I used to buy all my books. I still purchase any art or reference books but for years now I’ve been borrowing the novels I read from the library.
I prefer to hold a real book in my hand.
The problem is you never know who borrowed it before you.
I like to think the people who go to the library and take out the books are fine, upstanding, educated and CLEAN individuals. Alas, that is not always the case.
From time to time I find some very interesting things tucked into the pages of a book when I bring it home.
It’s not unusual to find the receipt from the previous borrower. That’s par for the course.
But in this last book I’ve come across some……shall we say, interesting items.
As I turned the page the other day a tiny slip of paper fell into my lap. I picked it up to realize it was a fortune from a Chinese fortune cookie. It read “To be a success in business you must be persistent, original and first.” It might just be me but it seems fortune cookies have lost their charm. I tucked it back into the page for the next reader to enjoy.
A few pages further along I came across a tightly curled coarse black hair…….I have deluded myself into thinking it came from the head of a neatly coiffed African American lady rather than what I know it to be.
I read that page very quickly.
In this particular tome there have been pages smeared with grease, spotted with what I hope was tomato sauce, and what looks to me like charcoal smudges…..but the most perplexing ‘item’ I can’t quite make out. It’s either a morsel of petrified food shoved deep into the crevice of the spine or a small creature that must have startled the reader into slamming the book shut in a fit of surprise thereby permanently preserving for posterity its poor little skeletal remains.
I think I might switch to digital content for a while. These surprises are just too much for me.