Lady Crumpet's Armoire


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June 22, 2004

Hiding Things in Books Not Such a Great Idea

At Used-Book Stores, Unintended Mysteries are Often the Best [Barry Newman, WSJ, 6/22/04] Article about the things people have left behind in books that end up in used bookstores and the bored, nosy clerks who find them. [via Obscure Store]

I'd probably do the same, trying to imagine the person behind the artifact. Still, I feel a twinge whenever I find a used book that has a dedication in it to someone, especially one I think the person should have kept. I ended up buying a used copy of Robin McKinley's The Hero and the Crown for a friend and writing in my own dedication, telling her I knew she'd appreciate this book more than the previous owner.

Yours, &c., LC | 11:46 AM | Sundries | Comments (2)


I once bought a used Hugh Nissenson (great obscure contemporary fiction writer) book at the Strand and found a copy of his own business card in it! It has his address and phone number on it, but it looks a bit old. Not that I'd do anything with it, but of course not everyone is as pure-hearted as I am.

Posted by: LTR at June 22, 2004 12:07 PM

Previous ownership, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting facets of vintage/antique books. My husband and I are avid collectors and readers of same.

I absolutely love the inscriptions.

I once found a not-so-old hardcover with a letter addressed to the brother (as editor) of a famous Canadian media figure in it. Er, that seemed more interesting *before* I began to write it. LOL!

Posted by: GaelicGrl at June 22, 2004 08:53 PM