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Revive a Dead Thread > Things in Old Books

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message 1: by Ann from S.C. (new)

Ann from S.C. | 1395 comments I found a bookmark that was handmade by a child in a library book. I returned it to the library and later on they let me know that the person had had that bookmark for 15 years ,and her son had made it and now was in Iraq!!!! I could not believe it! I was so glad I returned it and did not throw it away.

Other than that, nothing interesting, except old bills, grocery lists, and old scraps of papers.

message 2: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 1128 comments I love using bits of detritus as my book marks so that whenever I revisit my books again at a later point I can remember where I was and what I was doing when I first read it. I've yet to find anything good in any of the used books that I've picked up, just several airplane tickets to exotic locales, but keep holding out hope.

message 3: by Siobian (new)

Siobian I buy my textbooks online (SOOO much cheaper than the bookstore!) and once I found a postcard from Paris in a Biology book. Another time I found an old photograph in a book I bought off e-bay.

message 4: by Emma (new)

Emma My nana used to store away money all over her house and so when she died we all went through her books. She also left little notes to herself, many of which contained snippets of scripture.

message 5: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 714 comments I got a book off paperback swap-She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders and in it I found a flyer for a research study looking for partners of transgendered people and a few photos of a couple, one of whom appeared to be transgendered. I asked the person I got the book from if she wanted the things back but she said to chuck them but I've kept them in the book-they just seem to fit there.

Abigail (42stitches) | 360 comments I've found the same odd photos and ticket stubs. One time, I found the receipt from the original new-bookstore purchase with a date stamp the year the book came out. That was kind of interesting, although not terribly special.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

My parents are antique dealers and liquidate estates in the Western United States. I helped them until I moved across the country. My job was to sort through the books my dad would buy for the shop or at the Estate sales.

I found old tin type pictures in very old/loved books. I found some beautiful dried/pressed flowers (a few were pansy's) which I still have. Old lace book marks, tattered pieces of paper with little notes.

It's lots of fun. Almost funner then reading the books at times. I do miss that part of helping out. Plus I would pick a few good books for myself.

message 8: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Awhile back I found a beat-up old ticket stub from a Jefferson Starship concert.

The Book Whisperer (aka Boof) Ann, I love your story about the son in Iraq - that brought a tear to my eye thinking of the woman getting that back.

I love finding things too. Last month we stayed in a hotel in the north of England and I was flicking through an old book and there was a postcard from New York dated 1956.

message 10: by Macy (new)

Macy | 155 comments I know at various times I've come across interesting things in books but... Do you ever consider leaving things in your books when you pass them along? (This of course is assuming that any of us actually ever get rid of books!) It's come to mind a couple times when I'm taking a small box to the thrift store that it would be interesting to leave a little note, like a message in a bottle, for the next reader.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

That is a good idea Macy. But alas, I would never part with a book.

message 12: by Vanessa (last edited Sep 03, 2008 07:06PM) (new)

Vanessa | 55 comments After my Grandmother had died, my brother sister and I spent the Xmas with my Grandad so he wouldn't feel terribly lonely. I gave him a copy of Omar Khayyam'sRubaiyat, since he had been quoting bits of it to me all of my life and he never actually had a copy. After he died a few years later the book came back to me with the message written on the fly leaf in his handwriting: "Hillary, Vanessa and Adam - a happy Xmas 1990! Lucky me to have you three."

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Vanessa that is such a wonderful memory! Treasure the book. :)

message 14: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Awww...such wonderful stories! I myself can never imagine giving a book away but what a cool idea Macy.

message 15: by Julianne (last edited Sep 10, 2008 04:45AM) (new)

Julianne | 314 comments So, I belong to a S. King book club, and we're reading The Talisman this month. It was something I tried to read ~5y ago and didn't finish. So, I grabbed my copy and as I was packing it up for vacation, I found a bookmark on p. 176. "Cool," I thought, "a free bookmark!"

About 2 sec later I realized..."This is my book. That's my bookmark. Holding my place from 5 years ago!" Dummy! So, I guess I find my own stuff in my own old books!

Just thought it was funny.

message 16: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10095 comments Mod
Julianne.. that is too funny!!!!

message 17: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 163 comments I used to buy books from a man who reviewed them for the local paper. I loved all of his notes and comments written in the margins.

message 18: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) OMG...that's so gross!! LOL

Makes me wonder what kinda books are you reading?! Kama Sutra, anyone?

message 19: by Liz (new)

Liz (arcanepenguin) | 285 comments This is a thread for me. I work in a used bookstore, so I have found many interesting things in books. We have created a wall where we tape up some of the interesting things we've found in books.
Here are some of the highlights of the wall:
- Many different tarot cards - shockingly (considering the cost) tarot cards are much more common than traditional playing cards.
- A letter from a radio station congratulating someone on winning kiss tickets
- uncashed checks
- Money from around the world that I can't identify
- tons of pictures that I'm sure someone some where would find embarrassing (superman underwear anyone?)
- A stack of 8 by 10 pictures of squirrels
- a copy of a mash game that looks like it might be from the 70's
- A page from a teachers record book dated in the 1920's
- postcards from just about everywhere
- stacks of carefully clipped and preserved articles about bat boy and the "truth" behind stonehenge

I could go on forever, The stack of squirrel pictures was by far the most confusing.

message 20: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10095 comments Mod
Bev, you have no luck with your books... PLah!

message 21: by Ari (last edited Sep 10, 2008 09:56AM) (new)

Ari (aricl) | 54 comments Bev that is really, really disgusting, but what a story to share!!! :P

Liz, awesome collection!

message 22: by Laura (new)

Laura | 56 comments I collect old Bobbsey Twins' books. Often they have a child's name written inside the front cover. That's always seemed sweet to me. A kid that adores their book so much they want to make sure everyone knows it belongs to them.

One I have says "To Beth from Aunt Goldie, 1969." Its always interesting to wonder where Beth is now. does one join The Book Police? I think I could do a pretty good job. You should hear my lecture on not bending back book covers!

message 23: by Liz (new)

Liz (arcanepenguin) | 285 comments Thanks Bev, but things we can't identify (or wish we couldn't) get gingerly shook into the garbage can. Then we try to price the book as quickly as possible.

Let me know if you want me to take some pictures of the wall and photobucket them or something. It's kind of crazy.

I'm currently deciding what to 'steal' off the wall when I move in January.

Abigail (42stitches) | 360 comments Yes pictures! Please! That would be interesting.

message 25: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 48 comments Many of the books I inherited from my Great Aunt and some from my aunts had dried flowers pressed into the pages. Maybe something you did in the early part of the 20th century?

message 26: by alicia (new)

alicia grant (shesha34) EEwwwwww pubes that is just so wrong.I love my library but i do get a little grossed out sometimes.I have had the dried boogers,or the little drops of blood on the pages.I did fins 10.00 in a library book once though.

message 27: by Liz (new)

Liz (arcanepenguin) | 285 comments

I finally remembered to bring my camera to work. This is just a sampling of what we've found..


Abigail (42stitches) | 360 comments That's so cool. I love the tiny license plate...

message 29: by Coalbanks (new)

Coalbanks | 186 comments Old photos are common. I once found a small snapshot of a house, on the back :"A photo of Madame Sun Yet Sun's home. We had a delightful visit. You must drop-in to see her when you arrive." Found in a book donated to a university library in a small Prairie city by a local lawyer. Who knew they had such far-flung & well-placed acquaintances? Out of date political campaign
literature", old business cards, lost library cards, no cash so far, but I shall keep looking.

message 30: by Angela (new)

Angela (blonde_chick120) | 51 comments The only thing I have ever found in a book was in a used cookbook I got. It had several old postcards from various places. I think some were from France if I remember correctly. I havent looked at them in a long time. I believe they were from the early 50's. That was pretty neat, but that has been my one & only find. Well, other than scraps of paper.

message 31: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Those sound like a cool find Angela.

message 32: by Angela (new)

Angela (blonde_chick120) | 51 comments Yes, it was like finding a little treasure of sorts. I have them put away so little hands (meaning my sons) cannot get to them. I love that people have little collections of different things. That is so neat. Im kinda jealous! haha

message 33: by Becky (new)

Becky (rsnm) When my mum got me a bunch of used cookbooks they came with lots of notes and handwritten recipes. Other things I often find are leaves or flowers that are pressed. A lot of used books have dedications. And I found a book once that must have belonged to a nazi because the middle of it was cut out and contained several crosses that were awarded during World War II and some Reichmark coins, all with the Nazi swastika on them. I was 12 at the time so I gave it to my dad, I don't know what he did with it though.

message 34: by Mimmi (new)

Mimmi (onedrwumn) | 34 comments Wow, I love all your treasure finds, they are cool. I hate the one about the pub. hair. GROSS!! Hand sanitizer anyone??? I hate the leftover snacks too, bummer.

My most prized treasure was in a book I bought at an estate sale. It was a book on nautical mapping, hence I tough tit would be cool for my hubby since he is into geospacial stuff, but the treasure was I found an old Western Union telegram that stated: " Raymond, Robert is missing at war." from 1953.

I went back to the house where I bought it and spoke to the owner, a nice retired teacher who lived in our building when I was growing up. She stated Raymond was her naval officer husband that had passed away and Robert was his brother, who was 20 and was never found.

How sad ... She passed away a couple of years later. She left me a box of old photos of her,her husband from the 1930-1980's its amazing to see their life.

message 35: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Boisture | 121 comments Some of these are really sweet. Bev your story is gross, but made me laugh!

For some reason I love to leave fortunes from fortune cookies in library books before I return them. I think it's a nice surprise to whoever gets the book after me. I'd like to point out, though, that I DON'T leave the cookie crumbs in the book :)

I recently bought a used book that had a lot of Monopoly money in it. My son, who is not even two years old, somehow recognized it as play money and took it from me. I did keep one bill to use as a bookmark though. I used to work at a used bookstore and I loved reading notes and old shopping lists that people left in their books. To this day, at the grocery store if I get a cart and it has someone's old list in it, I love to read it and try to determine the previous shopper's life story.

JG (Introverted Reader) Nikki, I very vaguely remember that someone has written a book? play? tv show? about that same thing--lists in shopping carts. Maybe someone else will remember it better.

message 37: by Annemaria (new)

Annemaria | 8 comments I just found a old thank you letter in the back of a second hand copy of "girl with a pearl earring"

message 38: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Maddie - I loved your story.

Nikki - I do the same thing w/grocery lists I find. It's neat what they reveal about you.

message 39: by Angela (new)

Angela (blonde_chick120) | 51 comments I love your story Maddie. Such a sad yet sweet & wonderful story!

message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Maddie that is an amazing story.

message 41: by Mimmi (new)

Mimmi (onedrwumn) | 34 comments Thanks... I treasure all the pics and the WU telegram. Everytime I go to NYC to visit my parents I walk over to the teachers apartment and just sit on the steps in fron tof her apartment. I guess its just of way of daydreaming...yeah crazy I guess but its so facinating to find things that way.

Nikki: I love the fortune cookie fortune gift. That really would make you wonder of the people who read it minus the crumbs

message 42: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments I also hate it when I see that there are pieces of crisps in between the book.
I don't give away books, so can't leave messages or other thins in between. But when I pick up books I read I often notice that I left things in between, like a train ticket or a note I had withme ....and then remember the time I read it, where I read it and so on...memories come back. I adore it... guess it must be nice to find them of other people.

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 636 comments i recently just got Edie: American Girl through paperbackswap & i was flipping through it and found a random picture of a girl on the beach. It was just a headshot and its hard to make out her fact because she has sunglasses on. pretty random.

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