So what do we most often find stuck between the pages of books and what happens to it? Readers are rather like crows, they will collect odd items and fill their nest with them. Readers will stick photos, candy wrappers, facial tissue and scratch-off tickets to mark the place their eyes last reached on a page. Though most bookstores put bookmarks in books at the point of sale, that is seldom what you find between the pages. Where those bookmarks end up is a mystery like the location of the missing sock you can never find the mate to.
First, why leave the stuff in the book? I know there are people out there who do want to learn more about their books previous owners and want to learn its provenance. We encounter them when they bring books in for appraisals. Sometimes the interest is simply monetary, does the association add value to the book. For others it is simple curiosity and the search for the story within the story.
As a bibliophile myself, I’m fascinated by the odd relics people place in books as bookmarks or as time capsules to be opened at a later date. We leave items inside books that are relevant and that do not cause damage to the book. Photos, postcards and letters are items we will leave as it enhances the story for the new owner of the book. Clippings, pressed flowers and leaves are removed as they cause damage to the paper and the binding.
It’s always fun to find money in books, but it happens far less often than people think. You are more likely to find a Polaroid of a naked ex-girlfriend or a lottery ticket that didn’t bring the owner millions. The best discovery we have ever made as in a vintage copy of “Hans Brinker”. The book had been hollowed out and inside was a small silver flask. Judging by the age of the book we guessed it had been kept there during prohibition for a quick nip.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever found stuck between the pages of a book?