10 of My Favorite Things to Find in Secondhand Books by Amanda Lockwood

10 of My Favorite Things to Find in Secondhand Books by Amanda Lockwood

As far as I can tell there are two main groups of book lovers. Those who prefer pristine new books and those who prefer second hand copies. I fall into the latter category. One of my favorite things is to find notes and hidden surprises in books. I’ve found a number of interesting things. Here is a list of my 10 favorite things I’ve found in second hand books –

  1. Pressed plants – the majority of the pressed plants I’ve found have been put there on purpose though I think the plant material found in my oldest book might be there on accident. Photographs from left to right plant matter in Dominicalia & Festivalia Evangelia, Graeco-Latina printed 1687; pressed plant found in the index of The Dispensatory by George B. Wood and Franklin Bache published 1873; pressed plant in note next to illustration in Gray’s Lessons in Botany and Vegetable Physiology published 1881
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  1. Dedications – I love seeing the thought and care put into books given as gifts. It gives the book a history and adds to the contents within for me. Photographs from left to right dedication in book of hymns; inscription to me in a used copy of Someplace to be Flying by Charles De Lint; inscription in Green Lantern Sleepers Book Two by Christopher J. Priest and Michael Ahn.

  1. Notes – I have penchant for old medical and botanical textbooks. These have notes and information from those who have learned from the text before. Photographs from left to right translation notes in Sweet’s Anglo-Saxon Primer Ninth Edition revised by Norman Davis; notes on illustration plate from Neill on the Arteries published 1845; note next to illustration in Gray’s Lessons in Botany and Vegetable Physiology published 1881.

  1. Previous owners of the book – for old books it shows who had it and kept. It can be a history of the life of the text. Photographs from left to right crossed out names and ex libris stickers/stamps in Dominicalia & Festivalia Evangelia, Graeco-Latina printed 1687; names and dates of medical students from Neill on the Arteries published 1845; name and date in a pocket bible published by William Rutter & Co.


  1. Newspaper clippings – to date I’ve only found one of these. I’m still very excited about it though I don’t know which side the original owner was interested in. Photographs two sides of newspaper clipping found in Dispensatory by George B. Wood and Franklin Bache published 1873.

  1. Recipes – these always remind me of an old cookbook my mother has. Though the ones in my library all come from the Dispensatory. Photograph personalized recipes for prescriptions found in Dispensatory by George B. Wood and Franklin Bache published 1873.

  1. Drawings – many of the drawings I’ve found in books have been put there on purpose instead of random doodles. As a comic reader I find it very special to see a piece of original and personal art in my copy of a comic book. The random doodles are always a puzzle when I find them.  Photographs from left to right drawing by artist Steve Lieber on title page of White Out Volume II; cat drawing by artist Benjamin Dewey on title page of I Was the Cat; drawing of unknown subject on pages of Gray’s Lessons in Botany and Vegetable Physiology published 1881.

  1. Receipts and other mysterious papers – I’ve found all kinds of improvised bookmarks in books. Everything from cryptic notes to airline tickets. Photographs from left to right original New Hampshire purchase receipt for The Foxfire Book from a copy I purchased in Portland, OR; cryptic note in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams; grocery list and receipt in The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.

  1. Advertisements – advertisements are still common in books today. They are usually from the publisher about more books rather than for other products these days though. One of my favorite dictionaries was a promotion for a Nebraska store. Photographs from left to right advertisements for dictionaries and microscopes in Gray’s Lessons in Botany and Vegetable Physiology published 1881; promotional giveaway dictionary from Wolbach & Brach in Hasting Nebraska.

  1. Dog eared pages – dog earing books is a controversy. I don’t dog ear my books but I’m always curious about dog eared pages I find in used books. Is it a favorite page or just a place holder? Photographs from left to right dog eared page in book of hymns (title page missing, signature in front of books dated 1859); dog eared page in The Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan.

Volunteer Sign Up!

We are just over a month away from the April 24-hour readathon and I could not be more excited! How is everyone doing on the game board we released last week? I am on a major book binger right now and I’m loving doing this game!

We are so excited for the readathon next month, but in order to have a successful readathon, we need volunteers…

April 2021 Reader Sign Up!

It’s that time of the year again… time for the first Dewey’s Readathon of the year! Reader Sign Ups are now live 🙂

Do you have to read the whole 24 hours? NOOOO! Do what ya can. We’d love to have you! Even if it’s five minutes!

Pre-Readathon Board Game Mini-Challenge

Hello Readathoners! This year, Gabby and I decided to only do one Pre-Readathon Challenge, but we hope that you will find this one fun and that it will keep you going until the start of the Readathon.

For this pre-readathon challenge we’ve created a fun board game! It is open to start playing right now until the start of Dewey’s on April 24th. You can play 1 of two ways…either by yourself or against other fellow readathoners.

If you want to play against others, find a couple book buddies (or post in the comments below that you’re looking for a book buddy) and then start your game. You can play on the Facebook Group or Goodreads or a blog or wherever else you all can agree on. You all start at the same time, updating when you finish a square and roll again. The first to cross the finish line is the winner!

If you are playing against yourself, you can either post your board and your progress (Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, blog. etc). When you finish, come back to this post and let us all know that you’ve completed. Then you can begin again, if you want, or maybe go back and try to complete as many squares as you can 🙂

The instructions to play are on the board game in the below. You can also find the game on the google drive.

I hope everyone enjoys playing! GOOD LUCK!

***Parents, if you feel any challenge prompt needs further adaption for your children, please feel free to do this. No need to check if a prompt is okay. You know your child and what will challenge them.

Hour 24 – Wrap Up

Hello Readathoners! This is your host, Kate, and I cannot believe that we are already on our last hours. I have to say, this has probably been my most successful readathon ever! I started and read at least 100 pages in 10 books! I probably shouldn’t have agreed to 7 different Buddy Reads, but it kept me motivated. I only managed to finish 2 of the 10 books, but I am still really proud of my achievement this year.

I think that the Bingo board was a huge part of my success. I really wanted to achieve a Blackout and so I spent a couple hours on Friday combing through my books and making a plan. Then I create a spread in my Bullet Journal (see pictured above) and this helped keep me motivated and on track of reaching my goal. Anyone else use a Bullet Journal? Did you make a spread for the Readathon? I would love to see what yours looks like!

Speaking of Bullet Journaling and Planning, Gabby and I are super happy to announce the date of the next Readathon… April 24th!

So make sure to mark that date down on your calendars! In addition, we will be putting the call out for volunteers at the beginning of March, so if you want to volunteer in any capacity, keep your eye out for that post. And finally, we will be having another Warm Up Reading Challenge. This time, however, I will be posting it in mid-March, so there will be more time for everyone to complete the challenges!

We hope that you enjoyed this readathon and that you will join us in April 2021!

Mini-Challenge:

Closing Survey

  1. How would you assess your reading overall?
  2. Did you have a stategy, and if so, did you stick to it?
  3. What was your favorite snack?
  4. Wanna volunteer for our next event? Stay tuned for the recap post!

Link up below or leave a comment!

Enter your finished books into the DATABASE here!

Check out the Bingo Board!

Cheer your fellow readers!

Join our Goodreads or Facebook or Reddit groups!

Watch for posts and stories on our Instagram!

Tag your posts with #Readathon on all your social channels

Hour 23 – Book Trivia Anyone?

Hello Readathoners! This is your host, Kate, and I am here to host your last couple of hours! During this pandemic, my family has made it a point to attempt to do an online family game night every Friday night. We are spread out across the global (California, Washington State, Germany, and Singapore) so it isn’t always easy to schedule a block of time that works for everyone, but this experience has brought us all closer.

We really enjoy playing the Jack Box Party games and one of the family favorites is Murder Trivia Party. We love trivia in our family! I thought that perhaps some book related Trivia might be fun, here, at the end of the readathon. So, without further ado, here is some random book trivia:

*The fear of running out of something to read is called Abibliophobia… I am happy to say that this is not a fear I have. I have the more common book lover fear of running out of time to read all the books I want to read.

*Lord of the Ring author, J.R.R Tolkien typed the whole trilogy with just two fingers! Considering the manuscript for the trilogy is over 1200 pages, that must have taken a really long time and been really exhausting.

*A study found that you are 2 ½ times less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in later life if you read regularly… I hope that audiobooks count for this as well!

*The library at Saint Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai is the oldest currently operating in the world, and has the second largest collection of ancient manuscripts and codices, just after Vatican City. It was established in AD 565

*There are more public libraries than McDonald’s restaurants in the United States… This one was really surprising to me. I see way more McDonald’s than I see libraries. But this is also really cool!

What book trivia do you know? Share something with us in the comments below!

Mini-Challenge:

Scooby Doo Gang Mini Challenge with Rachel Noel on Reddit

Enter your finished books into the DATABASE here!

Check out the Bingo Board!

Cheer your fellow readers!

Join our Goodreads or Facebook or Reddit groups!

Watch for posts and stories on our Instagram!

Tag your posts with #Readathon on all your social channels

Hour 22 – Reading Mediums

Hey welcome to the last eighth of the readathon. My name is Flavia and I am an enthusiastic reader from Germany, you can find me mostly on Twitter under the username flaviaaalouise.

We’ve all been reading for quite a while now. And at least in my experience the exhaustion might start to settle in now. Whether it’s from not sleeping (enough) or from training your eyes on a book for hours.

What I like to do to help with this and mix up my reading formats, physical books, ebooks and audiobooks. Different genres, fiction and nonfiction, graphic works, poetry. All these things are my friends.
Especially in 24 hour readathons time is valuable, so having an audiobook to listen to while having to do chores or going outside (if corona permits) is amazing. Graphic works are super useful becuase they are fat to read and help you feel accomplished.

What is your take on reading in different formats? What is your favorite format?

I hope your reading is going well and even if it’s not, don’t beat yourself up. And always remember to be kind to yourself.

Mini-Challenge:

This or That with Bre – Feel free to post your answers on the platform of your choice.

Twitter Party – Hosted by Rachel Noel

Enter your finished books into the DATABASE here!

Check out the Bingo Board!

Cheer your fellow readers!

Join our Goodreads or Facebook or Reddit groups!

Watch for posts and stories on our Instagram!

Tag your posts with #Readathon on all your social channels

Hour 21 – When the readathon isn’t going your way

Hi, my name is Flavia and I’m an enthusiastic reader from Germany. You can find me mostly on Twitter under the username flaviaaalouise.

We are 20 hours into this readathon and for some of us it won’t have gone as well as we had hoped.

Between doing lots of lab work last week and starting an internship this past week I haven’t really gotten to read that much which frustrates me a lot so I can very much relate.

And I know that especially in a readathon format not reaching your goals can really get you down.

So you have lots of options of how to address that frustration. I mean you could just flat out give up on this whole endeavor and that is super valid. There is so much going on in this world. So if it doesn’t serve you, let it go!

So let’s assume that is not what you want to do. You’ve been excited about this event for weeks and you want to persevere. Alright I like your approach!

First of all, you still have 4 hours. That’s a lot of time. Get reading! Tell the other people around you, you need that time for yourself. Throw your phone in the bin or just download Forest or a similar app that allows you to focus better.

Other option. This readathon is not JUST abot reading. Engage with us on this blog or social media, meet new people and just be excited about the fact that it unites so many people all over the world.

And if the readathon is going great for you, all the better for you! 🙂

Mini-Challenge:

Book Spine Poetry Mini Challenge with Ellie

Enter your finished books into the DATABASE here!

Check out the Bingo Board!

Cheer your fellow readers!

Join our Goodreads or Facebook or Reddit groups!

Watch for posts and stories on our Instagram!

Tag your posts with #Readathon on all your social channels

Hour 20 – Until We Meet Again: Farewell from Mr Geek

Hi there fellow readers! Thank you for sticking with me for these last couple of hours! I figured now was the perfect time to reflect on the day!

While I have participated in numerous read-a-thons in the past, I’ve never had the chance to co-host. This was an all new experience for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I loved seeing all the likes, comments and interactions with my posts/tweets throughout the day. It was great chatting with everyone both on the Dewey blog and mine (www.TreatYoShelf.blog), plus on Twitter (@ItsMrGeekToYou), about the books you’re reading. This has been such a great community to be a part of! I also wanted to give Kate a shoutout! She’s the mastermind behind the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon and did a fantastic job organizing everything! I’m already looking forward to joining in again in 2021!

Personally, the best part of my day was when I took a walk on the local trail near my home. I decided to veer off my standard route, sit near a river and enjoy my audiobook for awhile + the crisp Autumn air! It was an extremely scenic spot, very peaceful and quiet. It was also great getting out of the house for awhile and enjoying the great outdoors!

Since I’m being reflective, you should be too! What was your favorite part of the day? Did you read a truly amazing book? Did you participate in a Mini-Challenge? Did you take your self on a socially-distance adventure and read somewhere fun? Let me know in the comments!

Like I said, I’ve really enjoy my time co-hosting today! I hope you’ll stay connected with me either at my blog (www.TreatYoShelf.blog) or on Twitter (@ItsMrGeekToYou)!

Until Next Time,
Mr Geek

Mini-Challenge:

Dewey’s Wordsearch with Kate

Enter your finished books into the DATABASE here!

Check out the Bingo Board!

Cheer your fellow readers!

Join our Goodreads or Facebook or Reddit groups!

Watch for posts and stories on our Instagram!

Tag your posts with #Readathon on all your social channels

Hour 19 – You Got This! Motivation by Mr Geek

Hello fellow Read-A-Thon Readers! Let me start off by introducing myself. My name is Shawn but my friends call me Mr Geek. I am an avid reader and also love the occasional round of golf, latest gadgets, delicious coffee and fine wines! I’m the author behind www.TreatYoShelf.blog. A blog dedicated to books – recommendations, reviews, TBRs, recaps and more! I’m also a frequent Twitter user, so feel free to connect with me there – @ItsMrGeekToYou. I love discussing books with anyone and everyone!

At this point, it’s starting to get pretttttttttttttttttttty late! I’m sure you’re starting to get tired and your motivation is waning. Well, I’m here to say YOU GOT THIS! Push through and squeeze in those last few pages! Overall, I’ve had a pretty productive reading day. I was able to finish Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and have nearly finished my audiobook (Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay). By the time this post goes live, I’ll have started up my next book, City of Ghost by Victoria Schwab. My October TBR has revolved around spooky / creepy / scary reads (if that’s your thing, check out my post: October ’20 TBR).

This year has been such a weird reading year for me. I have really had to stick with fast paced, edge of your seat novels or I just can’t focus on them! A similar theme to what I’m dealing with tonight (since it’s getting late here on the East Coast and I’m pretty tired)! How has your reading day been? Were you able to finish any books? Anything I should add to my TBR (or move to the top)? Let me know in the comments!

I’m also going to be leading some reading sprints over on the Readathon account on Twitter, so be sure to stop over there! See you soon for my next check in!

Until Next Time,
Mr Geek

Mini-Challenge:

Bookish Best Friend Mini Challenge with Starlight System

Enter your finished books into the DATABASE here!

Check out the Bingo Board!

Cheer your fellow readers!

Join our Goodreads or Facebook or Reddit groups!

Watch for posts and stories on our Instagram!

Tag your posts with #Readathon on all your social channels