Life is full of small delights. Piles of books waiting to be read. Bundles of letters. Amusing cuttings. Memories. Friends. Surprises.
I’ve taken to attempt to bring these together by booby-trapping my books. A friend who always adds glitter and sequins to envelopes inspired me. You innocently open the envelope to remove your birthday card and get a little more than you bargained for. This then got me thinking about the intriguing things that fall out of second-hand books and library books. I then recalled my habit of using what I had to hand as a bookmark.
So a theatre ticket is initially simply a handy item to use, but every time I read this book I am reminded of a theatre trip I took in my undergraduate days on a warm evening in late summer.
So why not make a deliberate effort to conceal paper items within books? Unless you have a very modest personal library you’ll forget all about the inclusions but will have the joy of rediscovering them as you turn the pages.
A volume by Oscar Wilde (his less cheery and most moving work) goes rather nicely with some wit from Noël Coward.
A Scarlett Thomas novel houses one of her short stories that a friend found for me.
And a guide to the hidden bits of London is the perfect home for an article on a similar theme from Time Out.
Any suitably flat item would do, although sequins and confetti could get rather messy. While letters, articles, and tickets are obvious choices I think there’s a case for pressed flowers, particularly if the book is of the heavy sort that would make a suitable press.
Hide some treasures among your books so you too can have the joy of re-discovery.