Lost and Found
July 23, 2010
On any visit to a used book store I get quite caught up in imagining where the books have been and how they ended up on the shelf in a dark, dusty and crowded shop. It strikes me that there is a sense of desperation in a used book store – a pathetic tone – all those poor old books abandoned and desperately craving a new home; a little like the dog pound but for books! (Some of you might take issue with me on that.) On a cheerier note though, many of those lonely books hold within them wonderful treasures, just waiting to be discovered.
One used book shop proprietor (Michael of Popek’s Used and Rare Books) enjoyed his collection of “forgotten bookmarks” so much he started to archive the items and formed a webpage to share them with others. In Michael’s words: “I work at a used and rare bookstore and I buy books from people everyday. These are the funny, heartbreaking, and weird things I find in those books.” The collection is so much more than bookmarks – there are recipes, postcards, letters, grocery lists, ticket stubs, photos, drawings … ranging in vintage from recent times to decades and centuries ago. Each item is carefully transcribed for easy reading and the book in which it was found is always listed. It’s entertaining reading!
Visit Forgotten Bookmarks here and enjoy the treasure hunt! Here are a few samples of entries:
The found business card is of a William G. Clark, Narcotics Investigator, Narcotic Control Bureau, Department of Health, State of New York and was found in this book, “Firearms: Pleasures and Treasures” by Howard Ricketts. Published by Putnam, 1962.
This photograph of a woman has no details written on it. It was found in a book of poetry: “The Poems of Adelaide A. Proctor.” Published by Thomas Y. Crowell. The book was inscribed and dated “Christmas, 1901”.
“Baseball ticket for Game 75, The New York Yankees vs. the Boston Red Sox, September 18, 1955, at Yankee Stadium. Found in “Journeyman” by Erskine Caldwell. Published by Signet, 1953. If you are interested (Michael was), the Yankees beat the Sox, 3-2. ”
And one of my favourites:
Are you tempted to tuck a little surprise in your book for someone to find some day?