The Sound of the Crowd

Things I’ve Found In Books

Sparked by this WSJ.com article on the mysteries found in used books: A little memory dump on the things I’ve found there, many of which I still have, and one or two of the things I’ve stored there…

A hate letter from a woman who was once a close friend. If I die and someone sells my books to a used bookstore (as they should), someone’s going to be in for quite a surprise when they find that one.

The beginnings of an erotic story, hand-written at the start of a notebook I bought back when I was jotting down lyrics and things. I have to think that the woman who wrote it–it seems to have been written by a woman–had a clutch of the heart when she realized she’d sold it.

I didn’t find this, but it’s a good one: One of the men who owned the used bookstore I used to help manage told me he found satirist Stan Freberg’s phone number in a copy of his autobiography. He tried it to see if it was legit, and it was.

A photograph, large, glossy, and in black-and-white, of a blonde woman facing away from camera, wearing only a white sheet and standing on a riverbed. Has “photography student project” written all over it, but I liked it.

And oh yes: Old money. Can’t be bad.

A love letter from a woman so banal she quotes Madonna in her entreaties. Seriously. It ends “As Madonna would say…I’m Crazy For You.” And no, I don’t think she was being “ironic.”


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