45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2011
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......,
Recipes,one for beer bread I will try!
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.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2011
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.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2012
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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2012
Title: Forgotten Bookmarks - A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages
Author: Michael Popek
Rating: 5/5 Stars
It's been a few months since I received this book. It was a Christmas present from my girlfriend and I've been looking it over ever since. This week I finally got to the closing sections of the book and finished it. What's great about this book, though, is that it's not the type of book one can ever finish; not in the sense of "oh I've read that already I don't want to reread it." There's much to be found in this book and it'll take a few looks through to capture all of it's magic.
Forgotten Bookmarks was first a blog created in 2007 by Michael Popek, a bookseller based in Oneonta, NY. He runs "Popeks Used and Rare Books," a business started by his parents. Being a bookseller puts Popek in the position of buying and receiving all sorts of books. They can vary from antique editions of great classics to the latest bestselling novel. This book is about more than the books though. This book, and the blog that started it all, is about what was left inside of the books. There are many hidden treasures to be found in between the pages, and there is just a sampling of wonderful discoveries here.
My collection of books consists mainly of used book purchases from various places around New York. I have found my share of business cards, inscriptions, a few photographs, etc. This is what lead me to so much enjoyment of this book. It was a window into another book lover's cabinet of curiosities. A funny thing about finding the site was that I discovered it a few weeks after creating my own Tumblr blog where I post my own findings.
After looking around Popek's site a bit, I soon discovered that he has compiled many of his treasures into a book. I had to have this book. So that lead me to get it as a present. The day I got the book in the mail I made the 30 mile drive to see the author himself. His shop is now one of my favorite bookstores to visit. He is also one of the nicest people you can hope to meet. I left with a smile, an armload of books, and my copy of Forgotten Bookmarks signed by Michael.
The easiest way to talk more about the actual book is to have you look at the site itself. A visual of the contents is much more enjoyable than what I can say in a review. I can mention some of my favorite entries though.
This book is split up into a few sections, which helps organize the findings for the readers to find what they are looking for. It's split up into:
Letters, Cards, and Correspondence
Notes, Poems, Lists, and Other Written Ephemera
Receipts, Invoices, Advertising, and Other Official Documents
The Old Curiosity Shop: From Four-Leaf Clovers to Razor Blades.
My favorite set of photographs is entitled, "Terror, Destruction and Death." It is a series of photographs of the aftermath of the eruption of Mount Pelee is 1902. Along with the photos there are blueprints for the ship S.S. Dixie. This entry simply amazes me. I didn't know about the disaster before and finding it allows me to see just what was going on at the time. It's proof that sometimes books have knowledge in them even without it being on the actual pages.
Another entry I enjoyed was "Indy 500." In a copy of Thoreau's Walden, a ticket for the 1954 Indianapolis 500 time trials was found. It has the signatures of a famous driver of the time and the track's owner at the bottom. This was another interesting find because of it's history.
The last bit I'll share is from a book published in 1908. It contained a collection of four-leaf clovers, pressed in it's pages. While we can't actually tell if they were in there from over 100 years ago, it would be cool if that was the truth. I do wonder how long they can last in the pages before age destroys them completely.
I think that all book lovers can find something enjoyable about this book. If you don't believe me, please take a look at the site in the very least.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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. ...The information you need to know about pregnancy, labor and delivery" *snort*
I really can't imagine anyone not enjoying this book. I know that I will be re-visiting often, if only to look up yet another obscure book. And will be buying a couple of copies for some book lovers I know :-)
Oh! Look what I just found on Amazon BUGABOO BILL And Other Wonders, the Most Marvelous Stories of Giants, Goblins, Fairies, and Other Strange Beings They really do have everything....
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2012
This book was not as interesting as I thought it would be. I expected it to have more funny and crazy stuff rather than old photos and papers. The recipes were cool because I love cooking but I felt it was kind of boring otherwise except a few random things throughout. I work for my Mom here and there, who sells used books, and the stuff I've found in books has been pretty freaking cool. Maybe I need to add a blog post here and there of the cool stuff I've found! This book is worth looking through once, but I'm glad I got it from the library and didn't spend any money on it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I have to admit that I'm a bit jealous of Mr. Popek. Tough as it may be in today's economy, running a used bookstore is my dream job. I would love to be able to spend my days in the midst of all those old books, like the ones pictured in Forgotten Bookmarks.
As a collector, I do get the opportunity to peruse old books. On occasion, I have found a forgotten bookmark or two--pressed flowers and 4-leaf clovers being the most common. But the variety of interesting things Mr. Popek has come across is quite impressive. As you look at the old letters, cards, receipts, tickets and the like, it does make you wonder about the story behind these objects.
On the other hand, not knowing the story can be frustrating, as the pictures and letters become mere ciphers. Though beautiful to look at, I found it difficult to read more than a few pages at a time of this book, as these storyless objects would begin to run together if I read too much at one sitting. In fact, I was much more drawn to the books in which the objects were found, pages hiding these small treasures for 100 years or more.
Still, if I were in Mr. Popek's position, I expect I would be intrigued by these objects as much as he is. It is nice that we have him to record his finds.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2012
"It's happened to all of us: we're reading a book, something interrupts us, and we grab the closest thing at hand to mark our spot. It could be a train ticket, a letter, an advertisement, a photograph, or a four-leaf clover. Eventually the book finds its way into the world-a library, a flea market, other people's bookshelves, or to a used bookstore. But what becomes of those forgotten bookmarks? What stories could they tell? By day, Michael Popek works in his family's used bookstore. By night, he's the voyeuristic force behind [...], where he shares the weird objects he has found among the stacks at his store. Forgotten Bookmarks is a scrapbook of Popek's most interesting finds. Sure, there are actual bookmarks, but there are also pictures and ticket stubs, old recipes and notes, valentines, unsent letters, four-leaf clovers, and various sordid, heartbreaking, and bizarre keepsakes. Together this collection of lost treasures offers a glimpse into other readers' lives that they never intended for us to see."
That pretty much sums up the book. It was quite an interesting idea for a book, too. I certainly sometimes pick up random cards and use them as bookmarks, so I could relate. Different unfinished stories unfold throughout the book, which is divided into five sections: Photographs; Letters, Cards, and Correspondence; Notes, Poems, Lists, and Other Written Ephemera; Receipts, Invoices, Advertising, and Other Official Documents; and The Old Curiosity Shop: From Four-Leaf Clovers to Razor Blades. Some sections were more interesting than others, but it was fun book to read. The pages were high-quality, and the photographs of the different objects were good. It was also interesting to see what book each object was found in.
*You can read all of my reviews at my blog, [...]*
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2012
I first became aware of this book by reading a blog written by someone. I then followed a load of links and eventually was introduced to the book, the website, Facebook page and the twitter feed. I added the book to my Amazon list and my intended next order. The book arrived under the Christmas tree, courtesy of my Mum and I have spent the last couple of months reading the book cover to cover and then delving back into random pages.
In short I loved this book! The cover has a "read me" feel to it and once inside, the pages have an old feel to them. This is truly a collection of bits that have been found in random books by the author. Each page is filled with a photograph of the forgotten bookmark, a transcript of it along with a photograph and details of the book it was found in. There is no rhyme or reasoning behind the bookmarks used. Some are photographs, others are recipes and receipts, letters, postcards, beer mats and even a couple of actual bookmarks. The books they were left in are a mix of older books from the late 19th Century up until 2001.
These bookmarks are so much more than that. They are snapshots of someone's life, a glimpse into their world, even if for a short time. We have all done it, simply grabbed the nearest thing we could use as a bookmark, rummaged in a handbag,purse or wallet, or perhaps a notebook, even perhaps the corner from a magazine, book, newspaper. I have even been known to use an unused tissue or a square of toilet paper! It isn't just the book these marks were left in, or the mark itself, perhaps it is also where the former reader left the book mark. What was it on that particular page that they found interesting? Or did someone else stumble across the book with the page marked and move the book mark. Whatever the reason or cause this is a great book to disappear into, with pondering and speculation of a previous owner or world we, as readers can never discover.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2013
This book pretty much delivers on its promise but, what I failed to realize was, reading about what someone else has found in a book isn't nearly as exciting as finding it yourself. After about the first ten pages, I decided this was not the best purchase I'd made.