10 Weird and Wonderful Things Found Inside Old Books. - For Reading Addicts

10 Weird and Wonderful Things Found Inside Old Books.

By January 2, 2016 Reading Habits

If you’re like me and you just cannot get home before sampling your latest literary purchase, you will have undoubtedly used anything to hand as a bookmark.

I’ve used receipts, bus tickets, tissues (clean of course), salt or sugar sachets and labels from new clothes among other less desirable and definitely less shareable items as an impromptu page marker and I am sure that there are people who are now in possession of one of my old books who are wondering why on earth there is a knicker label on page 17.

Fortunately it appears I’m not the only one.

Seven razor blades found in Stenciling with Style by Jim Boleach.


Embedded BBs or buckshot pellets found in “Herbert Hoover: A Reminiscent Biography” by Will Irwin.


A note intended to be uplifting but actually really rather unnerving.

Dear stranger,

You’re stunning, you are. You are holding my favorite Vonnegut book and you are positively stunning. I need you to promise me that you will never let life get you down, because someone as fantastic as you should never be down. I know it’s hard but I need you to try, I know you can do it just as I know there is no insignificant human. And you, you are most certainly not insignificant. For one thing, you’re in a public library. For another you’re tackling Vonnegut. Never forget how truly beautiful you are.
DFTBA (Don’t Forget To Be Awesome)



Notes warning of what is to come.

This book was hilarious but if you start noticing the misspelled words, it will drive you NUTS!


A rather sweet pledge, dated December 3, 1899:

“We the undersigned solemnly promise God being our helper to abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage.

John P. Bugden

Frank E. Bugden

Nellie L. Bugden

M. Clara Bugden”

I wonder if they kept to it?


A proposition!

Whats ya name? C I would ask out loud but you suppose to be quiet in da library….
My name is Cash or Tony.
Do you got a number so I can call you late and we can get to know each other?


Two tickets to the 1974 Afton, NY fair.

Found in “The Far Side Observer” by Gary Larson.


A key found in “The Diplomacy of the American Revolution” by Samuel Flagg Bemis


Photocopied sign: “GO AHEAD – PARK HERE AGAIN A**HOLE.” Found in Bruce Catton’s America edited by Oliver Jensen.


A marriage certificate, dated October 18, 1899.

Found in “The Holy Bible” published by Samuel T. Armstrong, no date, circa 1850.


Other weird and wonderful finds (without any photographic evidence unfortunately) include:

Monopoly Money
Real Money
A Hairnet
A medical prescription dated 1785.
A hotel cocktail napkin with a name and a room number on it. 
A golf scorecard signed by Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.
Two printed lists of upcoming surgeries at a hospital.
World War II US ration book (with stamps remaining)
A holographic image of a lady who sheds her clothing.
A condom (unused), a cockroach (dead), and a strip of bacon.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve found in an old book? Mine is a newspaper clipping showing a photograph of a man and a lock of hair.

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18th Century Teen’s Schoolbook Doodles Discovered

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Doodles, scribbles, and mini works of fine art got many of us through our teen years at school- I personally preferred drawing spiderwebs in the corners of every page- and it seems 18th century teens were not much different!

Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) discovered a young man’s doodles in his own mathematics workbook, and it gives us a fascinating insight into the mind of this erudite and creative teen. As well as laying out his mathematical formulae with precision and clarity, Richard Beale showed us his family dog, street scenes, elegant ships, and… A chicken in trousers.

Let MERL take you on a journey through time into the mind of Richard Beale- honest farm-boy, good mathematician, and excellent doodler.

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Strange questions people asked the librarian

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Librarians are quiet heroes, guardians of the books, and underrated alternative to a search engine. They used to be our one stop for all our general knowledge needs however Google (other search engines are apparently available…) have slowly but surely taken that responsibility away from the libraries.

Librarians used to deal with all the strange, creepy, interesting, and outrageous questions the general public had to ask- and you will not believe some of the stuff people are willing to ask a stranger.

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Study Shows Growing up in a Home Full of Books Is Good for Children

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Those of you who buy more books than you can read will be pleased to learn that a recent study suggests that this is having a positive effect on you and any little ones that may be around. Evidence suggests that those who grow up in homes full of books are more likely to have higher reading comprehension and better mathematical and digital communication skills. Read More

Bill Clinton’s First Novel Has Sold over 1 Million Copies

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Despite only being released a few months ago on June 4, Bill Clinton’s first novel has managed to sell over 1 million copies in North America alone. Co-written with James Patterson, The President is Missing is a thriller which sees the President go undercover after a devastating cyber attack. The novel is Clinton’s first work of fiction and was no doubt helped by having such a prolific co-author on board.
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For the Eleventh Year, James Patterson Remains the UK’s Most Borrowed Book from Libraries

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Data gathered by the Public Lending Right (PLR) has found that James Patterson’s thriller books, along with thriller books in general, are the most borrowed books from UK libraries. For the eleventh year in a row, James Patterson has been crowned the most borrowed author from public libraries. In fact, his books have been borrowed over 22 million times since 2007.

As The Guardian reports, Patterson has stated he’s thrilled to be holding on to his crown, while also giving his support for libraries. “I firmly believe that better readers become better thinkers and I think libraries are an integral part of any community, as they are essential in helping to share and spread the joy of reading,” he said. His 2016 novel, Bullseye, was the ninth most borrowed book from UK libraries last year. Read More

Ikea Will Soon Be Offering Customers Reading Rooms, Where You Can Even Take a Book Home for Free

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As though it weren’t easy enough to lose track of time wandering around Ikea, the furniture giant has now announced that it will soon be hosting Reading Rooms, a place where members of the public will be able to go to sit back, relax, enjoy a good book, and even take it home free of charge.

As Metro reports, Ikea has partnered up with the Man Booker Prize to offer visitors a place where they can get comfy and enjoy one of many great books on offer. If you find yourself becoming engrossed in your book, then you can take it home with you for free! You might be wondering how that differs from your local library, but does your local library provide you with delicious Swedish meatballs? Didn’t think so. Read More

Obama Reveals What He’s Been Reading Prior to Visiting Africa

By | Discussion and Recommendations, News, Reading Habits | No Comments
For the first time since he left office, the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, has returned to Africa where he spent time in both Kenya (his ancestral home) and South Africa. There he met 200 young leaders from all over the continent and made a speech to commemorate the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela.

Prior to his visit, Obama published a post on his official Facebook page where he wrote about his love for his ancestral home, and revealed what books he’s been reading in the build up to his trip. As you would expect, the books are from and about the continent of Africa and show what a diverse, historic, sometimes troubled, but also extraordinary continent it is. Not only has Obama recommended the books, but also provided a quick insight as to why he found them interesting. Read More


  • Amy says:

    I’ve collected foreign paper money on my travels and I use them as book marks. They are durable, colorful and they stir up good memories.

  • Katie says:

    In the early 2000s when the mini Polaroids that had sticker backs were popular, I found one on the dedication page of an overweight man’s hairy chest. I was working in a middle school.

  • ahappybutterfly says:

    a laminated obituary

  • Christine Call says:

    Wet gym socks. They were stuffed in a large print book which was then put back on the shelf for library staff to find.

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