April 8, 2013

"Maybe there are notes in all sorts of books."



A video I made today, in the University of Wisconsin faculty library — Lubar Commons. I was sitting by the window and I idly picked up one of the earliest volumes in the books that contain the decisions of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

61 comments:

edutcher said...

Someone left a note (and we can all wonder what they were doing that was sooo memorable) and you left a coffee ring.

Each of us makes his or her mark.

chickelit said...

The handwriting looks female...I hope she survived.

sydney said...

The notemaker must not have read the book, or its spine, if she thought it was a novel.

edutcher said...

Maybe it was Ann and she met Meade in the stacks BB*.

*Before Blog

Lem said...

The note is almost 10 years old..

Curious I Wiki'd the date and find...

In Seattle, Washington, Gary Ridgway confesses to the murder of 48 women, who were the victims of the Green River Killer. In return, he will not be subject to capital punishment, but serve life imprisonment for his crimes.

If you remember the Aurora killer request for a similar deal was turned down.

That Says something about where we are in the anti-gun climate... that a killer of 48 (before the much publicized killings in Connecticut and Colorado) got a deal and a killer of 12 (now) is turned down.

Not to mention, how it should give feminist something to chew on.

Inga said...

Maybe that night changed the direction of her life and she became a shrink instead.

Lem said...

Good catch, btw, professor.

You struck blog gold.

Lem said...

The note is a spirit that kindle could never duplicate.

edutcher said...

Should have been written a century earlier.

Has an H Rider Haggard/Conan Doyle feel to it.

creeley23 said...

I once bought a used copy of HG Wells's Outline of History and found an evening menu from a 1920s ocean cruise offering a tasty-sounding crab soup.

Lem said...

The handwriting looks female...

Oh yea... She went on to become the best looking Attorneys General in the country.

Deb said...

I frequently find the following written in a number of books at the library: "read this one" in the same handwriting. I wonder if the reader was aware that there are often multiple copies of the same title.

Chip Ahoy said...

Presaged modern internet sites.

"Hello, I realize you picked up this book expecting a specific thing but read this other crap first. [insert Thoreau sentiment]"

Maybe she just got laid

and was feeling all filled up with spunk, I mean love in her heart and goodwill and intentions.

Sorun said...

Written back in those thrilling and optimistic days of 2003. All of the fun of ridiculing John Kerry was just ahead.

Chip Ahoy said...

Why don't they leave cash once in a while?

FleetUSA said...

Ah. Life in the carrels of NYU Law.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Maybe there are notes in all sorts of books.

I make a point to check Catcher in the Rye whenever I get a chance. I keep a copy with me just in case I need it.

rhhardin said...

The book is to hide the note from the cleaning staff.

rhhardin said...

Notes from the future would be more useful.

mrs. e said...

It's a note, a la Postsecret.

Lem said...

Why don't they leave cash once in a while?

Shhh... now she's going to have to share with Meade and the dogs not to mention the neighbors, whom? upon hearing of her good fortune begin to gather near her home like illegals at a Home Depot... calling attention to the authorities to come and guide the traffic making Althouse fearful to leave the house, where she becomes a shut-in... until one day a light bulb goes off in her head and she decides to order a gun via the only communication to the outside world she has left... her Amazon Portal... whence upon? a dutiful Meade reports the purchase and word gets out onto the street where the people are camped out... "She's got a gun"... and they don't like it... they fear for their lives and begin to wonder if Althouse loves them anymore... they slowly begging to pick up their tents and go back to their regular everyday lives.

bagoh20 said...

I'm halfway through the book below, and it's pretty interesting. It will open up your eyes about why you have the values and opinions you do, and why it's very hard to change minds, especially on political issues. Very thorough and dense, but good stuff.

If I knew anything about academia, I'd probably say the author over-builds his fortress against academic rebuttal, because I would never actually get through it, except I got the Audible.com version narrated by the author. Anyway, lots of good stuff so far, but one thing he referenced was a study done once that determined that the books most stolen and defaced at a university were in ethical philosophy.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

If you want to buy it, please come back and go through the Althouse portal. I forgot, but it was only $12 Kindle + $5 for the Audible.com unabridged narration, so Meadhouse doesn't have to do their own painting just because of me. I just forgot this time. Don't you judge me!


Lem said...

Is Michigan running away with it?

Freeman Hunt said...

I found a note in a used algebra book. It was too racy and racial to post online. Naughty students.

Lem said...

holy cow... I shouldn't have said anything.

Gahrie said...

I teach high school. I find notes in books all day every day.

Lem said...

I say if titus where here he find the Michigan uniforms... fav?

Whereas the Louisville uniforms look undecided, whether to play hoops or hunt at the north pole.

Lem said...

The Michigan coach is thinking about the price of admission?

That must have been for the cameras.

bagoh20 said...

Oh now I get it. You're talking about those stacks of paper with the cardboard covers - those "books". I only use those things to hold up my speakers.

kentuckyliz said...

It's a pre-twitter tweet.

If it had a picture, it would be a meme.

Broomhandle said...

Strangest thing I've found in a book is an article about acne clipped from a 1936 British newspaper. It was in a Funk & Wagnalls dictionary. Zitty but studious English girl, time clears all complexions.

kentuckyliz said...

Especially since she's likely dead by now. Problem solved.

Yes, life was crackling with zest and intensity and possibility in the 20s.

Now, as a midlifer, it just all seems so...exhausting.

Peace be with y'all.
(Catholic Mass greeting in the South.)

And with all-a-y'all's spirit.
(The Southern style response.)




Peeeeeeace.

kentuckyliz said...

What would be far less banal and more interesting would be if it were a suicide note.

kentuckyliz said...

Condemning all who find the note to burning curiosity and concern...did she do it? Did she live and find some relief from the pain/depression?

Broomhandle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

I found a tiny dictionary with something pressed between its pages. I like to think that the book once belonged to a leprechaun.

rcommal said...

Marginalia takes many forms.

whoresoftheinternet said...

I left a note in a book once.

"Enjoy the decline, asshole!"

Now guess which book.

whoresoftheinternet said...

In the Autobiography of Malcom X, I left the following:

"Warning: work of fiction by a cheap, laughable street hustler and a lying author. "

I was then expelled for spreading "hate facts."

Enjoy the decline, marks!

edutcher said...

kentuckyliz said...

Peace be with y'all.
(Catholic Mass greeting in the South.)


Should I even as how Pax vobiscum sounds?

Dante said...

I remember in the seventh grade, and I was working as an assistant in the school library. I opened a book, and there was a note in it. I still recall the following words in it: "... his penis was limp and waiting, but always ready."

It was very disturbing, but later I thought back and wish I had taken some action. Perhaps finding out who had checked the book out last.

traditionalguy said...


No guts, no glory. This message leaver should have written it on the book's inside cover. Like marking your territory.

Aggressive David Prosser would have done it that way...the patient Ms Roggensack not so much.

chickelit said...

rcommal said...
Marginalia takes many forms.

Including disposable bookmarks?

rcommal said...

@chickelit:

In many ways does the blog bring to mind the Lazarus poem, so: maybe yes, maybe no.

Lem said...

Good thing Marginalia doesn't have two gs.

wyo sis said...

My mother put a 20 dollar bill in my New Testament when I went to college at age 18. I found it in January. She probably had a good laugh at Thanksgiving and Christmas when I didn't mention it. Unless she cried because it took me so long to find it.

Darrell said...

I was opened a book belonging to Britain's most famous male poet--happily married-- in a restricted reference library at a university in Britain and out popped a handwritten love note to a well-known female poet who was known to cohabitate with a female artist. Thus began the journey.

Oh, sorry! That is part of the the plotline for AS Byatt's Possession.

Mitchell the Bat said...

You can always count on someone leaving a silverfish for someone else to find.

Rusty said...

Oh those heady days of yesteryear when you'd find some cigarette ash or maybe some nasal detritus.
Some wicked limerick about the size of the an English professors ass.

Marshal said...

wyo sis said...
My mother put a 20 dollar bill in my New Testament when I went to college at age 18. I found it in January.


This January?

Paco Wové said...

I will second bagoh20's recommendation of The Righteous Mind. A very interesting book, unfortunately the sort that tends to be ignored by those that might benefit from it most.

wyo sis said...

Marshal said...

wyo sis said...
My mother put a 20 dollar bill in my New Testament when I went to college at age 18. I found it in January.

This January?


LOL!
No, the January of that school year. Mom would have had really had a fit if I hadn't found it until this year.

Ann Althouse said...

"I found a tiny dictionary with something pressed between its pages. I like to think that the book once belonged to a leprechaun."

Ha. Cool that it's in a tiny book.

But we used to hunt for 4-leaf clovers (and we could always find them) and it was the normal thing to do to put them in a book for pressing — the standard preservation method.

I'm sure there are books in my house that I took from my mother's house after she died that have 4-leaf clovers that I put there sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It is really interesting to see what falls out of old and used books.

The other night I was reading a paperback sci fi book that I picked up at Goodwill. Out falls a small flyer for a battered women's shelter and two unused tickets to a movie Bullet Proof Monk [2003]. She didn't get to see the movie. Hope she is ok.

Old cook books from the 30's and 40's are fascinating. Newspaper clippings, obituaries, writings in the margins about the recipes, friendly notes and hand written recipes on snippets of paper. Most of those people are long dead now. They lived through the Great Depression, WWII and who know what happened to them.

Strelnikov said...

One of my pasttimes is attending library book sales and collecting books. I've found dozens of these sort of messages in the books, sometimes at the oddest places. Also, I've found just about as many notes slipped into the books, rather than written in them. I've often wondered if this was a sort of time capsule effort. In my own case, I once put a $10 bill in a copy of my Master's thesis located in the University library and when I was back in the area 20 years later it was gone and the thesis had been checked out numerous times. I put a $20 in that time and moved on.

Joshua said...

I’m making over $10k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do, Wow55.com

gutless said...

It seems likely that the note was a drop from the Russian SVR/GRU for an agent that somehow didn't get it. Madison and the U of W are well known subversive hot spots.

Erika said...

DBQ-I adore old cookbooks and am given them all the time because everyone knows how much I love them. My favorite!!!! thing is when someone has tucked recipes clipped from the newspaper, handwritten recipes, recipes from vintage advertisements ("Crisco is the digestible fat!") etc into them. It's fun to determine the historical era by reading the bits of news or ads on the back of clippings. I wish I had a good way to keep them-they are just all in a box. Occasionally I use them for bookmarks.

Micha Elyi said...

! Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is not allowed: BLOCKQUOTE

<blockquote>
I found a note in a used algebra book. It was too racy and racial to post online. Naughty students.
--Freeman Hunt
</blockquote>

All I ever find in used books are useless underlining and highlighting.

ATTENTION UNDERGRADS: If you highlight everything, the highlighting means nothing.

kentuckyliz said...

Kentuckians would pronounce Pax vobiscum appropriately, not elegantly, with a bit of drawl, probably drawing out the diphthong vowels into extra syllable status.

Mostly, they would appreciate Latin's appropriate use of a plural you.

As in y'all, and all-a-y'all.

English is deficient in not having a plural you, like most decent languages, and Southerners have graciously corrected that mistake.

kentuckyliz said...

Mom had an old cookbook that mentioned lard a lot, and described it as a natural fat. LOL Wish I had that cookbook now. I bet that pie pastry was the best ever.

Though my mom's pastry was excellent. Now I feel like making a pie. Double crust.