Finding Things in Secondhand Books

As much as I love buying my books new, sometimes I opt for secondhand. If there is a book I want to read but I am not sure if it's worth buying, or during those times I am feeling the credit crunch, I'll Bookmooch a novel or buy from a secondhand store.

One thing I love about secondhand books, is the things you find between the pages... the items that other people have used for bookmarks in the past, then forgotten about. I have found numerous shopping lists, receipts and old newspaper clippings, used to mark a place. These seem to be standard bookmark material.

Sometimes you find little treasures. I mooched a book a while back, 1st to Die by James Patterson, and I was pleased to find a handmade bookmark included in the package!

The owner of this book put this in there as a small gift, as she had accidentally marked the book as sent when it was not. This doesn't really fit the "something left in a book" criteria, as it was not forgotten, but it made my day all the same.

Another book I had mooched, Post Office by Charles Bukowski, came from a man in Portugal and he was kind enough to include a postcard. It is this kind of thoughtfulness that makes me love the Bookmooch community.

Sometimes, you find something strange in a secondhand book. For example, I bought the Stephen King novel IT from a used bookstore years ago (which I still have not read, mind you) and I found this business card between the pages.

I am not entirely sure what the Eagle Spirit Ministry is... some kind of offbeat religion or church, I presume. It makes me question who had this book in their possession, before it passed into mine?

Recently, I mooched a book called Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. When I opened it, I found a page from a different book between the pages, which had been used a bookmark.

It is from a smaller sized paperback and I wonder, how did it become separated from it's binding? I hope it just fell out and fluttered away... because the idea of someone tearing a page out of a book appalls me.

I am also wondering, what book is it from? Maybe some of you may be able to help me out? Which book is this lonely page from? Do you recognise the prose or characters?

When I find these forgotten bookmarks between the pages of secondhand books, I not only question who had this book before me, but if they finished it? I wonder if their saved place was as far as they got through the novel?

These are questions I will never have answered, but it's fun to think about.

What treasures have you found within used books in the past? Have you found anything weird? Leave a comment below and tell me, what is your best find!
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