Things Found Inside of Books

May 20, 2008

I saw a thread to this effect on the LibraryThing forums, and wanted to share the notion with you out there, you Lyza-readers.

Letter from 1910Probably the most interesting thing I have ever found in a book was a letter from September, 1910 written from a woman named Nell in Spokane, Wash. to her friend (relative?) Alice in Portland, Ore. An old friend and I had purchased a lovely set of old encyclopedias at a West Hills garage sale. This letter fell out. In the end, I let him keep the books. I kept the letter:

Dear Alice,
I suppose you thought that I never would answer your letter but I have been so busy since I got home that I haven’t had time to think. Been cleaning of[?] house canning fruit and I don’t know what else. And I have been doing it all myself.

Edna has gone. She only stayed a few days with me after we came home. She went to Hayden Lake to teach in a private family. So I do not know if I will get to go to Portland after all.

Did you get your bracelet. We found it up by the tent. Mary L [or P?] had been playing with it when she was in bed and dropped down by the side of the tent. How is the darling

Jack will soon be as big as M.S. he weighs 16 lbs he will be 5 months old tomorrow[. M]y but he is a good baby he never crys.

How did you like the pictures. We think they are just fine. The only ones that were no good were the ones Edna took of M.C. in the bath tub. The one of Mr. H. and [is?] game knee is just fine you can almost see how bad it hurts him. I am sending you one more of M.S.

Also put the little bed away. He said maby [sic] there would be another to fill it someday soon. Better get busy.

Love to all,


Photo of Baby from 1910

Enclosed was a charming sepia photograph of a baby (presumably Jack) in a very homebrew crib, in a cleared field.

Have you ever found anything really nifty in a book?


  1. Fran says:

    I bought a paperback copy of E.L. Konigsberg’s “The View From Saturday” at Powell’s and realized that someone had used an Israeli 50-shekel note as a bookmark. At the current exchange rate, the note was worth more than I paid for the book. (You may remember Konigsberg as the author of “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.” The book I bought was also a kid’s book, and it was really funny.)

  2. Pam says:

    I’ve never found anything good (besides bookstore or library bookmarks), but my local bookstore keeps track of what they find in their used book section. Pretty amusing.

  3. Matt says:

    I was looking through some old Choose Your Own Adventure books and once found an one that said, “To Matt” and was autographed by the author. I snapped it up for $1 at Powells.

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