Like messages in a bottle, only slips of spirits past tucked away in books



One of the many treats of collecting old books is that they sometimes contain pleasant surprises in between the pages. The above 1930s advertising card is was likely a bookmark used by the original owner.


I can't read German, but seeking and keeping a four leaf clover for good luck seems to be universal. Usually I find pressed antique flowers so this was a first.


My oldest books, in particular those of a spiritual nature from Victorian Era, offer me comfort during difficult times. Some years ago I was devastated after one of my guinea pigs passed away due to complications from his bladder stone surgery. My tears kept escaping despite me trying to keep a "stiff upper lip." Then I saw an old hankie between the pages with the initial "A" on it. I got a chill and a thrill all at once. Supernatural comfort from beyond!


The above post-it is was inside a 1977 copy of "The Big Book" by Alcoholics Anonymous I had picked up at a yard sale.  As I shared on Instagram today, I was very moved when I first saw it and still am. There are so many warriors out there gracefully waging an invisible war against alcoholism. Too many don't make it. Sobriety is a beautiful silent victory yet its positive effects touch so many. 

Last evening I celebrated the sobriety anniversary of a close friend which got me thinking about this post-it and the other little pieces of sentimentality that still have the power to heal today. (But when I got home I returned to RECIPEGATE?! Scroll to the comments if interested. Skip if you hate drama like I do.)

Have you ever found anything unexpected inside an old book?

Comments

  1. Very special, Averyl! I can see why you would enjoy these discoveries. I see notes in used books that I've gotten over the years. When I was at Ohio State, the library became automated. If you wanted a specific book, you entered the number and a robotic system found and delivered your book. I did not like the system because I've always enjoyed browsing the shelves. Well, one time when I used the system, when my selected book came out, it had a second book stuck inside! The second book was better that the one I selected. Now there was a robot with a heart!

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    1. Dr j! How did a book fit inside another book??

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    2. It was a smaller book tucked in the pages just "like" your four-leaf-clover.

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  2. One time, when traveling overseas, I found a Bible at LAX laying on the ground. It had a baby's picture in it. There was an address, but I could never find the owner. :(
    RECIPEGATE? I must be a terrible editor. I didn't notice the errors. But then I'd probably only notice them when I made them and just like a knitting pattern with an error, you figure it out or contact the author, they say thanks, fix it, and all is well and good. Move on. Now, if you had paid $12,000 to have your book edited and published.....well.....that's different.
    You should try to decipher older recipes that are notorious for leaving out information. "Butcher the rabbit in the usual way"? :/
    "Take one nob of butter the size of the end of your thumb"? What does that even mean? I have small hands. Should I use my husband's thumb? That's from my Housekeeping in Old Virginia.

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    1. ha! Those are the exact kinds of recipes I used! I wonder if back then doctors advised their patients to cut back on butter, and suggested that only consume butter the size of a golf ball in a week's time?! :P

      I agree re Recipegate. Thank you.

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    2. Well then God bless you for even being able to translate "Hold hand in oven until heat feels good and hot for cake baking" into Preheat oven to 350!

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  3. I just got a book in the mail today from 1947 on style and the art of dress. It's a textbook. Inside I found the most amazing handwritten note passed between two young ladies during class. My favorite quotes are "Patrick lost his G.I. check in a crap game - so he has to stay home [from the dance]" and "He went with Barb for a while before he went to Hawaii and also sent her his pin." Also, "I got the honor of going for a ride to Red Rocks - Whew, did I talk fast!" Reply: "I heard he was fast but you can't believe everything you hear." She also asked, "Did he play with his tennis ball? He was trying to strengthen his arm muscles." The saucy little minxes. Apparently, Barb got around. It gave me a chill to think of some young man sending his pin to a girl back home while in Pearl Harbor. There was also a Hoover vacuum flyer in mint condition. Such a bonus! I hope Patrick overcame his gambling problem and Barb settled down with someone nice.

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    1. How fun! I love it! I also wonder about the people whom I get glimpses of through old letters, notes and postcard backs. I've googled some when I had a name. That is when they are saucy like yours. Great score.

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