August 9, 2013

One Man's Piece of Paper is My Bookmark

Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.

So most of the time when I open a library book, I'm all excited because HEY WHATEVER I HAD ON HOLD IS FINALLY HERE AND I GET TO FREAKING READ IT.

But then, sometimes, I open to book and things get EVEN MORE EXCITING.

That's right, someone LEFT SOMETHING in the book.

No, not something weird or gross. Get your head in the game, will you?

More like a piece of paper. Like a bookmark or a list or a receipt.

[I actually thought I had a picture of an example of this, but I don't. So instead I leave you with this glorious gif.]

I don't really know why finding these little bits and pieces of paper in books that do not belong to me brings me so much joy, although if I had to guess, it's because I'm curious about the little pieces of paper in other people's lives. What other books DID you take out, mysterious library card holder? Eggs, flour and sugar, you say? What are you BAKING fellow user of the New York Public Library System? A torn bit of paper? What else was on this page, random person who lives in this city whom I will never meet?

I think THE BEST example of this happening to me is when I won an ARC of A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard at BEA. I took the book home, shelved it with the rest of BEA pretties and walked away since I wasn't ready to pick up that series yet. But last week I decided: HEY, I'm in the mood for Steampunk, zombies, necromancy and tension driven romance involving an attractive, scruffy man. So, obviously, I picked up Something Strange and Deadly and tore right through it. When I picked up the ARC of A Darkness Strange and Lovely, I did a quick flip through the pages to find Susan Dennard's airline ticket to NYC for BEA.

Based on the discussion post I just wrote, I think everyone here can understand how much this moment in my life made me smile. And why that gif of Colbert and Kermit is probably the most appropriate thing ever.

Now, I don't go out of my way to find these pieces of paper. And I don't keep them. I use them for the book I'm reading and then toss them. But they are awesome, fun things that I really enjoy. So thank you, strangers in my city and Susan Dennard, for making my creepy habit of using other people's trash as bookmarks possible. 

Am I weirdo? Definitely. Should I stop asking questions that I answer in the next sentence? 100 Percent. Will I? No. And will I stop liking weird things? Never. Not ever. So go ahead and talk to me about your weirdness (related to mine or otherwise) in the comments below.


  1. If someone said why do you love Gaby I would probably just direct them to THIS POST. And bonus finding Susan's ticket in the ARC!! I am now going to start leaving post its in my library books with the hope that someone will gain joy from them as you do ;)

  2. Oh Gaby! How I love you. I am right there with you. I LOVE finding pieces of paper in books. I found a phone number - so tempted to call it, but I didn't - bookmarks, receipts, torn pieces of paper to mark a spot. I love it. Those pieces left behind tell a tiny story, and for a brief moment, I get to think about it. xx, Liza

  3. Ah, I love this too! Same goes with used books. You can find awesome things in those as well. I've found all sorts of things, like photos and stuff. The only surprise I do not like? Dead bugs. Has this happened more than once? Yes. Have I used a library book to kill a bug myself in the past? MAYBE, BUT DAMN IT I HAD TO.

    Oh, also, not a book, but I once found five bucks in the pocket of a rain coat I bought at goodwill. WINNING!

  4. I do like finding other people's library receipts because it's fun to see what else they checked out with the book I'm reading, so I'm with you there. Other random papers, though, I usually don't give a second glance, despite the fact that it's probably fair to say I'm a pre-hoarder and a lot of people would figure I'd keep those. BUT finding Susan Dennard's flight ticket is a very cool find. If people would leave stuff like THAT in their books (especially the authors), I would definitely pay attention!

  5. I love this! I run a Tumblr called My Latest Bookmark where I used to take pretty pictures of books with random scraps as bookmarks (I should really go back to doing this). It's awesome you found Susan's airline ticket. I would keep that :)

  6. This is fun! It doesn't seem that weird to me at all! Maybe that means I'm weird? I love finding things. I am a really nosy person, so I love finding notes and receipts and anything. Finding a plane ticket is extremely awesome, though!

  7. I like finding (cool) things in books too! And the fact that you found Susan's plane ticket? The BEST EVER. I love that. I think it interests me because it's like a little piece of someone's story is in your hands, you know? When my sister and I were cleaning our library, we also found random notes in our books -- and we got all excited!

  8. Ah! I got another library receipt in the copy of A LONG LONG SLEEP I got and I laughed because they took out both the aforementioned book and CINDER together xD

  9. All I have to say is KERMIT.

    Also, one time I found a Glee bookmark in a book from the library. I still use it. I also like to use credit cards (not a good idea), notes from work, receipts, business cards, and most recently, the table card from a wedding we just went to.

  10. I loooooove this. I love finding things in books! My boyfriend's dad loaned me a book (which I actually didn't read haha) but he's an international traveler and I the book was stuffed with plane tickets and travel items and I was like neeeeeeeat.
    I can't remember what other book I was reading but I found someone else's plane ticket stub and it was the same birthday as my mom! WEIRD.

  11. Haha! This is great, and I definitely like finding slips of paper in library books. It happens very rarely, and usually it's just a check out receipt, but it's fun. And it makes me glad knowing that other people read the book I'm currently reading.

  12. I totally get it. Whenever I find a random piece of paper in a library book I can't help but think about the story behind said paper. It's fun to wonder and make up stories about other people's lives as weird as it sounds :P

  13. You're too adorable! I love finding stuff in books, even though it's usually crap like candy wrappers or blank notes. Still. It feels like a present. What you wrote though, about how you wonder about the person that left that thing in the book, feels like it could be a novel. That would be so cool!


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