Things Found in Library Books Part 7

Moma at Xmas 79

Moma at Xmas 79

There are so many amazing things about this picture that anyone born in this century probably wouldn’t understand. For instance, why does the lamp in the background look like a giant exotic nut? And what the heck is that blue glass bowl on the table? Wait, that’s an ashtray? People used to smoke indoors? And what is up with that hideous wrapping paper? And the upholstery? Surely no one thought that was attractive? What the hell were people smoking in 1979?

And I would answer, “Oh child, many, many things.”


Dear Marika,

Dear Marika,

In my husband’s family, there is this mythical housekeeper named Marika. Whenever Kosta used to leave a mess somewhere his mother would ask, “Who do you think is going to clean this up? Marika?”

I am just in awe that Marika does, in fact, exist! We need to find her. I don’t know who this “Book Sneaker” is but we need to track him down as well. Books you can wear on your feet sound like a marketable idea. I just saved the publishing industry!


Guest Check from St. George and the Dragon

Guest Check from St. George and the Dragon

St. George and the Dragon was one of those old-timey supper clubs that folks used to get dressed up to visit on a Saturday night. Dad would wear a jacket and tie, Mom would wear her pearls and heels, and they would both smoke like chimneys while eating their prime rib and listening to the crooners like Perry Como and Bing Crosby and staring at the flocked wallpaper. Little Jimmy and Sally were told good little children were seen and not heard. And for Lord’s sake, Jimmy get your finger out of your nose, are you digging for gold? And Dad will have a fifth bourbon and Mother will put her lipstick on crooked when she powders her nose, and he’ll hit the neighbor’s dog Spot on the way home and Mother will cry and say that she can’t have anything nice.

Ah, the good old days.


Things Found in Library Books — Part Six

randy copyThis is Randy. Randy is the kind of guy your mother warned you about. The one wearing the pooka shell necklace who will offer you reefer and then take you to a cruddy hotel with a vibrating bed and mix you a pitcher of Vodka Collins. He’s a bad seed, one that will ruin your reputation and make you “that kind of girl.” Beware of Randy. Especially if that top button on his jeans is undone. That’s one button on a slippery slope to certain debauchery. Listen to your mother.

hong kong one cent copy

Apparently a one cent bill was an actual thing in Hong Kong after WWII. They were sorely lacking in the metals needed to make coins so they issued one cent bills.  The most remarkable thing was they were in circulation until 1995. Could you imagine having a bankroll of these? You could buy a gumball with it. Except gumball machines take coins.


Louise copyThis is Louise. She’s the fun grandma — especially after a glass of red wine or two.  But beware, Louise can turn on a dime and curse the bloody hell out of the valet for moving the seat in her Mercedes, or make the caterer weep with her cruel and mocking commentary about the lobster bisque. The woman on Louise’s lap having her ass palmed is unidentified.

Things Found in Library Books: Part 4

Don’t get me wrong, I am not making fun of anyone’s religious beliefs. Everyone is entitled to their own relationship with the Divine (or not). I was just impressed with this pamphlet (© 1974 Leon I. Bates) and its attention to detail. I do feel Mr. Bates believed the Rapture was upon us because of the Energy Crisis of 1973.

I do take umbrage to folks who preach fear and terror, so maybe I am a little gleeful that Mr. Bates’ prediction missed his timeline (as they all seem to do.)

Of course, it was found in a donated Bible.

tribulation map



















Tribuation map 2

I do like how he refers to Satan and his staff, I can just picture the cubicles in hell. I also enjoy the liberal sprinkling of quotation marks. They make it extra special with tribulational goodness.

Tribulation map 3 copy

I wonder if he did the artwork himself.

Tribulation map 4 copy

I love me a good fill in the blank quiz. I really wish I could get my hands on the book “PROJECTION FOR SURVIVAL.” I bet there is some outstanding artwork inside.

Things found in Library Books: Part 3

Do you know about Found Magazine? They take submissions of all sorts of found things: love letters, pictures, shopping lists, ticket stubs, etc. I love scrolling through their finds. They are sometimes boring, sometimes hysterical, sometimes heartbreaking. Do check them out.

Here are my offerings for today. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

I don't have a record of the book from whence this beautiful drawing came, but I think you can agree it is quite magical. THe artist signed it in the corner with initials and a date of '84.

I don’t have a record of the book from whence this beautiful drawing came, but I think you can agree it is quite magical. The artist signed it in the corner with initials and a date of ’84.

Written on the back: "Beth and I getting along really well. One of many wrestling nights. XO, Erika" This one was found in Hot Flash Cookbook.

Written on the back: “Beth and I getting along really well. One of many wrestling nights. XO, Erika” This one was found in Hot Flash Cookbook.


Things Found in Library Books

Most of you who know me and love me know that I keep a little collection of the things found in library books. These are usually pictures, letters, bookmarks, etc. Money happens once in a blue moon. If the items are returned in a book in our library system, we can usually find the person and get it back to them. But when someone leaves a pile of donation books on the back dock? Sorry, that is now officially property of the library.

I think once a week I’m going to share a few with you, and if I made a note of it, the book in which the item was found.

So let’s start with the most dramatic, shall we?

book with gunJust before Christmas, my husband Kosta, who handles the donations to our library found a book–A Passion for Excellence: The Leadership Difference. He he thought it sounded like quite a snore. Until he picked it up.

And it clunked.

So curiousityhad him flip the pages and he was quite surprised to find the book had a not-so-chewy center:

gun in bookYup, that’s a .38 special. We’ve seen hollowed out books before, but they have always been empty. We couldn’t quite believe someone would just forget it was there and donate it to the library.

It wasn’t loaded, thank goodness, and we did call the police. The officer himself was quite blown away (oh, pun intended)  and they ran the serial number and came up with nothing.

My personal theory is that some old coot kicked the bucket (because Naples is where folks come to die), and the kids came to clean out the house and just packed up the books, not knowing it was there.

That’s about as exciting as it gets. But I wanted to start things off with a bang. (Groan.)

This next one is a personal favorite of mine. I don’t have the title of the book in which it was found, but this was an early find before I really started keeping track.

wb pay stubIt’s a pay stub from Warner Bros. Pictures with a date of August 6, 1938. The unnamed employee worked 12 hours and received a net sum of $18.94.

How cool is that?



And finally, we do find a lot of people use pictures as bookmarks. (Don’t tell me you haven’t.) And while the pictures are usually quite unremarkable, the book in which they were found can sometimes make for a bit of dark humor:

1st to dieThis one was found in James Patterson’s 1st to Die.

Sorry, kid.