I was at a local Goodwill thrift store today with a shopping buggy half full of books when a lady who I’ve seen in the store many times came over and commented that I must really love to read. I hear this line so many times, usually from suspicious store managers or the naïve ladies who work the small-town library sales. “Yes, ma’am,” I’ll say, yuk-yuk style, “I-I-I sure do!” Today however I was less disingenuous. I admitted that yes I do love to read but I also have an online bookstore. I said this because, even though I see her often in the Goodwill, I rarely see her in the book section and I didn’t think there would be a conflict of interest. We ended up talking for twenty or thirty minutes about all kinds of things and towards the end of it when we came back around to the subject of books she said that her husband, recently deceased, had a collection that she hadn’t been able to decide what to do with. She must have felt a rapport with me because she said that I should come take a look. She lives only a few miles from the store and we were both pretty much done with our shopping so I ended up following her home.
As it happens so often, the books she had to offer weren’t worth a damn. But seeing as how she seemed so relieved that they would be going to a worthy cause I said I would take them, about 100 books in all. From what I could tell at the time without unpacking all the boxes, most of the books were book club editions, hardbacks without jackets at that. I knew exactly what they were good for, but, again, I said I’d take them. I gave her $15 for the bunch (actually for her open, generous spirit), loaded the boxes in my truck, and left.
I have just unpacked the first box to see if it contained anything remotely interesting. Toward the bottom, one of the books, when I picked it up, had an unusual, top-heavy heft to it which, when I tilted it toward me, slid downward with an audible click. I opened the cover. This is what I found inside:
Update: I've now gone through all the boxes and looked at all the books and a surprising number of them have been hollowed out with Polaroids stashed inside. The women depicted are varied (ethnically and size-wise) and the pictures range from softcore to extreme hardcore. Some of the images are very bizarre, at times grotesque.
At this point I'm at a loss as to what I should do with this stuff.
More updates here
and, especially, here