Used books and bookselling have been in Michael Popek's blood since he was a child. In Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages, he shares his unique collection of things discovered tucked inside the pages of books, "treasures within treasures . . . often untouched for decades." The ephemera includes objects such as personal photographs, baseball and greeting cards, poems, shopping lists, recipes, invitations, report cards, burial vault information, razor blades, marijuana leaves and handwritten letters (received or unsent?).
Each bookmark specimen has been reproduced, as found, and each is paired alongside a picture of the original book where the discovery was made. In an entertaining scrapbook-like presentation, Popek takes the liberty of transcribing some illegible handwriting. However, he offers no commentary, preferring instead to let each relic and book exhibit speak for itself. This deepens reader fascination, as there is much intrigue in trying to decipher and decode whether the ephemera and book hold any combined significance.
Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages by Michael Popek
Perigree Trade, $18.95, Hardcover, 9780399537011, 288 pp
Publication Date: November 1, 2011