Posted in Life

What’s in your library book?

With two carefully selected books in my hand, I dig my library card out of my wallet and approach the checkout desk. A cheerful voice always greets me, “I can help you here!” After she scans my card, she takes my books and riffles the pages of each one, looking for…

What is she looking for? I wonder what she has found in those pages?

Money? Without anything else for a bookmark, a dollar bill or higher might do the trick. Or, if you are feeling mysteriously generous, you could leave a twenty in there for someone to find one day.

A library card, driver’s license, business card, insurance card, or even a credit card. It’s easy to stick any of those into whatever is in your hands when you have too much to carry. Once they slip in a little deeper, you forget you put it there.

Some notes. I can’t write in a borrowed book, so sometimes I’ll write down quotes or facts on a piece of paper that doubles as a book mark. If it’s not sticking out, I might forget all about it.

I’ve opened books and discovered insects. They are usually dead, but not always. Silverfish are common. Or a mosquito who settled on a page at the wrong moment.

I’ve been known to snack while reading, or read at a meal. A candy wrapper? Napkin? I am certain I’ve left behind crumbs and stains.

How about a photo? I’ve found books on my shelves with kids’ school photos in them I used for bookmarks.

Those are the ones I’ve thought of. Some of them were out there. But some librarians shared some even better stuff they’ve found between the pages:

  • Crochet hook
  • Shopping list
  • Love note
  • Lottery tickets
  • Uncashed checks
  • Flowers, four-leaf cloves, and marijuana
  • Scissors, knives, and razor blades

There are more things at Found in a Library Book.

And now the ornery side of me begins to awaken. What kinds of things could I leave behind in a library book to be discovered at some time?

  • A spoiler sticky note half-way through a mystery
  • A recipe for something that sounds absolutely horrible
  • A compliment or joke to make someone’s day
  • Some cash or an unused scratch-off lottery ticket

Now that I’ve though of this, I am going to make sure I riffle the pages of books in the library. I’m not going to wait for the librarian to find all the good stuff. And when you find something, you might think of me.

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