This topic was continued by Strange bookmarks - continued.
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One of my friends on LiveJournal - alas, I can't remember who it was - recently had a discussion of the weirdest things people had found between the pages of books, presumably having being used as bookmarks by previous readers.
I think the strongest contender for 'strangest bookmark' just /had/ to be a slice of unfried bacon.
What are the peculiar things that you've found inside books?
A license (expired) from the federal gov't to grow low-THC (industrial) hemp (a.k.a. cannabis sativa) for research purposes.
In our reference copy of the Qu'ran... a photograph of a woman's hand, resting on her (clothed) backside.
6likesbooksrs First Message
Once, at our library, we found a moldy, flattened pancake, wedged between the pages of a children's book.
Wow, we've now got bacon and a pancake ... I'm sensing a breakfast theme - anybody found an egg? sausage?
I once found a number of endorsed checks, along with the deposit slip for a local business, inside a book I was shelving (how circulation missed it is beyond me).
When I called the person who had checked the books out, she seemed utterly unconcerned. I suppose she picked them up. If it had been me, ... well, I might at least have said "Thank you."
"Bookmarks" I have found include:
1. paycheck stub
2. holy card
3. candy wrapper
4. received postcard (complete with message from sender, etc.)
5. newspaper clippings
6. various shopping receipts
7. trading card with illustration of vintage automobile
At a library where I once worked we had a bulletin board where we all posted all the strange (non-perishable) stuff we found in returned books. It was quite the collage.
To continue with the breakfast theme, I found a muffin wrapper in a children's picture book one time. Judging with the sticky mess on the pages, I think it was blueberry.
An 'Abductees Anonymous' card with contact numbers - a support group for people who had been abducted by aliens.
it's very interesting one should bring this topic up, since it has been in the back of mind for ages... is there an official term for this area of findings in books? if not, we should invent one.
anyways, i've been collecting them for years, and being a bibliophile and working at a library, i have amassed a box full or two.
among the most interesting?
*a package of gum with a small piece stuck to the back to keep it in place (yuck)
*a picture of a young couple in flagrante delicto in a refrigerator
*toe-nail clippings (god no. i did not save them)
*foreign currency from lithuania
*coupons for a paris restaurant
*a stick of dried up shrivelled beef jerkey
very interesting, what people leave behind...
My dad was a librarian all his working life and I seem to remember he said he once found a slice of bacon and, I think, a banana skin in books.
See also the conversation on this topic through the "Things Found In Books" group at Foundlings.
We're not librarians, but we have one of our own infelicitous bookmarks to report. Once one of used a set of keys as a bookmark in a seldom-consulted reference book and had to depend on the other to be let in to the house for several weeks, until the next time that book was opened.
In books we've acquired used, our most common find seems to be an airline ticket stub, followed by a receipt for purchase of the book.
The most common bookmarks I have found are receipts from the last person who checked the book out and hold slips. One time I did get a book with a pack of gum (un-chewed) as a bookmark. At least the book smelled good.
17Neuromancer First Message
I don't know if they were being used as bookmarks, but we had a book returned with 46 four-leaf clovers pressed flat between the pages.
Speaking of smelling good, I just love books that have come back from Indian/Pakistani homes! It makes working in Circ or shelving worthwhile! I wish I knew what that smell was and I'd have it in my house all the time.
I once found a slice of Pasteurized American cheese food with one bite taken out of the corner.
$700 -- seven crisp hundred-dollar bills. Circ contacted the most recent borrower, and she said her husband had given it to her to go pay some bills, but she forgot where she put it. (Yeah, all my problems are like that too.)
I also once found a tiny bag of heroin in a children's book. (Sigh.)
I actually had a small colony of bugs (tiny spiders, if memory serves) living inside a textbook that I was given in high school. Thankfully, the teacher allowed me to swap it out for another copy that was not so... lived in.
Okay, Scratch wins! Can anyone do better than $700 and a bag of heroin? I'm not sure what the prize would be ... a whole year of books returned in pristine condish?
You forgot the part about the baggy being found in a children's book. You gotta wonder when you find stuff like that. I imagine the child isn't the one toking up (I hope) but really it isn't much different if its the parents. *sigh* Its stuff like this that makes me wish we could make it illegal for people with certain "problems" to procreate.
Not a returned book, but a donated book ... a botany encyclopaedia with several marijuana leaves pressed between the pages of the "m" section.
Well, I have yet to find anything truly "strange." However, I do buy a lot of used books, and I've found a lot of old receipts and a handful of freebie paper bookmarks.
Once in a second-hand copy of Story of a Non-Marrying Man I found a black and white photo of an unknown topless woman.
I was shelf-reading in (children's!) nonfiction and found that every dinosaur book had one of those little religious tract pamphlets tucked inside it- they were cute little comic strips in which one child explains to a classmate that God created the world in exactly 6 days. The reason their teacher tells them that dinosaurs existed millions of years ago is that the teacher has been brainwashed by the forces of Satan.
I won't describe the cute little cartoons found in the books on Islam during our subsequent search of the entire juvenile nonfiction section...
29stonechiper First Message
Once I found an old and dusty rolled joint, in a book about Woodstock no less.
Once someone returned a book with a fake nail used as a bookmark.
I've also found hair extensions used as bookmarks several times.
We had a children's book returned redacted with post-it tape over all references to "fairies" and anything else magical. It was a fairy story! What did they think they were checking out? And what did they substitute in the redacted spaces?! I suppose we should have been grateful that it was removable.
When I worked in a bookstore, we would periodically find business card-sized anti-abortion flyers, complete with a photo of a partial-birth aborted fetus, sticking out of books in various sections, particularly the occult/magical arts, women's studies, and sexuality books.
From my own library, I once found a string cheese wrapper tucked inside one of my favorite childhood books. To this day, I still love snacking on string cheese!
I discuss some bookmarks found in books in "About My Library" on my profile page (halfway down the page) at: http://www.librarything.com/profile/hadden
I discuss "bookaholics" and how the affliction is so common, and how you can tell when someone is a bookaholic.
Reading this makes me VERY glad I'm not a public librarian. Most of the bookmarks our students leave are fairly benign. We get beer bottle labels frequently, sometimes printouts from whatever AutoCAD design they've been working on, and business cards.
I think the strangest thing returned in a book was a pair of those flat reading glasses (or at least they were flat by the time I found them).
It's not a bookmark, but I did find a very flat and elderly woodlouse in a book I was cataloguing the other day. The book was from 1650ish so it could have got in any time from then till now!
We find a lot of photos, usually of children, and I'm always amazed that even though we display them at the circ desk, no one ever claims them.
When I was a teenager, my mother once made me dust all my books and clean out my bookshelves. Dusting means taking out each book and shaking it... From one book 200 kr. (app. 35$) fell out. A lot of money for a young girl! Since then I've found renewed motivation to dust my bookshelves. However, haven't found anything of interest since then...
#37 labeet; Do you think your mother put it there on purpose? I'm thinking of motivational hide 'n seek for my kids to clean their rooms. Or possibly motivational reading from our church library. "Come and read! You may be the lucky reader to find $5!" Bribery? You bet :)
In a used book I bought, I once found part of an outline for a book the previous reader evidently planned on writing.
This isn't all that strange, but I just bought a used book today, and there was a Magic Card inside as a bookmark. First time I've ever found anything in a used book.
My favourite was from my copy of Civilization, by Kenneth Clark. I bought it from a garage sale and when I cracked it open, there was an unopened letter inside.I wrestled with the ethics of opening it, but there was no address on the envelope so I couldn't send it back. Its still sitting on my book shelf, actually.
42stepintomythimble First Message
In a previous job at a public library, I put together a small exhibit of lost and found items including things left in books. It was a super fun display and we ended up leaving it for much longer than planned. It included all kinds of small action figures, sunglasses that spanned the decades of fashion, interesting and cryptic memos and lists, an angry note to circ staff about how the book being returned reeked of marijuana, etc. etc.
By far the weirdest item was a polaroid of a dad in the bathtub with his young child.
In regards to Message 28, I have to aks that age old question: WWJD? Probably not that.
Have you seen the documentary "Jesus Camp"? It's very good.
My wife once found an ultrasound picture of a baby in a book (luckily, a light novel and not something on the politics of abortion).
I was discarding a huge stack of crumbling old books on Russia at the academic library where I used to work, and I found several interesting bookmarks, including a recipe for some kind of lemon trifle and a Vietnam-era pamphlet advising young men to burn their draft cards.
I work 3 days at my Public Library and mostly I find ordinary bookmarks. Occasionally I'll find receipts, candy wrappers, bills, airline tickets etc. The most disturbing item was a stack of about 5 photos; the top photo was a close-up picture of a man's genitals. They went directly into the trash so who knows what was on the others.
You should have posted them on the bulletin board with the caption: "Do you recognize these? We have more of your pictures at the lost-and-found!" :P
Of course, at the time I felt like I was in about 7th grade and had to "get rid of the evidence".
re: message 34:
oh! i'm wishing that i WAS a public librarian...just to find crazy things and tell others about them.
in our public library I was shelving and happened to have all of the massage books to shelve at once...I leafed through one to find it stuffed with business cards for a local aromatherapy store, i pulled about 40 business cards out of the books!
and I did once use a massive student loan check for a bookmark and flipped out when I couldn't find it...but I did after I tore my apartment apart!
Chewed chewing gum, in a picture book. The pages were stuck fast, but I stuck it in the lunchroom freezer for an hour and it came off with only a little damage.
Yesterday while reading a book I got from the library I found the previous readers library card they had used for a bookmark. I've gotta make a trip down there anyway so I will turn it over to them.
#54 - I can't beLIEVE it! I was just discussing this thread with someone at lunch yesterday and she asked if anyone had found an -ew- and I said Oh, noooooo.
#54 - speaking of, I once spotted a condom on the floor of a public library. I didn't take a close look to see if it was used or not, I just let the nearest library assistant I could find know about it and left it for them to deal with. Poor sod.
I also once found an unwrapped condom at the library, behind a row of children's videos, of all places. I didn't look close enough to see if it was used either. I got someone else to throw it away!
I once absent-mindedly left $50 Canadian in a book I returned my local branch of the Oklahoma City public library. (I was trying to keep the bills nice and neat.) Fortunately because the money was Canadian, they knew who had left it and gave me a call.
I read a story in the online news today that a toddler picked out a book at a thriftstore and her babysitter bought it for her for 25 cents. Later, she went to read it aloud to the child and found a paper bag with $1300 in old, 1960's bills inside.
Last year I found a banknote from Japanese Occupied Philippines. The owner never came to get it and it's still in my desk.
I also had a box of donated books containing $100 crisp new $2.00 bills.
Mostly I just find really cool bookmarks, which I started collecting several years ago - my collection is up to 800 now.
I brought home a book from the library this week with a Dora the Explorer Memory Game card. There will be no match for the person who finds that card!!
Oh, we just found a pair of live cockroaches in a book today! The woman who found it took it pretty well, considering...
Speaking of cockroaches, when I worked in a big urban public library, I was working in a slum branch once, though the branch was nice. I saw a cockroach running up the shelf, and exclaimed "Ewwww, what's that?" The local person I was helping said with a lot of pity in her voice, "That's a cockroach", to which I replied, "Well, quick, let's get away before it sees us."
#54 - I've never found anything quite that gross, but I did find a pubic hair in a book the other day.
That's exactly what I wanted to say too! Give me a cockroach any day :-)
#68 I'm not trying to sound too innocent or unknowing, but ... how did you know it was a pubic hair & not some other type of hair??
In #19, Marfita said:
"I just love books that have come back from Indian/Pakistani homes! It makes working in Circ or shelving worthwhile! I wish I knew what that smell was and I'd have it in my house all the time."
Try smelling cumin or garam masala; those are spices frequently used in that kind of cooking.
me I would preffer a pubic hair they fall out all the time though thankfully not all at once.all a pubic hair says is that its likely someone changed their shirt near it. Though even if they went the whole hog and undressed for the shower it would not worry me. for sure people are more hygenic then cockroaches.
Well, you have to say that at least they weren't dog-earing the pages!
Ewwww at the body hair though. You should probably wear gloves when you check books in!
76Dumbofeather First Message
I've discovered pubic hair in a CD case (Barry White)....mmmmm the mind boggles. Also toilet paper as a bookmark- unused thank goodness. We all know that the books are read in the toilet but this was evidence I didn't want to deal with.
A marijuana roach. Patron who returned the book was right in front of me when it tumbled out. She gasped and snatched it right up, then left in a Big Hurry.
While weeding a couple of years ago, I opened up a book and a desiccated baby rattlesnake fell out.
Fortunately, I am not a jumpy sort of person.
No, I don't remember the book's title and yes, I still have the snake, sorta. It's in a frame on a colleague's desk. By the way, it was a whole snake, not just the skin. It had a head and rattle and everything. I live in Arizona...Cheers!
Okay, the rattlesnake is right up there with the $700 and the heroin. I'd prefer the snake, though. That sounds cool! I would be able to use it in some nature programming!
Working in a high school library, we mostly get photos, schedules and homework left in books. We did have a lizard in the stacks once (and a dead lizard stuck in the bathroom fan on another occasion). The best thing we've found in the stacks is a dessicated, half-eaten chicken sandwich. Which clearly shows that our T.A.'s aren't shelf reading as often as they are supposed to ....
In a used book I just bought today at the campus bookstore, I found a laminated, wallet-sized card from the B.R.A.D. ("Be Responsible About Drinking") Foundation explaining the dangers and symptoms of alcohol poisoning.
I won't dwell on the details, but I've had #54's experience too. Eww, indeed.
I couple of weeks ago late in the afternnon I was checking in a book when a cracker (as in Jacobs Cream) fell out. Patron said 'oh that was my lunch' and started eating it with absolutely no embarressment. I can't get my head round this for a couple of reasons - (a) he looked very nice and respectable, and (b)how could he eat a plain cracker on its own?!
Well, this wasn't found as a bookmark but someone left behind a mouth retainer on one of the shelves near a table in the HS library I work at.
Again, not a bookmark, thank goodness, but we did find a nice poo on the floor by our security barrier. It was human as there is another few rooms between us and the great outdoors, and animals aren't allowed in. Don't ask how we knew. My poor colleague went to clear it up and a member of the public came over to ask her a question and almost trod in it eewww.
Object used as bookmarks include much as the above, tissues, wrappers etc, and also food.
Getting away from the grossness -- I didn't find this in a library book, but I found a poem about "mother" written in crayon by a child in a very old book I bought used. It was so sweet.
Yesterday I found a comic strip cut from a newspaper in the back of a copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell I bought last week.
I found a note shaped liked two playing cards in a used book I bought telling me to repent and save my soul.
I was in a H-PB yesterday. In the Science section, I picked up a FE of A Beautiful Mind and found a 'Face of Reality' pamphlet in it (printed by some 'well-meaning' fundamentalist group). On the same shelf was a biography of Carl Sagan -- there was one in there, too. I ended up 'disinfecting' probably 5 or 6 dozen books by the time I was through.
The Unshelved Comic Strip published a humorous series about strange bookmarks over the past week, starting on 4/16/07:
Working in the Pretoria public library in South Africa, I once found a used Band-Aid in a book. Quite disgusting.
Also, our library was once targeted by a suspected Satanists' circle -- we found several Satanic drawings tucked away between books on the shelves, and a week or two later, I arrived at work early in the morning to find someone had forced open a window and thrown animal blood (cat's blood, the police guessed) into the library, splashing it all over the poor travel books ...
I find things that surprise me in my own books, though nothing too gross.
The other day I opened my copy of "The Wizard of Oz" and out fell a newspaper clipping with a French poem about potatoes by John Hegley. Now I vaguely remember the clipping being stuck to my computer - several years before I bought the book. How it got there is a mystery.
Other than that, the most interesting thing I've found was a 1960s bookmark from a now-defunct bookshop, with a questionnaire on the back partly filled out by my then-teenage father.
I just found cut out coupons and cut out recipes in the book I just read.
Last week I found a Easter card made by a child, 8 coupons for a free donut, and a Sears gift card all in the same book.
message #92 ~
wow, kicking_k! what cool memoribilia!!! did your father own up to the quiz or did you just recognize his handwriting?
i've always wondered about the people who had the books before me, and sometimes i've kept remnants of their handwriting if it falls out of the book... but so far it's never been anything by my father. or any other relative, for that matter. :)
Oh, I recognised his handwriting - it wasn't much changed, but looked a little more old-fashioned!
He still passes on books to me after he's read them.
I'm afraid that anyone who reads my books is mostly going to get bus tickets falling out at them - it's the obvious place to stick them during a bus journey so as not to lose them, and they're long, thin and flat so they make good markers.
Still, they'll know how long it is since I read the book. The tickets are dated.
When I was in college, I studied ancient Greek, and my mother gave me the Greek new Testament that she had used when she was a college student, taking ancient Greek. The first time I opened it, out fell a four-leaf clover and a page of notes, on which she had doodled her name and my father's (this was back when they were dating). I saved those strange bookmarks!
How sweet is that?
It might have been a bit odd-feeling if it was a name other than your father's, though.
Oy, I have a couple of photos of one of my mom's previous boyfriends: the one that went to Spain for the civil war and never came back. Verrrrry handsome. Doesn't bother me. That's fodder for an alternative universe in which I would not even exist. Oops, off topic! Erm, I guess I'll go put them in a book to hold a place and flatten them a bit.
I just remembered when I was around 9, I opened up a book that had belonged to one of my aunts when she was a teenager. Out fell a triangular piece of paper with my aunt's name in one corner and two boys' names in the others. "Love Triangle" was written in the middle. I ran to show it to my mom and she couldn't stop laughing. She didn't let my aunt live that down for a while.
>100, cool find on your aunt!
As a teen reader, I found 6 butter yellow, square post-it notes at the back of a library book, filled with pencilled notes on the book in meticulous, tiny handwriting.
The book was Ian McEwan's The Child in Time, and it must have been a university student or very interested reader reflecting thoughtfully on the themes of time, space & parenthood in the novel.
With some guilt, I kept the notes as an artefact of the kind of thoughtful reader that I wanted to become.
I got a book from my mom that she had in high school with a note asking that she be excused for arriving late since she had a dental appointment that morning. I asked her if the note ever made it to the appropriate person, and she couldn't remember. Although I doubt I would remember something like that either!
>101: that could have been me... except that I've not read The Child in Time. I get into trouble for filling other people's books with post-its.
When I worked in a public library, a guy returned a book with a plastic spider on a spring in between the pages. When I opened the book it sprang out at me and scared the daylights out of me. The guy just stood there, unsmiling, totally deadpan.
Now I know where all my bookmarks have gone!
I did get left with some questions after reading this, though:
How can someone not notice sunglasses, action figures, pancakes and other fat items in books?
#38 MrsLee--have you tried bribery yet? Let me know the results.
#41 DoraG--you left me hanging: did you or did you not read the letter?
Cash seems to be the lucky find, but I did find a used q-tip once! Ugh!
I've had #54's experience too, but the patron forget to use the condom and just left the business. Eww, indeed. One of the library pages found the book shortly after "the deed" had been done. Oh...it was a biography of Richard Nixon, if you were wondering.
I was working at Bird Library at Syracuse U. when a student shelver walked by. He was carrying a leather bound book with gold tooling on the cover and gold edges on the pages. Some idiot had slammed this lovely book shut on a loaded peanut and butter sandwich...no idea what the book was, but I know what I think about the student who did it.
On the other hand, I was later on doing a descriptive cataloging internship at the Onondaga County Law Library in downtown Syracuse. They had a few incunabula there! In any case, I found a thick Blackstone law book that dated from the late 1700's.
One of the pages in the middle had an odd-shaped circular hole in the middle of the page. There were flecks of brown substance around the hole. The pages on either side of this one had similar holes, but in decreasing diameters, until finally there were no holes on the pages farthest from the center.
I tried to figure out what had happened, then it hit me--someone had either dribbled or spit a mouthful of chewing tobacco into this law book. The tobacco had eaten a hole in the paper!
I had this image of a hot summer day with flies buzzing in the window of an office and some man falling asleep over a boring legal tome and his mouth opening to snore and his nose resting in the gutter of the book and the tobacco chaw dribbling out of his slack mouth...you get this picture.
I did my internship there during the summer and there was no air conditioning and I am from Alaska where summer heat for us is 70 degrees, not 90 with humidity, so the image of the sleeping man was entirely apt.
When I worked as a page in my local library, I was shelving books and was about to put up a Chiltons Car Repair guide when a WRENCH fell out of it and landed on my foot. *OUCH* I told my librarian about it and she told me that "...it must have been a WRENCHING experience..." LOL That was some heavy duty bookmark, for sure.
By the way, that librarian became one of my closest friends and certainly my mentor...and to this day, when I visit her, I remind her of her remark about my "wrenching" experience...which happened about 19 or 20 years ago. : )
111MoiraStirling First Message
So what I'm taking from all these comments is...
we each have a moral duty to devise all sorts of odd/interesting/funny bookmarks to "forget" betwixt the pages of a public library book (the better to amuse the librarians upon the book's return). Albeit, nothing gross.
Right-o. Mission accepted.
I work in an academic library and recently when weeding an old computing book, I found an overdue notice with a $1 coin sellotaped to it for payment. It had been sitting on the shelf since it's return for 7 years!
#20, I have also found a slice of cheese with a bite taken out of it in a book before.
I have also found an unused (thankfully) disposable diaper in a book.
But the grossest would have to be human hair, and lots of it. It was incredibly obvious that the woman who had checked this book out was using her own hair to mark the book. And she had marked about 50 pages with clumps of her hair. Yuck!
Ooo, I'm glad someone posted recently to this thread so I could find it. :)
#54, while I've never had the used condom experience, a colleague insisted she'd once found a used condom in a returned book.
Mostly, I've encountered postcards and photos, a fried egg (well, a piece of it), a sealed envelope addressed to a utility company (we mailed it), receipts, checks, bills, and once, when I was at the reference desk at a previous branch, a shriek got me running to the circ desk in time to see a cockroach scurry away. It had crawled out of a book being checked back in.
Of the non-bookmark category, I've found many food stains (coffee, jelly) and some stains I'd rather not have identified.
This summer I found a beautiful fabric bookmark with commercial embroidering of flowers on it in a used book I bought.
Because my idle hands make short work of anything that can be ripped, folded or twisted, this bookmark has become one of my most treasured possession.
Working in a medical library, we periodically found condoms, anatomy textbooks, and stains in the anatomy textbooks in the study rooms. ... Very disturbing.
Went to the used bookshops yesterday. Today I found a picture in a 1980 French compilation of Robert Silverberg short stories (haven't added it to my catalogue yet). It must be a pretty old pic, judging from from the quality (fuzzy), rounded corners, and small nearly 1:1 ratio.
I just found a picture too! I opened up a novel I bought at the library and out fell a snapshot of two girls -- we're in a small town, so I'm going to show the pic to my boyfriend, who grew up here. He may know who it is!
Update on the picture I found in #118 -- I showed it to my boyfriend's mom, who is a high school teacher, and sure enough! She's knows one of the girls in the photo and is going to return it to her.
121latendresse First Message
A friend of mine was browsing in a bookstore in Germany and found an airline ticket belonging to someone he'd known twenty years ago...
#106: I work in a small public library and we also found a used q-tip...yuck.
Yesterday we found a pair of tweezers, which is slightly less disgusting, but still icky.
Thankfully, those are the only nasty things we've found - so far. I'm sure we'll find something interesting tomorrow!
Although this does make me want to check those donated books more carefully - who knows what riches I've missed out on?
I work in a public library and we regularly find books returned with strands of hair marking the pages - always single hairs but an individual book can have up to 10 of them (roots attached) -uugghhh!
When I was a teenager, and reading a science fiction story collection, I found a similar hair, but as the hair was marking the place of the book's one erotic short story it was shall we say from further below. Needless to say my friends and I had a guffaw over that.
OMG-I've had TWO instances in TWO different cities with pieces of bacon on books. One was cooked, one was raw. My other favorites are a wad of used chewing tobacco and a french fry.
Re ezmerelda: #119
I frequently use "out take" photos as bookmarks--special pictures that are too blurry, or otherwise ruined to put in a photo album or frame. I can imagine a new bride not being able to throw out any wedding proofs, and finding a good use for them. Or maybe, like me, the mother of the bride or groom!
Of course, now with digital photos and preview, there aren't many of these kinds being produced.
A couple of weeks ago, I found an actual bookmark (it appeared out of nowhere on the reference desk) put out by the Australian government promoting a new website that identifies public toilet locations throughout the country. It was such a strange concept, I had to go look up the website!
wow...that would be so useful! because i've worked in retail and we didn't have a public bathroom, it was just for customers, that would have been great for helping people who didn't want to buy anything to find a place to go.
No return books persay but, plenty of stuff in used books I've bought. One of my favorites was the time I wanted my own copy of the complete works of Hart Crane. I was browsing a local used book store but was really to down on my luck at the time to afford anything. I looked under one of the display tables and saw a box of unpriced books and felt compelled to look. Sure enough there was a copy of The complete works of Hart Crane in paperback. I asked the guy at the cash, "How much would you like for this?" He said he wasn't sure. At that moment I noticed an American dollar bill inside (this was in Montreal about 10 years ago), and said "will this do?". He said sure why not. I wish all the books I wanted would appear, and pay for themselves in such a manner...
My vote is for a McDonald's cheeseburger, pickle and all! Actually, just part of the burger...
It's not technically a bookmark, but when I worked in the A-V department of a public library, we had a video returned with a live cockroach inside it. Also one with a slice of cheese, and one with a bunch of ants in it, but the cockroach was the worst!
My local library has fairly lively displays in the front lobby. I'm almost tempted to suggest that they host an "art" display of all the odd things they've found in books...
...except that it would probably encourage imitations!
134PowellAnne First Message
I found a book earlier this year with a pamphlet touting the "benefits" of castration! It had a very cheesy cartoon of what looked like a street preacher doing a move from Saturday Night Fever on the cover.
The main premise of the pamphlet contended that castration would guarantee celebacy. No kidding!
It's like the clergy's answer to those viagra commercials where the guys are dancing because everything is working again, in this case the preacher is dancing because everything is not. lol. What was the book it was left in?
We just had a spate of religious tracts left in books-doubt they were book marks, though. I still don't know that they're out of all the books. Plus, quite a few were placed on empty shelf space-I must have thrown out about 150 of them! I got so annoyed by some of them, I stuffed the prayer request box with them. Then I felt bad and took them out (I have keys to EVERYTHING-I feel like a school janitor).
#137--I'm sorry the religious tracts were left around the library like that. I'm a Christian and have been known to give out tracts when I feel it is appropriate (i.e. to someone who has done a service for me and I'm giving them a *generous* tip along with the tract, or after a conversation with someone who seemed to want to know more) but placing large quantities in a place that isn't a rack where curious people can take them at their leisure, is rude. I wouldn't want other literature--their ideas, philosophies, political view--cluttering up public places. Please accept an apology from me on behalf of all well-meaning Christians.
When I worked as a page I found all sorts of things, the strangest being postcards from someone writing from prison, and a calendar of events for a social club for "men over 6 foot 4."
After my Dad died I inherited most of his Heinlein collection since Mom didn't want to keep ALL of it. In one of the books was a picture of me as a baby - a nice memory to keep.
Though when I was working at the university library I think the weirdest thing I found was somebody's sock in a book on chemistry.
The other day, I was reading a library copy of Passage by Connie Willis, which had a few dry rolled oats squashed between the pages. (They hadn't left any marks, so I just shook them out).
As for the people leaving hair in books: they may be trichotillomania sufferers. My husband occasionally leaves single pulled hairs in the pages of whatever he's reading, and it drives me loopy! He only does it with books he owns, though.
Hooray, I can finally post here!
A woman just returned three books, and when I opened one of them, a shower of Christmas tree pine needles came out!
I had quite a surreal experience at the public library the other day - I hadn't been for simply ages and was browsing the shelves when a decorated lolly stick fell out of a book - it was clearly a child's handiwork and I am sure that they will miss it, but I couldn't bear to throw it away because it had my first name on it!!! How coincidental is that!!
>140 Didn't Harry Potter do the sock in the book thing? Maybe he was hanging out in your library. ;-)
>144-That's it, someone was trying to fire the library's house elf!
I'm my libraries only page, and I -so- feel like the house elf sometimes. Just rushing about, barely seen, making books disappear into their proper places.
Back on topic, today when I was putting a book back into place one of those postcards from Santa fell out.
And this isn't bookmarks, but once I found someone had gone through sticking little cards for a (really horribly bad) credit card offer in all of the financial advice books. I took them all out, because I figure that's the last thing people that need financial help need. They'd probably figure that out if they read the books, but I took them out just in case.
> #140, 144, 145 (re socks)
Check out this thread on the Site Improvements forum.
One of the proposed improvements is a Sock field :-)
I noticed an odd smell coming from the nonfiction section of my middle school library a few years ago and found a piece of smoked salmon in a book!
Wow, smoked salmon, those middle schoolers have very sophisticated tastes! :D
I've found utility bills, student visa papers, airline tickets, banana peels, and like #54 and a few others...the dreaded used condom. Nothing really prepares you in library school for the weird things that happen in libraries...
One of my coworkers found a "French Manicures Made Easy!" set in a juvenile nonfiction book the other day.
One of my coworkers found the makings of a sandwich spread out through the book. There was two pieces of bread and somekind of meat (ham or turkey) and a piece of cheese.
Not technically a book mark...
When some people left the country, I inherited their library. I was looking through the books for something to read one day and came across a book that looked mildly interesting. Inside the cover it was inscribed from the author to her father! I wondered if someone had just done it for fun, or if the author hadn't found it when the dad died, or he cared so little for the book...I was curious about the story, but it was long before the Internet so I couldn't look up the author or anything and I no longer have that book--as I said "mildly interesting."
Recently, when I bought a used book (by Poppy Z Brite), I found three post it sticked in it.
There were from me, in fact, written some years ago then sticked in this book and offered to an ex-girlfriend.
Plenty of holiday photos, postcards, etc - they're the most common I find, other than actual bookmarks.
I found a credit card used as a bookmark, once - the book had been dropped in the returns box so the card had fallen out before I picked it up, but close enough. Students with too much money, obviously ;-)
(We then rather terrified the person who'd returned the book - put the name into the system, discovered we had a phone number for them, called them and said "Hi, we have your credit card..." - it turned out they were sitting upstairs)
I am currently using postcards, tickets to go up the Empire State building, a ticket to go into a monastery, a baby photo of my son (who is now married), and a ribbon from some gourmet coffee item. I recently lost a bookmark I had cross stitched in Spanish about 12 years ago. If you come across it, let me know. I'd like it back! :-)
We had a dvd returned in a sock recently. They had either lost the case or we had the case and they returned the disk. They had dropped it off over night in our outside book drop. After the initial shock, I thought it was rather ingenious and considerate...the dvd remained unscratched.
In Australia we don't have crazies who put flyers in library books. Only in America can you find such people. I found a receipt for a book that I bought in a book that I bought years ago (a receipt for 1 copy of the Neon Genesis Evangelion box set, found in Watchmen by Alan Moore). It's funny how two geeks make a nerd in the long run...
Plus in a copy of Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King I found a slater that was squashed... eww...
I also found a Warhammer 40,000 pamphlet folded up in a copy of Catcher in the Rye that my Mum bought me when I was 16, the things you find that remind you of your youth, once youth's flower dims the petals get used as bookmarks I guess. Not that my youth's flower has dimmed yet, I just don't play 40k anymore. Still have all my old models though... (sigh)
TeenAuthor I think you need to translate for un non-Australians.
*What is a slater?*
Or would I rather not know?
A slater is a grey insect that is flat and crawls on many legs. I think you only find them in Australia, but Jack Slater was the name of Arnie's character in Last Action Hero, so I couldn't be certain...
162loscheiner First Message
The other day I found a winning lottery ticket ($30!) in a book returned to our school library. Unfortunately/fortunately, the book was not one of our library books (we get this all the time--- many are "donations" of very used books). I couldn't track down the rightful winner; I went to sushi instead.
We also save found items on "the wall" behind the clerk desk. It's very cool. One wall full got taken down a year ago, and I saved the items. My fav. was a 3x5 card found in "Are You the One For Me?" with a chart of 5 mens names and underneath lists of their qualities, like: liar, controlling, selfish, alcoholic, druggie, unfaithful, jobless, space case, temper.... only Gary was just a druggie without the other bad qualities. Maybe he won.
Older thread, I know, but I just found a bookmark in a donated book that deserves mention: pictures from someone's EGD. It's a lovely esogaphus, looks healthy to me. Definitely can't see any ulcers or anything, and it's a nice healthy color.
This one goes into my "keep" pile.
1) a tarot card (The magician) stuck in a library book. I found this as a library patron in high school and have since found myself occasionally going through library books and used books to see what else I can find. Is this what you librarians mean by "weeding"?
2) My parents bought me a very used first edition of The Glorious Adventure by Richard Halliburton which had newspapers clippings of many of Halliburton's real life adventures, such as swimming the Panama Canal, stuffed between the pages.
>166-No, weeding is a (typically) long and arduous process of going through collections and getting rid of out-of-date, superfluous, or damaged materials, removing them from the catalogs, and disposing of them properly. Then there's all the fun of getting replacement materials. Weeding is more like moving, when you go through everything and start thinking "Why did I keep this crap?" but with more record-keeping.
ugh! I remember weeding last year, it was very interesting to find all the nonfiction books with really really outdated info. It is a little painful though as most of the books are so old they must be trashed. Felt a little sac religious destroying books!
>169, I was in the kids school library the other day and found a non-fiction book in the fiction area. I gave it to the librarian. What a chore when someone accidently or unthinkingly puts a book in the wrong place. How do you ever find it?
Re: destroying books
if the books are old or old looking some people like to "alter" them with rubber stamping. It might be worth it to offer them for sale or as give aways for that purpose. I like old book pages for backgrounds to the card stamping I do.
Of course, hopefully you are at least recycling them!
There's a public library in New Braunfels, Texas, that takes the books that NOBODY will take (they can't even give them away for free), like Reader's Digest Condensed, or old math texts, and cuts them using a bandsaw into shapes. Part of the spine remains intact so it's still a book, but the whole book is now the shape of a sitting cat, or a Scotty dog, or a teapot, or a house. Then people are willing to pay $8 apiece for them, to make scrapbooks! You can remove pages to paste in bulky stuff, glue things over old pages, incorporate the original text into your scrapbook, etc.
They will sell these by mail for reasonable shipping. It's the New Braunfels Friends of the Library. I bought a bunch via mail to give as gifts: cats for people with cats, dogs for dog people, a butterfly for someone who doesn't happen to have pets.
I haven't made a scrapbook out of mine yet, but plan to -- a scrapbook of my cats, naturally!
>169, back in the mid-1980s, I took over a young adult department in a branch in a large urban library system that hadn't had a YA librarian in many years. The collection was in poor shape. First thing I had to do was weed. The first book I weeded was an astronomy book that mentioned the upcoming moon landing. The copyright was 1969! Hardly helpful to kids doing homework in 1987.
About 3 years ago our high school library was renovated and we had to pack everything up and put half in storage while we ran a "frontier library" in the cafeteria. We took the opportunity to weed as we unpacked after the renovation.
We had astronomy books that pre-dated the moon landing; geology books that pre-dated the theory of plate tectonics; lots of books about the Soviet Union from the 1960's; some hilarious secretarial handbooks from the 50's; and far too many books that hadn't been checked out in my lifetime!
The school was built in 1959 and I'm sure we still had most of the original collection on the shelves ... apparently weeding was not a priority for any of the librarians in the 20th century :) We 21st century folks, on the other hand, have been aggressively weeding out the old, outdated and (far to often) falling apart at the seams.
I've just found this thread, and am sooo enjoying the amusement - though it does leave me feeling the need to shake my library books over a trash can before I open them lest ... condoms? really? ... fall out.
>In a used book I bought, I once found part of an outline for a book the previous reader evidently planned on writing.
I particularly laughed at this one, then hoped it wasn't found in Palo Alto, or that if it was the evidence is gone. I definitely use scrap paper sometimes.
My favorite bookmarks are small billls from foreign countries I've visited. Gives me a double dip: going to read and remembering a wonderful place I've been.
@ 161: Slaters are definitely called that in Scotland. I don't know if they're exactly the same insect as you have in Australia, though. In England people call them woodlice, and I've heard (can't confirm) that they're called pillbugs in the States.
And I wouldn't swear I've _never_ found one in a book.
"Slater" is also the usual Scottish term for the man who puts slates on a roof, so I suppose that's where the name comes from.
The other week I nearly returned a library book with a payslip still in it as a marker. Oops.
> 175 You can tell what part of the states someone is from by what they call that particular bug. In the north it's a pillbug, in the south it's a roly poly.
It is a roly-poly in California, Oklahoma and Illinois, too. Pill bug must be a New England thing?
I have not found woodlices, but I did once find a live House Centipede (In one of my Lucky Luckes, to be precise); which was certainly one of few book scares I've ever had. I think the place has a small infestation because I've seen quite a few over the last few months.
I've heard them called sal bugs too, in California.
Actually, I've heard them called all three names. I'm afraid this regionalism is probably disappearing due to people moving around.
A few days ago I found chewing gum (chewed) that had been used as a bookmark. The person had shaped it, and it was sticking out of the top.
My favorite bookmark, though, was one my godson found a few years back. His mother had visited a thrift store and allowed him to get a few 10 cent paperbacks. They got home and he began reading one of the books--and discovered a hundred dollar bill!
I grew up (in southern CA, with parents from southern Ohio) calling them pill bugs, then in high school I had a friend who called them roly polys (she also grew up in So Cal but her parents were from Holland). I've never found any in a book, though, just flower beds :)
roly poly's (i'm a socal girl!) are kinda thick for books...are you sure you didn't find silver fish in them? silver fish are naaaaaasty...roly poly's are cute and fun! i used to collect them when i was a kid (then i'd let them all go at the end of the day)
Silver fish eat paper so finding them in a book would be a bad thing.
ugh, tell me about it, i used to have the basement room right next to the laundry room in highschool...so many half eaten books... :(
Here's the Wikipedia article about the woodlouse: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodlouse
Oh how I love Wikipedia! Under common names it looks like the slater, pill bug, sow bug and roly poly are all the same critter. I'm from California (Central Valley) and I've heard it called pill bug, potato bug, sow bug AND roly poly : ) We used to play with them, too. It was so fun to watch them curl into a ball.
In my family, potato bugs are Jerusalem crickets -- ugly things with huge heads! Once when I was little we had one in the house under the TV console and when my dad went to catch it to put it outside, it threatened him with its front legs. Freaked me out! :)
When I was a kid, here in Southern California, we called the wood louse a "pill bug" too.
Ah, Jerusalem Crickets! We called *those* "dead baby bugs." Hideous little critters.
This Midwestern girl (Kansas and Chicago area, though I'm now west coast) calls them roly poly. But maybe that's because my mom is from the south?
And just hearing the word silverfish gives me the creaps.
eeeew! potato bugs might be the worst of all...i woke up one night and heard a funny sound...turned on my beside lamp and saw one walking across the floor...I COULD HEAR IT WALKING! that is just not right!...but at least i've never found one in a book.
A slice of processed American cheese, thank goodness still in the wrapper.
I grew up (in California) calling the ones that rolled up pill bugs and the ones that didn't sow bugs. We had potato bugs, too, but my Midwestern mother always called a potato bug a "child of the earth." Don't know where that came from, but it made me like them more.
I found $500 worth of American Express Traveler's Checks from 3 month prior. When I called the owner of the checks, he said he had cancelled them but did wonder what had happened to them. He had taken the book on vacation and had used them to mark a page and forgot about it.
More money! At the public library we found $200 in $20 bills, called the borrower and received NO THANK YOU! In fact, she rather implied that we might have considered keeping it. Happily, she moved away. In the elementary library, $65 in Hannukah Money by Shalom Alekim, sadly had sat there for over 2 years, so the owner couldn't be found. That money became a couple of new books for the school.
I found a slightly rusty nail tucked into a book yesterday, with the head protruding neatly to mark the place. This could be understandable I suppose, but it was a romance novel returned by a well-dressed woman who I couldn't ever envision holding a rusty nail...
I think one of the most strangest book marks found once..was when I was at the circulation of my library. One of the pages actually found a thong in one of the book. That was very unexpected and the book wasn't even one of those book materials.
I once found a $20 bill and a list of Tea in a book from a used bookstore. I recognized the handwriting as that of a tea-drinking former co-worker.
Also, I've found an envelope addressed to a utility company, but it was unsealed. The check inside, I believe, was dated in the 1970's.
A prescription for incontinence-related medical equipment. I was very sad, thinking of the one who lost said prescription.
I do love to find people's grocery lists in cookbooks.
After reading *all* these posts, I wish there was one big bulletin board where everything could be posted. That would be truly edifying for patrons.
I once checked out the book 1984, and there was a class picture of a high schooler ... from 1984.
Growing up, I read a lot of my parents books. At the end of The Front Runner, when it gets *really* sad, I found that my mom had marked her page with the script from the doctor telling her she was pregnant - with me! (I just went and read the description of the book - I had completely forgotten that it was more about gay love than track and field.)
Not a strange bookmark, but something my library does that I find amusing: when we find something in a book we tape it to the wall of the bookdrop room. Two walls are now covered with bookmarks, stickers, school pictures, cards, school work, newspaper articles, and other things. Of course we don't stick up anything disgusting or anything that looks important. For example we once found a check from our patron to the electric company, and we called her to inform her about this.
I have found several strange things in books. There are two memorable Polaroid photos. One was a man in heavy makeup wearing some sort of Medusa themed hat that read, "Medusa upset" under it. The other was two naked people who did not look 18 from behind only exposing their backs with their arms around each other, it read, "Love". The strange thing is they were from two separate books, one was Saving Ophelia and the other was Go Ask Alice.
I also once found a plastic spork as a bookmark, as well as a cut length of eathernet cord. I also occasionally find rubber bands used in hard back books.
Not in a library, but my fiance just left a note 'from' our cats in one of my books. The picture is in this blog post. I thought it was pretty cute.
#203 - It's actually spread to two walls now. I'll try to remember to take a picture when I'm at work on Monday.
In middle school you find pictures, pictures and more pictures of friends, family and pets. Occasionally, you find lunch money so you track the student down and return it.
You also find lots of notices, everything from fall pictures to the times for band practice.
On an obscure note, I coordinate a church library and one of the very old volumes donated to us had a Costmary leaf inserted in the book. For those that haven't heard this, the odor of this herb is pungent enough that stories used to be told of church goers using a fresh leaf of this under their nose to stay awake during particularly long boring sermons.
A little stranger -- once had a book returned with a folded piece of toilet tissue used as a book mark. Apparently their bathroom was indeed "the library".
I've used toilet paper as a bookmark in the past, as I'll often drag a book while on the toilet seat.
> I have seen plenty of bugs in libraries but not actually in the books - thank goodness, ; however, I wouldn't mind finding a Scottish slater -the kind that works on roofs-in one of my library books!! - been single awhile....:) - Anyway, I am a high school librarian and one of my prolific readers insists on using a tiny, thin piece of thread as a bookmark !! Quirky! Guess that's better than some of the things I have been reading about!
I heard that my colleagues had found rent money (not a small sum) in an envelope.
$26, all in bills from the 1950s. (This was in a donated book; the donor evidently hadn't reread the book in decades.)
I have a book in my bedroom with several hundred dollars in it. I call it my run away from home fund. My daughter knows which and where in case I drop dead from frustration over LT loading slowly.
My most recent find in a library book: a beer coaster.
Also, lotto tickets seem to be popular but of course they aren't winning lotto tickets (I still double check the numbers anyway, just in case!).
I personally used to use photographs as bookmarks. I forgot about one, and a patron brought the book containing my picture to the front desk. The picture was one of my mom! I was really embarrassed, but very thankful that the patron was kind enough to return it. :)
#210: I've never used toilet paper, but I've certainly stuck unused tissues in my books! As bookmarks, they have the perks of being readily available and not important or special enough to worry about losing! Toilet paper is probably almost as useful. ;-)
At the used bookstore I used to work in, we kept a collection of neat or odd things found in the books. The owners had a friend who collected such things for art projects, etc. Lots of greeting cards, old receipts, recipes clipped from newspapers, doodles, ribbons, etc.
I think my absolute favorite was an ALA Read bookmark from the early 80s with Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggie on it! Piggie was shelving a book with one leg kicked back all sexy-like. They let me keep that one when they saw how entirely delighted with it I was!
I found a straight pin today in a copy of, appropriately, Random Harvest.
Okay, here is a strange one. Going through some donated books today, and ran across a 40 year old book from Alcoholics Anonymous called The Eye Opener. In the book was a faded brown piece of newspaper that read: "Overhead at Schneithorst's: 'I'm not a big drinker, but I have a tapeworm that is a terrible lush.'" (Googled Schneithorst's and it is a German restaurant and bar in St. Louis, Missouri.) Interesting bookmark for an AA book.
I'm resurrecting this thread to share a link to NY Times blog post "Librarian, There’s Some Bacon in My Book." They claim its not true, but from this thread it looks like it is.
I work in a local government archives and one day had to open a relatively recent marriage book to look something up. As I balanced it on the shelf to open it, four pens slipped out of the spine. I checked the other books and, sure enough, there were more pens. Apparently when folks come in for a marriage license, the best way to not lose the pen is stick it in the spine!
We have also found old recipes slipped into minute books from the 19th century, political party membership dues reminders, and also receipts for payment of political party membership dues. Just a reminder of how different politics were a hundred years ago.
Incidentally, I have used the same old worn Garfield bookmark for about 25 years now. My wife sighs about it all the time.
An envelope -- not too strange -- but it was from some American organization established for the investigation of UFOs. I work at Statistics Canada and generally our statisticians/methodologists are somewhat more pragmatic than that.
Over the years i've found a condom (not in it's packet but un-used i hasten to add!), a piece of pie crust, a chocolate biscuit, chips(french fries) a dolls arm!! and several pics of some very strange (possibly illegal!!) subjects!
Who says working in a library is boring :)
In my elementary school library: a child's dirty sock; various hair rubber bands and barrettes, photographs; a McDonald's gift card, those folded "fortune teller" things kids make; notes to other students that I've just thrown away--turning them in to the teacher would probably get the get ISS or at least a stern talking to.
In the public library I used to work at we got lots of photos; a number of credit cards. Our library card was the exact color of Dillard's credit card--we used to laugh that it was lucky we were all so honest--we could have had a few shopping sprees had we been so inclined.
best thing found in a book at our library: two hundred dollar bills
worst thing found: a cherry-flavored condom. still in the wrapper, thankfully
I found a boarding pass from a flight that occured on Sept. 11, 2001.
I also found an unopened statement with Neiman-Marcus credit cards. (Expired)
A personal letter, a postcard of Mount Fuji with a note on the back, a couple of l
lottery tickets, and a phone bill from 1951 for 11.52.
Since you got the book back it sounds as if they made it home from that flight safe and sound.
Actually I talked to the guy later when he returned because I remembered his name on the boarding pass and asked him about it. He really knew nothing about what was happening at the time. Still it was bizarre to find it.
Just the other day I found a threaded needle. The thread showed outside the book, and I pulled it assuming someone had just used a piece of thread. I was surprised to see a needle attached.
Last year we had a book returned containing a Valentines Day card. It wasn't just a case of to/from so and so either - someone had filled all the space they could (about three sides) with the reasons he sent the card to the lady and how much he loved her. We kept it until last week when we had a clear out and threw it away.
Perhaps her feelings for him were not quite as strong...?!
Postcards and pictures are often found being used as bookmarks and aren't really unusual.
But once I found lettuce. Another time I found a tomato slice. The piece of lettuce I can kind of understand, but the tomato made no sense at all.
In books, I've found photos, letters, invitations, checks, receipts, bills, candy wrappers, handmade bookmarks (like one made out of duct tape), post-its, library cards, a two dollar bill, and homework.
If you put that together with some of those bacon bookmarks, you'll have a BLT.
This wasn't really a bookmark, but once a lady dropped an overdue library book in our book return. Inside, she taped her credit card and a note saying to use it to pay her fines. (Her fine was all of $1.00, too)
Used tissues, the crunchy type
A Swiss Army knife "card"
An article ripped out of a 1961 copy of the Reader's Digest
A dead, flat cockroach (I'm guessing this crawled in alive and met an early demise, rather than someone sticking a dead roach in there to mark their place... but you never know...)
The imponderable that seems to have gone unremarked (maybe I missed it) is that the included items may have been intended to be found. Are librarians so unattractive of 'grudge' items? And certainly some of the things found would appear to have been targeted to likely readers of some books.
And perhaps an eccentric benefactor is responsible for the money left. Could it be that some people wish to make donations to some hard-working librarian or shelver?
Could this practice simply be a particularly abstruse sub-form of human communication?
A folded note found inside a copy of Peter Ackroyd's Blake: A Biography had this cryptic note apparently to self by the reader (some of the handwriting I couldn't make out):
What is dripping?
Did you get __ ____ out?
I hope they remembered all this.
Wow -- You could be inspired to write a whole novel just based on that list. "What is dripping?" is particularly evocative.
I don't recall whether the word 'dripping' actually appears in Ackroyd's 'Blake', but it's worth a bet that it does, and that the listographer was simply puzzled by its use. 'Dripping' is the 'melted fat that drips from roasting meat' (OED), and as OED points out, this fat used to be in widespread (pun intended) use (certainly in Blake's day, and well into the twentieth century) on slices or bread, in place of butter. In poorer households, of course.
Oh, how logical. I was imagining the sort of drip one hears, but can't find, and which causes one to speculate on what damage may be occurring within the walls.
my mother and grandmothers always used to keep a can of bacon "drippings" on the stove to season with. *Shudders* sounds terribly unsanitary now, but boy was their food yummy!
My mother had a grease can, too -- I hadn't thought of that in years!
I don't remember mom ever cooking with hers, though -- it was just there to collect the cooking grease.
I always throw away bacon grease now & only cook with vegetable and olive oil, and have for 25 years. A few weeks ago I made bacon and eggs, and went ahead and cooked the eggs in the bacon grease (just like Mom used to make!). My husband and I both pronounced them "icky". (His mom also used too cook with bacon grease)
The theory I believe, is that in order to cook with it it will get hot enough to kill anything that might be growing there. My Mom had a 1950s canister set and along with the ones labeled flour and sugar was one labeled grease.
What would you do if you found $100 inside a book (from the library) as a bookmark? :-)
Check to see how recently book had been returned. ~~I'm not sure how to define recent, but if it was recent, try to find who had returned it. If quite a longlong time ago. . . . In other words set parameters before deciding Finders-Keepers.
Today's San Jose Mercury News has an article headed "Library Book returned 145 years after soldier stole it during Civil War"!!! It is worth tracking down.
I've found used band-aids, photographs, postcards, business cards and just last week - a four-leaf clover.
I found a High Holy Days ticket to a shul in Tel Aviv circa 1936, before Israel was a country, written in German and Hebrew.
Once, somebody's medical insurance card fell out of a book I was shelving. I tracked the person down via the name on the card and our library records, and called to let him know we had it. He was quite relieved.
After all these posts, I am surprised to learn that apparently I am the only one who has heard of (I didn't find it, thank goodness) a slice of pizza -- apparently the thin kind! -- used as a bookmark. It was quite dessicated, according to the teller of the tale, and only greased the paper a bit!
One of the circ clerks found a maxi pad in a book today. Still in it's package (thank god). She was checking the book out to a (male) patron when she discovered it. Apparently she got it out of the book and in the trash can without him noticing.
-An unused napkin, folded along the diagonal
-An entry form for a contest in South Dakota (I live nowhere near South Dakota)
-A paycheck! We called the patron and he rushed back to get it. :)
-A second-place ribbon from a ballroom dancing competition. (Sadly, the person never came back and got this one. Maybe they were upset at not getting first...?)
I recently found an old porter's receipt from Osaka Hotel (Japan) in a book on Singapore Math that we bought online.
I found a used Q-tip in a donated book. There were some unused ones as well, but those didn't bother me like the used one did!
I had to return a library book I wasn't finished reading. I left my bookmark in it and then checked it out again. The bookmark was there so I got to finish the book.
Besides a booklet of exotic poststamps, postcards, newspaper clippings (some of them from the 19th century), several books of matches, xeroxed construction plans and shopping lists the most unusual finding was a sachet containing marihuana and small pieces of blotting paper which, judging from the printed symbols on it, were apparently laced with LSD.
Hola, visiting my sister in Houston, Tx, I found that she was into romantic novels so I decide just to grab one randomly and for bookmark she was using a "sex offender advisory postcard", when I saw the name of the person with his address( which was 6 blocks from my sisters house) I said to my sister "you better visit us more often". What can I say, I have a twisted sister.
This list is so much fun. I've started collected paper bookmarks I've found, but my most ridiculous find was a sleep mask and pair of ear plugs -- both used -- like those given away on air planes. Thank god it wasn't me, but a coworker of mine also opened an audiobook and about twenty young cockroaches poured out. I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHERE PEOPLE KEEP OUR MATERIALS!
Few months ago, found a wedding ring in a book. Managed to reunite it with one incredibly grateful borrower.
I've done that with photos and student IDs but never with a wedding ring. Cool!
I start as a Library Technical Assistant on Monday. I sincerely hope I don't see much of what was listed here in our books. While at University, I found several campus maps and cut up parts of beer 6 pack holders while browsing the stacks. I did find a funeral card in a seldom checked out military book. The person died in 1936. The book was last checked out in 1992. And I've found my own forgotten bookmarks, too.
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