20+ Of The Strangest And Most Wonderful Things People Have Found In Books

Secondhand bookstores are great places to pick up something to read without paying the full price at a bookstore. But besides that, one of the greatest things about shopping at a secondhand bookstore is that you never what kind of special treasures you might find inside the book.

People find things all the time from old pressed flowers, to pictures from the past and little love notes.

You Almost Wouldn’t Recognize It

an old Amazon book mark
Photo Credit: Reddit / endpaper
Photo Credit: Reddit / endpaper

This bookmark is from Amazon back when it was primarily a bookshop. It’s had quite the makeover in the last few years, hasn’t it? It’s amazing how quickly some things change!

Instagram Before Instagram

a photo of a woman from the 1800s with
Photo Credit: Reddit / GeriatricHeartbreak
Photo Credit: Reddit / GeriatricHeartbreak

This person picked up a Bible from 1895 and while they were flipping through the pages, this picture of a girl popped out. On the back it says, “Ain’t I a peach? Ha ha.”

A Tiny Piece Of History

an old news article about the a bomb test in Nevada
Photo Credit: Reddit / super_marcie
Photo Credit: Reddit / super_marcie

Whoever owned this book before the person who picked it up from the shop kept a tiny clipping from the Los Angeles Times about project Armadillo, a nuclear weapons test that was performed underground.

Hopefully They Weren’t Looking For That

someone found an old court judgement card in a book
Photo Credit: Reddit / zombie_poncho
Photo Credit: Reddit / zombie_poncho

This copy of Brave New World came with two little surprises. One of them, not so interesting, was an old card for a taxi company. The second piece of paper is an old Supreme Court judgment card.

Those Are Some Very Specific Instructions

a note about how to defend yourself against a man with a banana
Photo Credit: Reddit / thisnamespace
Photo Credit: Reddit / thisnamespace

Makes you wonder what this person was up against when they wrote this helpful little note. Let’s hope that whoever this was intended for memorized the steps now that they’ve been donated inside a book.

For All Those True Crime Fans

a news paper clipping about serial killer Richard Ramierz
Photo Credit: Reddit / Frito_Bandito
Photo Credit: Reddit / Frito_Bandito

This is a newspaper clipping from November 1989 announcing the sentence of Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker, after his trial. If you read it, that’s some pretty freaky stuff he said.

It’s Hard To Say What’s Going On Here

a picture from WWI
Photo Credit: Reddit / gab1606
Photo Credit: Reddit / gab1606

This photo was found inside an old book, along with a few others, of soldiers who fought in World War I. This particular picture was taken in England on February 23, 1917. At least, that’s what it says on the back.

What A Thing To Give Away

a signed copy of The Shinning
Photo Credit: Reddit / jennabunnykins
Photo Credit: Reddit / jennabunnykins

This would be like hitting the jackpot for Stephen King fans. A picture and a signature? It doesn’t get much cooler than that. Makes you wonder why they might have given it away.

Someone Might Be Looking For That

a marriage certificate from the 1940s
Photo Credit: Reddit / Loch_Ness_Monster530
Photo Credit: Reddit / Loch_Ness_Monster530

This person bought an old, used poetry book from 1866, and tucked inside was a marriage certificate from 1940. It looks to be a replacement one, as the listed marriage date is in January 1901.

What A Beautiful Treasure

a peacock feather in a book from the1860's
Photo Credit: Reddit / tenglempls
Photo Credit: Reddit / tenglempls

This peacock feather was found between the pages of a Bible from the 1860s. It looks pretty fresh still, but wouldn’t it be something if the feather were that old, too?

This Book Was Full Of Stuff

an algebra book from 1881
Photo Credit: Reddit / snickerdoodle
Photo Credit: Reddit / snickerdoodle

Whoever owned this book before loved stashing things between the pages. It’s an old algebra book from 1881 that was full of notes in the margins, old pieces of homework, newspaper clippings and even some flowers.

It Looks Like Not Much Has Changed

a report card from over 100 years ago
Photo Credit: Reddit / Carel16
Photo Credit: Reddit / Carel16

This person found a report card between the pages of a library book they borrowed. It must not be looked at too often. This person would have graduated high school right before the Great Depression was about to start.

Something To Make You Smile

a postcard to someone's mom saying they met the girl they're going to marry
Photo Credit: Reddit / bigbach_2
Photo Credit: Reddit / bigbach_2

Opening up an old book and finding this postcard would give you all the warm and fuzzies. It’s a son telling his mom that he’s met the woman he’s going to marry. I wonder if he was right.

Sometimes It’s The Little Things

a sticky note that reads,
Photo Credit: Reddit / ThisUs3rn4m3Suckz
Photo Credit: Reddit / ThisUs3rn4m3Suckz

This Post-It note with the encouraging message was stuck to the first page of a copy of 13 Reasons Why. The book is about a young person’s struggle with depression, so it’s likely whoever wrote this left it intentionally.

I Wonder When This Was From

a reward of merit in a book
Photo Credit: Reddit / mistermajik2000
Photo Credit: Reddit / mistermajik2000

This is a Reward of Merit, which used to be small tokens that teachers would give students who were doing excellent work. They were most popular during the 19th century.

What A Peaceful Photograph

a picture of someone washing their face in a stream
Photo Credit: Reddit / queen_ghost
Photo Credit: Reddit / queen_ghost

This beautiful photo was found inside an old copy of Birds of Alaska. It would be interesting to know where this photo was taken. Something about it is so inviting and relaxing, don’t you think?

An Incredible Piece Of History

a picture from WWII at Eagle's Nest in Germany
Photo Credit: Reddit / robbiedenali
Photo Credit: Reddit / robbiedenali

This is a picture that was found inside an old book and it is something else. It shows a handful of soldiers standing in front of the Eagle’s Nest, or “Hitler’s House” as this person called it, in July 1945.

Poor Little Lizard

a lizard that squished by a book
Photo Credit: Reddit / MOstred
Photo Credit: Reddit / MOstred

Even though it would be alarming to know to open a book and find a dried lizard inside, there would be some peace of mind in the fact that it’s not very likely the lizard died there.

This Is Heartbreaking

a note from someone's mom in a book
Photo Credit: Reddit / jquinnifer
Photo Credit: Reddit / jquinnifer

This note was inside a copy of William Faulkner’s Sartoris. It says, “I go forth to battle for the Lord. Please for my darling Ace. Mommy.” It might have been one of the last notes that person got from their mom.

“Absolutely Harmless”

an ad for toothpowder from the 1850's
Reddit / tenglempls
Reddit / tenglempls

This advertisement card is from the 1890s, back when you had to reassure people that toothpaste was harmless and hardened up your gums. Oh how far we have come, right?

What An Incredible Find

someone found old glasses in a book
Photo Credit: Instagram / @forgotten
Photo Credit: Instagram / @forgotten

These glasses might have been squished between those pages for over 100 years! The book was originally published in 1907. Maybe whoever owned them put them in there and then forgot.

Someone Was Probably Looking Everywhere For Those

ration coupons from WWII
Photo Credit: Reddit / cassodragon
Photo Credit: Reddit / cassodragon

These old ration coupons were found inside a copy of Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls. Maybe these were left over from after the war and the person who owned the book kept them.

New York To London, What A Fun Trip

a plane ticket from the 1970s
Photo Credit: Reddit / PointsGenerator
Photo Credit: Reddit / PointsGenerator

This is what plane tickets used to look like before we had an online booking system. It’s hard to believe that there was a time when they were all handwritten. Imagine the lines then?

Isn’t She Beautiful?

a lady cut out of a magazine
Photo Credit: Instagram / @rookebooks
Photo Credit: Instagram / @rookebooks

Someone took a great deal of time cutting this woman out of a 19th century magazine in order to use her for a book mark. I’m sure she did a wonderful job of it, too.

How Lucky Is That?

someone left a $20 bill in a book
Photo Credit: Reddit / jahrom
Photo Credit: Reddit / jahrom

Someone picked up this book from the library and found a surprise in it. It was lucky for the person who owned this before to find a winning ticket and lucky for this person that they wanted to pay it forward.

Sounds Like The Start Of A Mystery

an old key found in a book
Photo Credit: Instagram / @forgottenbookmarks
Photo Credit: Instagram / @forgottenbookmarks

This person found a key in a sealed envelope that came from the Gladstone Hotel, which is in New York. To make it more interesting, it was inside a mystery story. Sounds like the start of a story itself, doesn’t it?

What Excellent Condition It’s In

a children's fair ticket
Photo Credit: Reddit / The_Law_Giver
Photo Credit: Reddit / The_Law_Giver

This ticket to the fair is 110 years old! It must have been stuck inside a book and then forgotten about altogether given the condition it’s in. I’m sure there were happy memories attached to it.

Nothing Like Some Old Shakespeare

someone found a newspaper clipping from 1893 in their book
Photo Credit: Reddit / kris10185
Photo Credit: Reddit / kris10185

This isn’t anything special in particular, but it’s neat that there was a time when someone was reading this and tore a strip off the paper to mark their spot…all the way back in 1893.

How Much Things Have Changed Is Crazy

a pamphlet for watching a news broadcast in the theatre
Photo Credit: Reddit / amadeus06
Photo Credit: Reddit / amadeus06

This is a card that was used to advertise the week’s news back when you had to go to a theater to get the latest information. This one is from World War II.

Shopping Has Sure Changed

a charge card from an old department store
Photo Credit: Instagram / @booksgalorellc
Photo Credit: Instagram / @booksgalorellc

Lansburgh and Brothers was an old department store chain that had its start in 1860 and remained in service until the 1970s! Having these cards allowed people who shopped there to have accounts.

What A Cute Little Poem

a poem someone found in a book
Photo Credit: Reddit / stitch-witchery
Photo Credit: Reddit / stitch-witchery

This poem is actually written by Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards. I guess whoever typed out this poem liked it enough to have it near them as a bookmark while they were reading their book.

I’ll Take $300

a note saying they will get a $300 prize
Photo Credit: Reddit / Dangjasondang
Photo Credit: Reddit / Dangjasondang

It’s too bad that this person found this note much after the fact. They missed out on their chance to have an extra $300 in their pocket. I wonder what the password was.

What An Adorable Couple

someone found some photo booth pictures
Photo Credit: Reddit / HopelessQuantic
Photo Credit: Reddit / HopelessQuantic

How lucky would you feel to open a book and see something so adorable and intimate float out. On the back it says, “David & Jemima 23.10.76 Central Station.” Must have been a memorable vacation.

People Have Always Loved Their Dogs

a dog license from 1919
Photo Credit: Reddit / unmoderated
    Photo Credit: Reddit / unmoderated

      Imagine getting your dog a license was still only $2? It’s amazing that this has been something people have been doing for so long. You might think it’s something more recent than that.

      What A Lovely Gesture

      someone found a lock of hair in a book
      Photo Credit: Reddit / DoLetThePigeon
      Photo Credit: Reddit / DoLetThePigeon

      The book this was in was The Language and Poetry of Flowers by H.G. Adams which was published in 1873. It’s such an adorable gesture to leave someone a lock of their hair.

      There Is A Lot Going On Here

      two weird post cards found in a book
      Photo Credit: Imgur / mistermajik2000
      Photo Credit: Imgur / mistermajik2000

      These two post cards were found in a very old book. Both the post cards were postmarked 1906. At least we can see that some things never change, like people loving to drink.

      This Pretty Much Sums Up Our Youths

      a Weird Al ticket in a book
      Photo Credit: Reddit / YellowFlickerBeat
      Photo Credit: Reddit / YellowFlickerBeat

      What is more Millennial than finding an old Weird Al concert ticket in one of the Harry Potter books? It’s probably a safe bet that many us still enjoy one if not both of those things.

      Speaking Of Harry Potter

      someone finds a homemade Ravenclaw bookmark
      Photo Credit: Reddit / kynaanyk
      Photo Credit: Reddit / kynaanyk

      What are the chances of opening up another fantasy book and finding a homemade book mark for Ravenclaw, the house that the person who found this says they would belong to.

      A Little Bit Of Good Luck

      a four leaf clover in a book
      Photo Credit: Reddit / sunnyxhunny
      Photo Credit: Reddit / sunnyxhunny

      It’s amazing and kind of beautiful how many four leaf clovers people find in used books. Maybe that’s why they’re so hard to find in the wild. They’re all between the pages of a book.

      There Is A Lot Of Sass In This Book

      someone left a note on a Bible saying this is what they got instead of the horse they asked for
      Photo Credit: Reddit / Gordo_51
      Photo Credit: Reddit / Gordo_51

      Imagine asking for a horse for a gift and instead you get an old copy of the King James Bible? They aren’t even close to the same thing at all.