Weird things found in books

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#1
Self explanatory. We've all found strange things in used books, like boarding passes, love notes, birthday cards with money. But what's the weirdest things you found in a book.

Recently I posted about an old version of a banking stub, with Santa on the front and a 1965 calender on the back. The bank is a new orleans bank.

Just now I was retrieving a bookmark from the silmarillion and there smooshed between the pages, a scorpion. Just a reminder of living in texas recently
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#2
Here is one. It comes with a story.

There used to be this fake reviewer on Amazon. She'd "review" upwards of 100 books per day, sometimes (she passed away in 2015). She never disclosed that she was getting free books from the publisher, even though that is an FTC and Amazon requirement and no one is buying 30,000+ books in a 10 year period and no one is getting like 7 new books from the library at midnight on publication day and posting "reviews" within three hours.

We (a group of people I met on Amazon and I) suspected she was turning around and selling the books, unread. (Publishers don't want you selling ARCs. It deprives them of income.) I did some sleuthing and found what I thought was her eBay account (under her son's name), where she had I think over 100 books listed, including having some for sale before the publication date. I ordered a few of them to test the hypothesis. And the books did indeed come from her address, according to the white pages, with her last name on the return address label.

Now, whenever this lady did interviews with the media, she would always claim to be a speed reader and say she completely read every book she reviewed (everything gets 5 stars!). Well, in addition to the books I ordered clearly not having been touched, one still had all the publicity material from the publisher folded up, mid-book. I don't know about you all, but when there are several 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper in the middle of a book *I* receive, I remove them or at the very least tuck them into the back cover so I can actually read the book.

On the plus side, I exposed her fraudulent behavior to a wider audience in a blog post that has over 22,700 views as of today. (I am unlikely to get that kind of audience for anything I write, ever again.)

Other than that, haven't found much but like old shopping lists and bookmarks and things. Nothing really that interesting. I have some 8-bit Nintendo games with someone else's name markered on the back but those probably came from a secondhand shop where they were sold by the original purchaser.
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
#3
I've found boogers in library books. In all sorts of crazy patterns too. :shifty: Granted, it's been mostly (!) from the children's section (where all fantasy books seem to end up for some reason), but that's just nasty.

Other than that, I found dried flowers once. Not nearly as exciting as a scorpion. I don't think I've ever seen one in real life. Or a large spider for that matter. I would've died inside a little if this had ever happened to me. :bored:
 

atheling

A Poet of the Khaiem
#4
My father has this massive textbook on a shelf somewhere, something like "The History of Western Art" or some such (big subject, big book, many pictures). One day he was looking something up in that book and found a squashed spider in between two pages somewhere in the middle (not a very big one, so not so creepy).

He thought it was hilarious. He said he could just imagine a "drooper" (his word) coming down from the ceiling and someone grabbed the biggest book they could find, squished it, and then just set it back on the shelf.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#5
I've never found anything weird in a book (physically I mean. I have read the bible and the original Shannara book).

I once serendipitously found a peculiar book in my attic though. When I was about 13 years of age I was a really into books about animals. You know 'Animals of the Amazon', 'Arctic Predators', that sort of thing. Fortuitously my dad had a lot of these books, which were stored in the attic. Every week or so I'd go up to the attic (which at that point had turned into my personal library on the animal kingdom) to fetch a new book.

This one time I found this scruffy book on the bottom of a cardboard box. There was a glass of wine on the cover and it had the title 'a hot ice-cream parlor'. You can probably guess where this is going.

Fascinated by the mysterious cover I started reading and lo and behold: it was an erotic (very explicit) novel. Ooh, the fun I had reading that book (remember, this was pre-internet)! It still must lie hidden in my old bedroom in my parent's house.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#6
I once found a hardback playboy annual in my dad's wardrobe .... I was only 5 ...
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#9
Lol sorry for that. I tried to make joke and I killed the thread. It happens :D

I just found the image of 5 year old Tom finding playboy (harback one at that!) hilarious.

As for finding weird things in books, I haven't had any experiences. Maybe only when I was a kid finding old Yugoslavia money in my dad's books.
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
#10
Lol sorry for that. I tried to make joke and I killed the thread. It happens :D

I just found the image of 5 year old Tom finding playboy (harback one at that!) hilarious.

As for finding weird things in books, I haven't had any experiences. Maybe only when I was a kid finding old Yugoslavia money in my dad's books.
This is a bit off-topic, but it reminds me of something that I've found recently. I was rummaging through my 'memory box' with all the cool relics and got my hands on some old birthday cards from my grandmother. I opened one of them and you wouldn't guess what I found. Money! :p Money that is no longer in use too, as we have euros now. It was also in one of those ridiculous birthday cards with a horrific pre-printed text and, of course, a picture of flowers to go with it.

Note that the card is specifically made with a sleeve for money. I give 10/10 for functionality.
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#11
As for finding weird things in books, I haven't had any experiences. Maybe only when I was a kid finding old Yugoslavia money in my dad's books.
As a numismatist I have to ask. What era Yugoslavia coin.. I count five eras of coins from separation from ottoman empire to dissolution.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#12
As a numismatist I have to ask. What era Yugoslavia coin.. I count five eras of coins from separation from ottoman empire to dissolution.
I'm sorry I really don't know. They were bills not coins, although my dad collected coins as well from his travels around the world.
But I was 6-7 when I found them, 9 when the war started, and 13 when it ended. But by that time our house was obliterated as well were our things in it, so there's no way for me to check.
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#13
I'm sorry I really don't know. They were bills not coins, although my dad collected coins as well from his travels around the world.
But I was 6-7 when I found them, 9 when the war started, and 13 when it ended. But by that time our house was obliterated as well were our things in it, so there's no way for me to check.
Geez, I'm sorry. I often get caught up in the monetary history and forget the events that cause the changes
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#15
I once found a pressed Edelweiss flower in a big tome inherited from my grandfather (who was, among other things, an avid mountaineer).



That was interesting in that this flower is nowadays rare and has been protected for some time, so you are not allowed to pluck it now.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#16
I once found a pressed Edelweiss flower in a big tome inherited from my grandfather (who was, among other things, an avid mountaineer).



That was interesting in that this flower is nowadays rare and has been protected for some time, so you are not allowed to pluck it now.
I remember a particular scene from Band of Brothers that featured the story about the Edelweiss. According to the back-story as told in the episode it was a sign of great courage and fortitude to have plucked an Edelweiss flower, as it only grows on high altitudes that are difficult to reach.

I have had the fortune to have seen an Edelweiss twice; once in Austria and once in the Alps, south of Munich.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#17
According to the back-story as told in the episode it was a sign of great courage and fortitude to have plucked an Edelweiss flower, as it only grows on high altitudes that are difficult to reach.
I can only speak for myself, having seen some Edelweiss flowers on a 2 hour trip walking from the cable car station to the restaurant on a nice footpath.
Not too much courage and fortitude needed on my part, more a disregard for rules on protected plants ;) (Which, having the pressed on at home already, I, of course did not follow)