On What I Find in Books

I buy most of my books used, and I buy most of my used books from less than professional booksellers.  I find better deals in thrift stores and consignment shops, so this is where I most often prefer to shop.  What this means, not infrequently, is that the books I buy come with odd bits of paper that served their previous owners as bookmarks.  Of course, because I list obsessive behaviour among my personality disorders, I have collected these bits of paper, though with no real idea as to what use they might have.

Today, in a copy of Cervantes’ Don Quixote, I found another makeshift bookmark, and I decided that, rather than just collect these things, I will blog them and then dispose of them.  This solution seems somehow to meet my need to collect the silly things while dispensing with the problem of where to keep them.

The bookmark that I found in Don Quiote is a form of some sort.  It is printed on heavy gray paper, about seven inches tall and four inches wide.  At the very top, it reads, “Insert This End In Stock”.  This is underlined.  Then there is about three inches of empty space before a second underlined phrase: “Insert To This Line”.  The bottom three inches contain a series of form questions, all separated by lines:  “Date Mixed”, “Mixer”, “Batch No.”, “Cmpd No.”, “Oils”, and “Add Before Using”.  The final phrase, also underlined, reads, “Hold For Lab.  O.K.”.

I have no idea what this is, but there you have it.  Do with it what you will.

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7 comments
  1. Katerina said:

    Haha Luke, you’re weird. I’m glad you’re revealing some of this to your blogging community.
    Speaking of AWESOME things you find..
    Today my mum was cleaning behind our bar and found a huge stack of yellowed newspapers in a bag. From 1967. From 77. There was something of historical significance – last telegram something … first… star? not sure – but also, my mum found a handwritten note from her dad (my grandfather the editor) that said “Megan, find me on A2” and there’s a photo of him in some conference.
    How neat a time capsule.. my grandfather has been dead for four years now. There were tax receipts for my mum’s schooling Australia when she needed “tunics” and the like for her school uniform.

    your post reminded me of this –

  2. Curtis said:

    Sounds like the lead in to a really cheesy science fiction serial. Get to work!… on the such serial.

  3. d said:

    I just got a copy of ‘An Introduction to the World-System Perspective’ by Thomas Shannon and inside was a bookmark size advertisement for The Johns Hopkins University Barnstormers performance of “I Hate Hamlet” by Paul Rudnick, Family Weekend 2004 at the Areliano Theater.

  4. D,

    There is something so purely and irreducibly unexpected about these things. They are endlessly fascinating to me.

  5. Katerina said:

    I think, instead of blogging and analysing these snippets and then discarding them, you should put them all up on one bulletin board as art.

  6. Curtis said:

    Or, glue them all together in a discomfiture of a manner. Then call it something like, ‘there you all are, separate lives, separate books, one terrible existence.’ or ‘I will do this with living people next’. Personally I like the second title.

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