There are websites (well, one prominent one) devoted to the weird and wonderful assortment of things people leave in books before donating, selling and/or dying.
People being people, they want to know the cold hard facts about cold hard cash - have you ever found money in a book? How much??
Forty dollars, it so happens - two of the old $20 notes wedged between the dust jacket and boards of a Bryce Courtenay. For those struggling to keep up, the notes looked like this. They're still legal currency, so I spent them. On what I cannot recall. Probably more books...
I've sold a few things I've found in books. Many years ago, I discovered a 1969 VFL football card featuring Richmond's Roger Dean being used as a bookmark. The cards are scarce these days, manufactured by cheesy snack food Twisties.
I auctioned it on eBay when auctioning items on eBay was all the rage. Just flicking through my records it sold for $39. Good get. I can't remember the book it was in, but I'm guessing it wasn't worth as much as a Roger Dean footy card from 1969.
I've taken a few photos of stuff I've recently found in books, and don't quite know what to do with. I'm not a hoarder, but they interested me.
First, here's a ticket to the 1996 AFL Grand Final.
I don't think it's been used as it still contains its original perforation. Might be worth something to a North Melbourne supporter.
Continuing the footy theme, here's an unmarked 1994 footy fixture featuring Foster's Lager and Special Bitter.
Next is a postcard date-stamped 1903. It has a picture of the Cat and Fiddle on it, the highest public house in the whole of England - 1765 feet above sea level. It's near Buxton apparently.
It's addressed to a chap in Brisbane.
How about an Italian prayer card, The Greeting of Our Blessed Lady, imploring children to, among other things, stop reading comics, playing in the streets and being angry?
There's more in my war chest, but I'd be at it all day.
Sometimes the assorted ephemera in a book is a lot more fascinating than the book itself. And it's all part of the cut and thrust of selling books. Keeps one on one's toes.