AbeBooks asked their booksellers to reveal what items they have found inside the books that pass through their hands. They reported many instances of discovering credit cards and banknotes, including this heartbreaker:
“A wealthy, elderly woman in my town died a few years ago and left a large book collection with many fine books, much of which wound up in my inventory. The remaining books went to a local thrift shop, including a microwave cookbook which, as it turned out, contained 40 $1000 bills. The book was purchased by someone from out of town who was idling away the time waiting for her ride. She took the money to a local bank to verify its authenticity and that was how we heard about it. She didn’t give a cent back to the thrift shop, either. A deeply frustrating experience for many, I can assure you.”Other items have both monetary and historic value:
“Inside a volume, one of eight bought at a local garage sale, I found a charming child’s Christmas card with the inscription “Merry Christmas to Harry from …..(fairly illegible). About two years later while trying to decipher the signature, the name suddenly revealed itself….”from Frank Baum.”Other dealers have found items such as a Mickey Mantle rookie baseball card, a golf scorecard signed by Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax, a diamond ring, and a variety of other odd and unusual items, including the inevitable… strip of bacon.
Perhaps most impressive is this report from Bookride:
Eight relief hand-coloured etchings [by William Blake] discovered by a book collector between the pages of an international rail timetable bought in the late seventies from a ‘North London book dealer’, and recently acquired by the Tate for £441,000. Apparently, the reason suggested as to why the dealer hadn’t bothered to check through the huge timetable before putting it out for sale was because it was so ‘ boring’.What have you found? Or what have you lost? Do you use something odd as a bookmark?
Jacq: I collect bookmarks and have a facination with them. I plan on writting some bookmark entires at BookBites at a later date!