Michael Popek tells us of the whys of his past and current history with books:

…Popek comes from a family of collectors. He grew up in an old farmhouse in Oneonta, a small town in upstate New York. His father, Peter Popek, a former UPS deliveryman, started a book business in the mid-eighties, but only after coming upon a too-good-to-be-true deal at a local auction.

The offer was 5,000 books for $10. He paid an additional $10 for delivery. According to the elder Popek, no one wanted these books, including him. “We had no interest in books. We didn’t know anything about them. But we didn’t want to waste ‘em,” Peter Popek says.

Three decades later, Popek’s day job is managing the family bookstore, but he’s made an accidental career out of cataloguing ephemera: the letters, postcards, photographs, vintage advertisements, recipes and other neglected items left in books.

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Popek also has a web site, Forgotten Bookmarks, where he posts images and descriptions of these odd lodgers that he discovers.

I think I’m planning a trip to Oneonta…

post card newyear2Postcard, stamped January 1, 1924:
Be good in 1924
Pass regents in
Geography is
my wish for
you in 1924.
H.L.B.
Found in “If Winter Comes” by A.S.M. Hutchinson. Published by Little, Brown, 1921.

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