Has anyone gotten any amusing insight into the life of a used book's previous owner?
Quite a few, pictured is letters to the author found inside the pages, so I assume I have the authors copy as they are addressed to him and one side of a conversation about a reference.
I have an 1850s copy of Wellington's Dispatches and Orders that was originally purchased by a Lord's daughter for her brother, it has the Private Library stamp of their family in it. I looked up the family and iirc one of them is still a Tory peer.
Several bookmarks, the best being from a bookstore in Kodiak found inside an Asimov book bought in the Australian outback at a junk store, now with me in England.
I've found bunches of receipts, plane tickets, bus tickets, bookstore cards, and prescriptions that paint little portraitures of previous owners in used books. Occasionally I'll find some polaroids and there's always a certain sadness to how it ended up forgotten on some goodwill's book section.
In my collection of Renaissance Verse, the poem 'A Lawde and Prayse Made for Our Sovereigne Lord the Kynge' by John Skelton (the first poem) has, on the line 'The Rose both white and Rede' the annotation: 'Roses come in many colours'.
Thanks previous owner.
In a book on Bukowski in my uni library there was a loveheart shaped post it not in the middle saying 'fuck me on this page' and three or four pages later someone had written in pencil 'i already fucked you on this page'.
shit was weird
I don't recommend books to my gf anymore. she will hone in on the one weird scat/pedo/whatever passage every time, and then I have to explain not only the significance of that passage, but also that I am not into sexually gratified by farts/hanging young boys/etc. possibly what happened here, or she just dumped him.
I have a copy of "on liberty" where some Chinese girl wrote notes in English and Chinese in margins.
It's cute AF because she would mark passages she liked with exclamations and emoji like "yes yes yes!! \(^-^)/ I love this point!"
She chose good passages too.
I like to think she was a student and went back to China so could not take the book, and that she didn't just get rid of it.
I've got one which is actually stamped with the words 'Stolen from [insert publisher here]'. No idea how that happens. I guess it was supposed to be pulped, so any existing copy was automatically stolen?
Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zarathustra), this one's printed in 1927:
"Zum Andenken an unser erstes Konzert" (In memory of our first concert)
Everything that a publisher publishes has at least one copy stored in a company archive, kept safe for future copyright/legality reasons. These copies, mouldering away in towering piles in old storage lockers and third-rate office buildings on 99-year leases, are always stamped: "Stolen from ______" because the only way those copies ever see the light of day is if a clerk pinches it.
If the novel is a famous one keep it safe, anon. Although illegal to sell while the copyright remains valid, these eventually auction for a mint. The archival copy of Frankenstine, resplendent with its stolen from stamp, sold for 1.3 million pounds in 2004.
You've got a gem indeed.
When I was in elementary school I checked out a book from the school library. I got home and started to read. Three or four polaroids fell out showing two fat middle aged people having kinky sex.
Does that count?
I've got a copy of Stephen King's 'Cell' with a page-long love note written on the blank page after the publishers info. Found it on the train. From a chick to a guy, too. I like to look at it and remember that girls can also be beta af.
I think someone studied english by this book, probably chinese students.
About halfway through the book, the difficult words are underlined or highlighted. Later on short notes, such as this one, appear. "Research homosexuality in USA and China", "Interesting", etc.
Not the best book to learn English by, but who am I to judge.
I've got a few
In a late 19th century book on Aztec culture, there's a note in pencil that talks about it being from a mother to her son as a Christmas gift.
Looked up his name, since it was fairly unique, and by this time 100 years ago the man was a Princeton grad.
My copy of In Search of Lost Time was appearantly part of someone's private library. (They put this sketching in the cover).
stoppit rusemaster, you're breaking my heart
>. it's no "famous" person
i was still hoping there's some more background, like maybe he was a doctor or some forgotten c-list academic or something. would have made it a little more interesting
I admit I was lying. However I will dedicate the next hour or so in trying to discover who this person is. Hopefully he or his relatives are still alive and if so I'll then get in touch with them and try and get them to sue you somehow. Or maybe he has a qt granddaughter you can contact and potentially date and / or marry with this book and this thread serving as the sort of hilarious "how we met" story you can tell your kids when they're old enough. The potential is overwhelming.
Bought a used copy of Gödel Escher Bach which had this photo in it, along with the writing in the corner. I guess it was a gift from his grandmother.
So your book was published in Leipzig in 1927 by Alfred Kroner (AK publishers). Which isn't very interesting I guess.
Allin is an old German male forename, meaning precious.
The surname could be "Skola" or "Skoda", both Czech surnames. /int/ says its probably sütterlin or another older writing type, which confuses things.
Also, I got a pressed flower in my used copy of Les Misérables.
>I've moved to the back as it's more exciting and maybe you won't find it fit a little while. I'm sure I would be [???] to write something weird but I don't feel that any comes to mind when I'm making you eat spaghetti.
>So best[?] of love Peter
>tfw my aunt died last year
>my sister and I were the only people she really enjoyed talking to
>was into a bunch of new-age type stuff (Eckhart Tolle etc) but an interesting person
>find out recently that she left all her books to me
>tfw my sister gave them all too a charity shop and justified it by saying she thought I wasn't into new age stuff etc
>tfw went to the charity shop but they had been sent on to the depot to be distributed elsewhere
>tfw my aunt had dozens of books, many really old Hemingway novels and short stories, hardbacks by Schiller and Thomas Wolfe that her husband owned when he was alive
>tfw got mad as hell with my sister
>she shouts at me and says I already read too much as it is and it has only made me into a "loser"
She also threw away my parents' LP player, which we all used to dance to before the divorce and subsequent fracture of our family, and which I had always listened to alone since it came with an attached CD player, cassette player and two great speakers. When I asked her why she just said it was old and she would buy a modern one. This thing had lasted like thirty years and we have at least three dozen LPs to play on it, all reminiscent of my childhood. Now there's a modern, stylish, featureless thing in my mother's living room which neither she or my sister ever listen to or have any intention of listening. It makes me fucking sick. She has done a lot for me in my life but I've pretty much cut all emotional ties with her. The stupidity of some people is so disgusting that I refuse to entertain it or reinforce it by acting kindly to them. She has also insisted on helping my mother decorate her newish home so that it looks "modern", and all that means is that there are a bunch of retarded fucking paints of different animals and "live, laugh, love" signs dangling around and stupid fucking shit like that. It makes me puke. Being raised by women is so disgusting.
From what I've gathered he was a really shy guy and he seems to have been friends with my mother many years before having the courage to ask her out directly, without testing the water with some ambiguous bullshit.
My mother actually agreed to throwing the LP player out. I got mad at her but it seemed so pointless that I didn't bother for very long. The stolid idiocy of some people is so repulsive to me that I have pretty much given up on "changing" anybody in life or encouraging them to at least see the errors in their thought or conduct. I just keep to myself now and don't let people fuck with my shit. It was such an awesome piece of technology too. So aesthetic and solid. Many of my favorite childhood memories are associated with it. Watching my parents slowdance to Buddy Holly at night, jumping around to Dozy, Dee, Mick and Tich, etc. Copying CDs onto tapes so I could listen to cassettes on my walkman, then listening to CDs, then going through all these great 45s my father used to buy for my mother when they were first dating. All thrown away because it wasn't "modern" enough. Absolutely fucking disgusting. It's partly one of the reasons I've become pretty much a reactionary at this point. I'm even unironically in support of religions and I've considered the merits of fascism to a point. I really would like to die but hopefully Virtual Reality will allow me to exile myself into a better world pretty soon.
I found a postcard in a copy of Wuthering Heights
On the front: "Hi from Manly" with a nice aerial picture of the Manly peninsula
On the back:
They say Manly is 7 miles from Sydney and 1000 miles from care - we also know now it is 2000 miles from irate SOS (?) neighbours...
Many thanks for your encouraging phone call last week. Hope you and your family had a very happy (it looks like "csortu" but I'm inclined to think it says "easter")
Love from _________ and ________
Maybe I should mail the postcard again. It would be 20 years since it was written pretty soon.
I...I have no idea actually.
They always tell that they had the same group of friends but didn't really know eachother, then they kinda slid into a relationship but I don't know how things actually played out
Is it infantile for me to note down profanities to amuse my future self who refers back.
The number of times I've written "fucking facist" and "arrogant pig" around The Republic isn't even funny.
I found a note on the first page of a 1985 copy of "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair" by Neruda I checked out of a recent library.
The note, dated from August '90, said:
With my respect, affection and friendship, from your ex-philosophy professor.
Makes me wonder why she would give away a gift like this, and how it ended up on a recently built library.
>Makes me wonder why she would give away a gift like this, and how it ended up on a recently built library.
She was obviously a bimbo-bitch trying to take an easy class, she seduced the philosophy professor in order to warp his mind, and after he had fallen for her, he gave her a gift a month or so after she finished class, and she just gave it to the library while walking past to go meet her Chad.
I'm just kidding. I just visited /r9k/ for shits and gigs and this is pretty much every single post over there.
don't assume you know things. Maybe he was just the creepy prof she talked to once. Maybe she donates all her books when she reads them. Maybe she had to move and couldn't pack all her things. Maybe the book was stolen, maybe she died in a fire, maybe her prof never had the courage to actually give her the book.
My point is, don't assume the worst or best in people just to fit your worldview. It's insulting to the sheer complexity of life.
I ordered a (supposedly) new copy of One Flew Ober the Cuckoo's Nest from a vendor through Amazon and it appeared to have bee annotated in pencil by a mental patient. He only got half way through.
Haven't had this happen over a book, though my one gf that genuinely enjoyed reading did seem to be in contention with me over the meaning of most anything she advised me to read. It was always a huge deal to her as well.
The thing that gave me the biggest problem was 'watching' Game of Thrones.
After the first episode she was pissed, after the second she was enraged to the point where I was not allowed to watch it because of 'misogyny' and her being a self styled feminist.
I watched it anyway and it was the beginning of the end.
This makes me all fuzzy inside when I read it.
It was donated to the library 90~ years later.
I bought a used book online, the description said it was slightly used but in good condition and the seller had a good reputation - as this was for a class that was good enough for me and I bought it. Once the book arrived I found that the previous owner had blacked out multiple paragraphs throughout the entire book, sometimes even entire pages. And I'm not talking about crossing out, I'm talking blacking out, like a fucking redacted CIA document, with little annotations reading "useless" or something to such effect.
The book went back, money was refunded and I gave said seller a really poor review.
>the previous owner had blacked out multiple paragraphs throughout the entire book, sometimes even entire pages. And I'm not talking about crossing out, I'm talking blacking out, like a fucking redacted CIA document
Your mother might have been OK with getting rid of it because it reminded her of her failed marriage. I understand your frustration with your sister, but try to think of where your mother is coming from.
>with little annotations reading "useless" or something to such effect.
this is what happens for me until she actually reads the book. she makes way too many assumptions based on hearsay about shit. now she loves GR.
my used copy of GR has a note on the inside of the front-cover saying basically "do not read this book if you value your time" lol
have a Nietzsche reader where the only annotation in the entire book was underlining and highlighting of "he developed dementia and went insane" in the short bio on the first page. I like to think this person read that and thought lol fuck this and didn't continue.
have a copy of a Jean-Luc Nancy text full of frilly girly handwriting and doodles but all of the marginalia is actually really on point. probably out of my league anyway.
have a collection of Pound poetry published in the 20s that had newspaper clippings, reviews/essays etc, about Pound stuffed in it ranging from the 20s to the 60s.
When I left home four years ago I took some stuff with me and my Dad's bible ended up with it. I didn't know my Dad had a bible. I mean, I've found chlid porn on his computer, so I never took him for the religious sort. Here's what the book says on the inside cover:
No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields--and with them persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.
John, I'm glad I can now call you my brother and I hope we will be together sometime in our coming lives. Thank you for your patience and perseverance, may our lord bless you.
Another time in a book of essays by Benjamin Whorf there was a big argument in the margins carrying on for 3 or so pages between the people who must've issued the book. The humorous thing is that the issues were years and years apart, spanning back to the 80s. It was like: 1988, 1991, 1992, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2010; two decades of people shitposting in the margin of a Benjamin Whorf essay.
A Chinese girl who liked Mill. I wish she was my gf. She sounds so cute. If I ever go to China I'll doodle around in Mao's little red book to give a Chinese girl someone to think about. Might not have the same impact though.
>pitchers of bear
This was on the back page of The Brothers Karamazov. I didn't want to buy it on account of the cringeworthy thing, but it was the only used P&V I could find