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Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages Hardcover – November 1, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Popek studied literature at Bennington College before rejoining his family's used-book business. He lives and works in Oneonta, New York, with his wife, dog, and cat.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; First Edition edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399537015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399537011
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Popek is the 33 year-old manager of a family-run used and rare bookstore in Oneonta, N.Y. He has been in the book business since junior high school, when his father bought a vanload of used books at an auction and decided to see if there was any money to be made off them. Since then, his family has built a successful used-book business that combines a brick-and-mortar location with an online presence that ships books all over the world. As manager of the bookstore, Popek buys books from libraries, estates and individuals on a regular basis. His first Forgotten Bookmark, which he posted in June 2007, was a handwritten note found in a paperback copy of "The Blind Assasin" by Margaret Atwood. Since that post, more than 700 items have been featured on the website.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have waited for a book like this for years! As hokey as it may sound I fell asleep with this book across my chest with a big smile on my face! It has always been a dream of mine to own a book store and a flower shop. They both smell so good! As a collector of old and new books the rare times I have found a treasure left behind in an old book or photo album has been priceless to me. Now I have a book so well put together of the many finds of a book store seller! Mr. Popek has done a wonderful job of replicating his finds between the pages. From the Introduction of this book to the last page titled "Thanks" this book is priceless. The photography is spectacular. He has done a great job of replicating his finds in picture format. The letters left behind are easy to read. Each and every page takes to to a time in history and into the hearts and minds of those long gone. You will find,
Letters written but I guess some never meant to be read by strangers, such as "Dear Jennie" dated 1882 "Oh to married. Just think of that first night......,
Post cards,
Old labels,
Recipes,one for beer bread I will try!
Birth Certificates,
and so much more!
Be prepared to shed a tear or two but in a good way. The only thing missing is the smell of times gone but that's OK. Mr. Popek has done a wonderful job in placing you in a time forgotten.
I thank him.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Forgotten Bookmarks is a delight for anyone who has found something left behind by the previous owner of a used book. Many years ago, I began stashing commercial bookmarks found in used copies. When I began buying older hardbound versions of classics to replace crumbling paperbacks from my school days, I found, for instance, a baby's photograph, circa 1930s, in a copy of Robinson Crusoe. It's been fun, and I have "curated" my collection in my book journals, but of late, I haven't found so many treasures. I think it's because Michael Popek, a blogger who manages his family's used book service and store, has gotten there before me. But that's okay because his book, Forgotten Bookmarks, shares his finds.

The book offers up pictures of the items and the books in which they were found, some of them ironic pairings. There are many letters, for which the author provides typescripts. If it is flat, it has been used as a bookmark and or hidden in a book and accidentally left behind. That would include some banned substances, too.

The book is modest in size, and there is no removable dust jacket. That said, the book design is creative and well executed. Popek resists the temptation to overanalyze or clutter the pages with his own text. He leaves us to marvel at how it is we can learn about a complete stranger by the book they have left behind. It is an enriching experience missed by those who read new, audio or e-books exclusively.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a lover and collector of books and almost anything to do with them fascinates me so I thought this particular book would be right up my alley. It's certainly a lovely collection of book bound ephemera but for some reason the items didn't quite grab me, and I soon lost interest. Perhaps it had something to do with the design and layout of the book which was a little tacky? I also thought it would have worked better in a larger format rather than a normal paperback size.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A friend mentioned this book and I impulsively picked up a used copy (warning- the Amazon Book forum can be hazardous to your finances) What a treasure!

This seemingly simple book with pictures of books and the memorabilia found in them is absolutely fascinating. Normally a book with less than 200 pages, mostly pictures with very little text, would take an hour or so to read but I've spent hours poring over it.

As a book lover, I'm fascinated by some of the books that I've never heard of (Bugaboo Bill and other Wonders? Really?) and can't wait to research them. And I wonder what I've left in books that I've donated (probably boring stuff like business cards and receipts from airport gift shops)

But the most fascinating thing is the people behind found objects and their stories. Mr. Popek has researched some of the individuals mentioned in found letters, photos etc and has thoughtfully provided some detail where possible. But in most cases you are left to wonder. Did "Mother" ever give Sonny and Leah her blessing? How long did poor Mr. Groff survive the ministrations of two doctors who, in 1904, didn't recognize the symptoms of congestive heart failure? Fortunately, Popek has already done the work of deciphering handwriting so you can just sit back and enjoy the results.

With every item, I found myself creating the stories to make sense of them. An old family portrait found in an old bible is sad; the girl on the cruise ship was a gold digger with her sights set on "Prichard" etc. And some don't take much imagination. My personal favorite is the scathing letter to an ex ("You're downright ugly and you talk funny. ... .We won't even go into your sexual perversities- you nasty voyeur!") found in, of all places, "While Waiting. ...
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