« Not Quite A Dream Come True | Main | Romance and Urban Fantasy, deep in the heart of Texas »

May 20, 2015


Marcia Talley

Oh, LOL! As a former librarian -- 30 some years! -- I've found all kinds of things left in library books. I know there used to be an hourly train from Annapolis to Baltimore because I found a ticket and timetable from the early 50s in a donated book. Today, we don't even have busses that do that. :-( One book had cryptic numbers written on each page. Fortunately, the donor's wife was still alive so I asked her -- "Oh, that's the number of june bugs that Ford picked off his roses each day." And love letters! I blushed.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

June bugs? SO weird!

I love this idea..hurray for number 13!

Elaine Viets

June bugs and love letters! Now that there is sexting, does anyone still write love letters?
Thanks for an entertaining response.

Elaine Viets

It's been lucky 13 so far, Hank.
Can I say that I think June bugs are kinda cute?

Charlaine Harris

I bought a very old young peoples' book from a second hand dealer. Within were a kid's practice sessions on drawing a Thanksgiving card for her mother. Kind of poignant.

Elaine Viets

That is sweet, Charlaine. Too bad that mom couldn't see the trouble her child took to make her card.

Donna Andrews

Elaine, you just did more for new book sales than any advertisement I've seen lately. BANANAS? SILVERFISH? DIRTY GYM SOCKS????

Ruth Nixon

Love this post. I once was looking for a book to read at our small town library and found a old photo. Surprise I knew the young lady in the picture and her daughter was so glad to receive the photo because her mom had passed away.

Elaine Viets

I didn't mention the used condoms, Donna, but new books now have an added advantage.

Elaine Viets

Local libraries are almost like private clubs, Ruth. I'm glad you could return that photo.


I'll never forget the time the Preservation dept. found a chesseburger in a book.

Elaine Viets

Ew. That might be more disgusting than the bacon and fried egg.

Storyteller Mary

Our librarians found a class ring, not in a book, just at the library. One librarian, a former student of mine, sent me an email asking me to take care of it. I picked it up, our counselors figured out whose it would be, and I asked them to have him come see me.
"Do you know where your class ring is?"
He hadn't missed it, thought it was still at home on his dresser, and nearly fainted from the realization that it had been lost and gratitude that it was restored. I told him that the biggest thanks were due to the librarians, who are always looking out for us. In fact, they called me about my lost watch before I made it home and realized it was lost.
I do love your wild and crazy Gladys the librarian. ;-)

Alan Portman

An inverse if you will. My youngest daughter and DW were at the library. DW picked a book off of the shelf and asked her if she had read it.

"No. I never read that book."

"You started it. It has your bookmark in it."

DW opened the book at the book mark. There are only so many 1st graders with Elaine Viets bookmarks. That book had been to our house before.

Elaine Viets

So glad he was reunited with his class ring. They're important at that age.

Elaine Viets

Auntie Elaine strikes again, Alan.

Ellen Byron

This is great! I actually found something heartbreaking left in a book, that I plan to use in a future mystery. It was a bookmark that was a memorial to beautiful little boy who'd obviously passed away. All I know is that his name was Peter. I still have it and it still haunts me. I want to know the story behind it, but I never will, which is why I will eventually write my own story behind it. Can't wait to read your book!!

Elaine Viets

What a sad but fascinating find, Ellen. Sounds like a good story. I've used what people left in books in my 14th Dead-End Job mystery, CHECKED OUT.


A bullet hole -- guy was cleaning his gun, and *thought it was unloaded -- smh

Also bright blue birthday cake frosting, utility bills (unpaid), and a strand of cooked spaghetti.


I used to volunteer at a used bookstore. We took in donated books, and all the proceeds went to the library. We often found fancy bookmarks, airline boarding passes, letters, and family photos. We kept them at the front desk, in case anyone came back looking for them. If could identify the owners of the letters or photos, we called them.

Elaine Viets

OK, you win with the bullet hole, Sheila. That's the weirdest yet. I alway thought reading was a non-violent activity.

Elaine Viets

So many people have told me they'v left family photos in their library books.


I sort donated books for the Friends group and mostly it is bookmarks, dentist and doctor appointment reminder business cards and plane boarding cards.
I always feel badly when it is a photo. Can't help wondering if they are looking everywhere for it. One set of books all had the B&N receipts in them. They shopped once a week every week, and we got the nicely read copy afterwards.

Elaine Viets

Folks, you've seen it here several times now. Please don't use your photos for bookmarks.

Dana Cameron

I'm still not sure how the banana peel makes sense to anyone...and how it gets left there.

Elaine Viets

Best I can figure it, the person is eating a banana and reading the book, then finishes the banana and returns the book with a large, lumpy yellow object in it.

The comments to this entry are closed.