Thursday, 2 February 2012

BTT: Random Finds

From Deb at Booking Through Thursday:

heidenkind asks:

“Have you ever read a random book left in a waiting room or on a park bench, etc., and did you like it?”

I can’t recall that I ever found and read a book left behind like that in a public place. (I think I’d probably assume it belonged to someone, so let it lie.)

However, I have of course borrowed lots of random books from libraries in my day; and also bought books without knowing a thing about them. (Link goes to a recent post.)

I also used to make random finds in my parents’ and (back in my youth) grandparents’ bookshelves.

In The House where my parents lived the last 17 years or so of their lives (and where my dad grew up), there was/is one shelf in particular that my brother and I suspect must host some kind of library ghost, because its contents seemed (and still seem) to shift between each visit; even long after mum said she’d stopped reading. (The last years of her life she was no longer able to keep track of the plot from start to end of a novel, so gave it up).

I guess maybe now it’s me who’s acting the ghost (taking the odd find home with me every now and then) – but I’m still not sure…


One of my finds from the magic shelf in  The House:
A Swedish translation of
Don Quixote from 1928.
There is a stamp inside this copy that indicates it was given to someone (I assume my grandfather) for a review in the newspaper. I know I read it back in my youth; it’s on my list of books to reread. (A list in my head which has not actually been put on paper…)


  1. I never noticed a random book in a public place either.

  2. What a superb binding. I'd almost ignore the contents for a binding like that!

  3. Sorry to bring the intellectual level down, but the first book I ever found and read was filthy dirty. Of course my friend and I read it cover-to-cover. We were in the 8th grade. The book passed around to everyone in our junior high school. I hid it inside another book that was part of a boxed set. When I went to college my mom sold the set at a church rummage sale. My diary was also hidden in that box. I never found out where they went.

  4. Yes Scriptor... In this case I have to admit it was the binding that made me want to keep it, more than the contents. (A more modern translation would be easier to read.)

  5. this is a really nice book and pretty to look at. i love the cover. i have never read a book from a public place, but have borrowed from someone's house. i used to read the readers digest in doctors office and wanted to take it home to finish.

  6. I've never read a random book. What a great find you found on your mothers bookshelf.

  7. This looks like a lovely old edition of this book! I love those water images, the notice would have kind of freaked me out. I have bottled water, but there's the toilet...

  8. Many of the books I read are random finds but not necessarily just found in an odd place. They are usually random in the way that someone says they have enjoyed it and lends it to me or recommends it.

  9. I did find a paperback someone had left in the waiting room of the emergency room of the hospital, which I took home and read. It was a mystery called "The Colour of Salt," and the title intrigued me. It was quite good, but I never saw another book with the author's name on the cover. Pity too, because I think she really had quite a bit of talent. I wonder what happened to her? Just one of life's unsolved mysteries I guess.

  10. CC - I agree that's an intriguing title. Would probably have made me pick it up to have closer look too!


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