of book you can read from any page you open to, but I think it's best cover-to-cover. I didn't want to miss a thing.
It's a collection of found letters, notes, drawings, and photos. Everything packed with meaning and mystery, everything created for some
Jun 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: favorites, to-re-read
Ever since coming across this book, I’ve been obsessed. The hilarious, the horrifying, and the heart wrenching accounts of the wonders of everyday life, fresh from the streets where they were abandoned has struck some kind of cord with me, and now I frequent the Found Magazine website, have searched out back issues of Found Magazine, and am amassing my own collection of unique documents left by who knows who (Who IS Steve? one asks, and no answer is given). I can really say that this book has he ...more
Dec 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who derives a thrill from reading something that doesn't belong to them
When I found "Found" magazine several years back. It was like discovering King Tut's burial site (to paraphrase from my favorite film). I have always loved reading notes I had found in school, charting the progress of a conversation on a bathroom stall, getting an odd picture of people I don't know in my film development, and I am currently enjoying the journal musings of the 6 year olds in my class. Its these mini treasures that tell me that a. God exists and b. God has a sense of humor. Found ...more
Jul 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating book. It is a collection of items that have been found and sent to the Found Magazine. Most of the items are notes and are hilarious! The first one, the one that started the whole thing, was a note left on his car but was meant for someone else. This is what it said, "Dear Mario, I f*ing hate you. You said you had to work then whys your car HERE at HER place?? You are a f*ing liar. I hate yu. I f*ing hate you. Amber P.S. Page me later" They do not know Mario and thought the ...more
Mar 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
The Washington Post calls Found a “treasury of trash, a wonderfully weird collection.” I can think of no better way to describe this intriguing book, which is a collection of “lost, tossed, and forgotten” notes, flyers, and photographs on every imaginable subject. Some hilarious, some poignant—all are worth preserving.

I’m giving this book five stars for the presence of the “Loss Cat” alone—my very favorite item in the found universe. Every time I see the little scamp, I can’t stop giggling unco
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Davy Rothbart is the creator of Found Magazine. People send in pictures and notes they have found while cleaning houses, walking or wherever people have tossed or misplace them.
Some things are strange, others are thought provoking, all are interesting. I also enjoyed the scrapbook layout of the book.
I love the concept of this book- Davy Rothbart made a 'zine of cut-and-pasted items people find anywhere. Out of context, the items are often hilarious and poignant. My millenial brain finds it difficult to read handwriting though, so I skipped over some notes/lists/letters that were written too sloppily. My loss, though, I'm sure.
Mar 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really enjoying this book. I can't help scanning the pages looking for something I wrote as a kid. Very interesting stuff and a fun book to pick up and look thru when you just want a little something to read.
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
I had been reading this off and on and finally finished it. I really liked the idea and am now on the look out for any left notes/letters that I might find. Nothing so far. Oh well. Except a magnet (which I collect) and a key. Nothing juicy as a dear john letter or boring as a grocery list.
 Barb Bailey
May 24, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trashed
This book is called a treasury of trash, a wonderfully weird collection.....Found. It sould just be called TRASH. Thoght it would be much more Post Secrets....big mistake on my part.
Mugren Ohaly
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
An interesting concept.

But, poorly executed. A lot of the notes are illegible, and many would have benefited by not having someone's commentary added next to them.
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: experimental-lit
I liked the book because Davy Rothbart is from Ann Arbor and many of the finds are from Michigan; I'm always down for supporting the local home team, so to speak. That said, it's difficult to "read" and becomes somewhat tedious. The book, itself, is like a scavenger hunt, which is cool in a way, but after a few pages the collage of found "stuff" that each page holds can also be overwhelming. I guess it's best to look at the book in short bursts just a few pages at a time, which would make it the ...more
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I am reading this slowly...fascinating read actually. Amazing the things/notes especially/ that get found. But I wanted to be sure to note page 83 - a note reading "It Devours From Beneath" was found. The folks at the magazine (now book) decided it was a small craft warning, and have a lovely photo of a giant fish about to eat a small fishing boat -- but really --- for Buffy Fans, we of course know this is a reference to Season 7 -- the last TV season of Buffy. Kinda cool really.

I was not overly
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Davy Rothbart's magazine Found is dedicated to discarded notes, letters, flyers, photos, lists, and drawings found and sent in by readers. The magazine spawned a best-selling book, Found: The Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World, published in April 2004. A second collection was published in May 2006. The magazine is published annually and co-edited by Rothbart's friend Jaso ...more
More about Davy Rothbart...

Other Books in the Series

FOUND Magazine (8 books)
  • FOUND Magazine #1
  • FOUND #5: The Crime Issue
  • Found #7
  • Found Magazine #6
  • Found II: More of the Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World
  • Found:funny!tragic!random! Notes picked up from the street
  • FOUND Polaroids

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