As a quick follow up on my post last year about the second lives of books, I thought I might have a quick chat about the coolest stuff to be found in books. I stumbled across this website the other day and thought it was the coolest idea- a used bookshop scanning the stuff they find in books and blogging about it!
Once, I found a $50 note stuffed into my copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. That was pretty flipping sweet, and I have no idea whatsoever about how it got there. I don’t think I put it in there anyway. I just opened the book one day and BAM, $50. I do believe I turned around and spent that baby on more books!
Another awesome find was when I opened up a really old book about the battle of the Somme that once belonged to my great, great uncle. Inside, I found incredibly detailed notes about troop positions, tunnels, events of the battle and other really fantastic details. I’ve scanned them all so they won’t be lost forever. You can imagine my excitement when I came across that!
I also love coming across notes in books, whether it’s my own, in a second hand book or in a library book. I think I like them especially from the library, because I have an image in my mind of ending up with some magical formula for excellence, a la The Half Blood Prince. It hasn’t happened quite like that yet, but I’ve found some really decent points to use in essays before!
I even love coming across names and messages written in the front of books! I’ve got into the habit of writing my name and the year I bought the book into the front of every book I buy.
If I come across something stuck in a book that I’ve been considering in a used bookshop, if it’s a really cool object it might sway me to purchase it. I feel like the object belongs with the book for all eternity- to remove it is to remove some of the magic. It seems funny to say that about a bunch of paper and cardboard, but I’m sure all the bookish folk understand!
What’s your feeling on this? Tell me what’s the coolest stuff you’ve found in a book!