Finding Surprise Bonuses in Used Books?

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Finding Surprise Bonuses in Used Books?

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Abr 7, 2013, 10:40 am

Have you ever found $20, a remarkable photograph or any other pleasant surprise stuck between pages in a used book you bought?

Somewhat related... A friend's widowed mother just passed away and, going through her mom's books, the friend found several thousand dollars in cash tucked away in the pages of some books. I'm thinking of putting a Post-It note on my will suggesting that my kids go through my books looking for such a stash. Somehow, my kids haven't inherited much interest in reading. Heh, heh, heh!

Abr 7, 2013, 1:32 pm

After I moved in together with my fiancée, now my wife, I found several 500 SEK banknotes (~$70) in her books. She had put them there for safekeeping and forgot all about them.

Abr 7, 2013, 1:58 pm

I found some photo-negatives of a unclothed and highly decorative female in -- of all things -- a plumbing manual. I suspect they were amateur work, for domestic consumption only. I often wonder what became of those involved -- on both sides of the lens.

Abr 7, 2013, 2:23 pm

Pulvis et umbra sunt, pulvis et umbra.

Abr 7, 2013, 3:24 pm

In re #4. De rebus veneris nil nisi bonum.

Abr 9, 2013, 7:50 pm

Yes, found photos, entertaining post cards, unusual bookmarks, recipes, letters, pamphlets about other thingsm bills, receipts or invoice showing what the book cost originally , but alas no money!

Abr 9, 2013, 9:57 pm

I once found a dollar bill, probably used as a bookmark, in a used book I'd bought online.

And ditto to Africansky1's list, too.

Abr 10, 2013, 7:50 pm

I recently found the card for a Scouting level pin tucked into a used book. I wondered if there was any way to return it to its owner; both his name and his scoutmaster's were on the card.

Abr 10, 2013, 9:21 pm

>8 staffordcastle: staffordcastle

I believe you have a 1/3 part of a Blue Card (for merit badge).

I'd suggest you to have a contact with BSA district and find out where that troop is, and send to the scoutmaster. Boys have to save their 1/3 part in order to get the Eagle badge, and it is SOOOOO hard to get another copy if he looses one. The boy would love to see it back, and appreciate you greatly.

Abr 12, 2013, 3:53 pm

Latest find in a book... An an old airline Boarding pass ... But also found bus tickets .. Of Thr type no longer issued .

Maio 4, 2013, 1:56 pm

Just as an fyi, there was an old, interesting thread on this topic, now sadly dormant, called "I Found a Petal" in the group, Rare, Old or Offbeat. Here it is:

Maio 4, 2013, 3:01 pm

I always go through my books before releasing them to strangers, just for this very reason. See, I often use pieces of scrap paper as bookmarks and that's where I scribble my notes as I'm reading. Those notes are important for my work, most of the time. So I have to retrieve them.

Nowadays I DO put my 'bookcrossing' label on the inside cover, but that's different.

Have never found anything of value but yes sometimes odd little bits of stuff turns up. People do stash random stuff between book pages. Leaves, flowers, cereal boxtops, recipes, racing forms, postcards, brochures, etc

There was a story a few years ago about a handful of creative people around the country who wander through bookshops deliberately inserting items into books as a sort of fun prank; a statement against the blandness of consumerism. I like that.

Maio 13, 2013, 1:09 pm

Things I've found between the pages of books thus far:

-- Photo of Richard Nixon at an airport (circa early 1980s)
-- 1909 Russian 10 ruble note
-- 1917 Russian 500 ruble note
-- Business Card of our current District Attorney from when he was a judge

Maio 14, 2013, 7:53 am

I'll take the photo if you don't want it, victorbrunswick. I love old photos, especially of 'famous' people.

Editado: Maio 14, 2013, 3:28 pm

Thanks, @Yamanetokei, I'll do that. It is not blue, however; it is olive green at the top, with a large white box on the bottom half, which reads "So-and-so is hereby certified as a SECOND CLASS SCOUT. Date/Troop/Council/Senior Patrol Leader. On the top half there is a taupe oval with an orange banner reading "Be Prepared"; in this oval are the pin holes for the badge. It is dated 2000, so probably he has moved on up by now; do you still think it is worth trying to return?

Maio 15, 2013, 6:40 pm

Oh, then I was thinking a different thing, but 2000? Wow that's old! It is way too late for rank advancement for him. He may be a troop adult leader by now if he hadn't given up advancing. It is all up to you, staffordcastle, to return to him or not, but I still think it would be nice to have it back, (is it sentiment?) if I were him. Let us know if you are lucky ... please :-)

Maio 15, 2013, 6:46 pm

Will do! Thanks, Yamanekotei.

Editado: Maio 15, 2013, 9:04 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Jun 5, 2013, 1:11 am

I recently bought a used book from the 1940s that came with a past due notice dated 1952 from an electric company. The former owner must be in the dark by now.

If nothing else, finding stuff in books reminds me to be a little careful about what I use for bookmarks. My personal favorite book marks... 3 X 5 index cards. You can actually make notes on them as well. What a concept!

Jun 5, 2013, 9:09 am

> 19

I'm constantly jotting notes on bookmarks (often towards a review), and 3x5 cards are indeed ideal for that. If the book's big enough, though, I'll use a 4x6!

Jun 5, 2013, 9:23 am

. . . whereas I have come to the same conclusion that if the material isn't memorable, no written aids will help me. Perhaps it's an Older Man's Thing, but I am what I am. Meanwhile, I keep hoping to find that bearer-bond in a book. Of-course, the Cosmic Dice falling as they too often do, that bond will be from a defunct corporation. -- G

Jun 5, 2013, 9:28 am

I've probably lost a bearer bond or two in books.

Jun 5, 2013, 9:29 am

Send address: I'll be right over to check your shelves. Will work on percentage.

Jun 5, 2013, 3:17 pm

Found recently in a 1770 edition of Johnson's Dictionary I've had since 2003: Twenty-five cents in fractional currency from 1863.

Jul 15, 2013, 6:07 pm

Just bought a copy of Full and By: Being a Collection of Verses by Persons of Quality in Praise of Drinking. Whew, a mouthful. Printed in 1925 with wonderful illustrations by Edward A. Wilson. Stuffed into the rear end page is a copy of Esquire's Liquor Intelligencer circa January 1960.

Editado: Jul 17, 2013, 8:58 pm

I recently found three (3) million dollar bills in a used Louis L'Amour western!

They were part of a promotion for a place called "The Party Stop" in Westfield, NJ.

They make good bookmarks...

Jul 18, 2013, 1:51 am

A lovely group photo of a tour group to Russia ... 21 women in group, 15 men , I know none of them. In a book on a St Petersburg palace . Returned it to the bookshop to post on their window .. Someone may reclaim. shows that it's older people who go on travels when they retire but that women out live men! Spend your kids inheritance is the message while you can enjoy!

Set 18, 2013, 4:58 pm

Around 35 years ago, I found a calling card (predecessor of today's business cards) stuck into an 1890s military history book. It reads "Captain George B. McClellan, USA" i.e., U.S. Army. This guy went on to become the top general commanding Union troops during the American Civil War before being succeeded by Ulysses S. Grant.

Set 18, 2013, 5:08 pm

I opened a used book while cleaning out a friend's apartment and found $80 in four twenty-dollar bills. I couldn't give the money back to him as he was deceased, so I used the money to take his two best friends out to dinner. More interesting than that, however, I recently found in one of my own books, a folded up flyer for a "Be-In" on the Boston Common; it must have been from 1969 or 1970. Although I don't believe I attended that particular "Be-In," it certainly brought me back to another place and time.

Set 18, 2013, 5:38 pm

#28> Maybe a different McClellan, though, as the Civil War general died in 1885 and you say the book was from the 1890s. The general did have a son also named George, according to wikipedia, but whether the son joined the army, the website doesn't say.

Set 18, 2013, 9:47 pm

Airplane boarding pass
Highschool student's laminated ID
An "I hate you" note obviously written by someone in middle school
Business card with reading notes
Cat whisker

Set 19, 2013, 8:19 am

A Norwegian or Danish newspaper clipping from 1951, quoting a Harvard professor who warned that television would ruin both eyes and nerves of watchers, making us all illiterate.

Set 19, 2013, 10:54 am

How right he was.

Set 22, 2013, 4:28 pm

Some of my favorite things I've found in books:

- a lesbian love letter dated from the 1950's
- various postcards, my favorite is one from Thailand in Thai writing
- a pressed flower
- airplane tickets
- a short love letter, dramatically ripped into pieces (that gave it extra flair)
- a WWII-era newspaper clipping

Out 3, 2013, 2:20 pm

Just found a leather azure blue souvenir bookmark of Queen Elizabeth's 25th jubilee , 1977 ; beautifully made and it fell out into my hands as I opened the book .

Nov 21, 2013, 8:17 pm

I found a newspaper review of the book I was reading, cut out of the newspaper and tucked inside the front cover.

Nov 22, 2013, 4:42 am

I just bought several of Evelyn Waugh's books from a shop here, editions from the 60s, one of which was from 1962 and had a [Dutch language] newspaper clipping from '66 of his passing, a sort of obit.

Dez 14, 2013, 1:17 pm
An interesting extension of our thread. ... Enjoy

Dez 14, 2013, 4:40 pm

Interesting link, thanks!

Jul 20, 2014, 3:17 pm

If the book is old enough, finding the original receipt and/or price tag. A nice little bit of ephemera.