Books

Serendipity in a used book

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The Brattle, one of America’s oldest and largest used book shops, in downtown Boston.

The Brattle, one of America’s oldest and largest used book shops, in downtown Boston.

Credit:

Brattle Book Shop in Downtown Boston by Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism/CC BY 2.0

Anyone who’s spent much time browsing through used bookstores or libraries knows that you never know what you’re going to find tucked inside an old book or jotted in the margins.

We asked listeners: What are some of the most memorable or inexplicable things you’ve found a used book? We got lots of great responses, including one from Jeff Stacey in Washington, DC.

“We were in Yellow House Books, and we were just rummaging around looking through the shelves,” Stacey recalls, “and I discovered a book that really jumped out to me…”

And it turned out that the book had this inscription:

5 May 1994
For Saul Bellow,
In gratitude for all his books.
Respectfully,
David Remnick

Jeff Stacey’s used-bookstore find

Jeff Stacey’s used-bookstore find

Credit:

Jeff Stacey

In Arts, Culture & MediaBooks.