4 Weird Things This Lowell Book Store Has Found in Donated Books
With Spring Cleaning coming up, a good rule of thumb is to always check every pocket, secret compartment, or in between the pages of whatever you're donating. You just never know what was once hidden and has long been forgotten.
For example, in 2021 in Florida, a Salvation Army worker found $20,000 in the pocket of a donated jacket. In a terrifying turn, a live grenade was found in a donated dresser in North Carolina. And, Buzzfeed has an entire list of weird and unusual things volunteers have found in donated items.
That rule definitely applies to books, too, as demonstrated by the Tiktoks created by a West Michigan area indie bookstore owner.
Nicole L., or @bettiespages on Tiktok, owns a small, indie bookstore in Lowell, MI by the same name: Bettie's Pages. The store focuses on creating a community, lifting marginalized voices, and supporting readers of all ages, according to her website.
Lately, with all the news about book banning, she's been sharing a series of videos all with the theme, "Books you should read because they don't want you to." For example:
However, she recently shared her many discoveries in the used books that make their way to her store.
She goes over the most common things that she finds. Things like bookmarks, receipts, ticket stubs from concerts, and random pamphlets. But, in an accompanying video, she goes over the...let's call them juicier finds:
1. A Letter to a Cop
The first is a letter dated July 30th, 1991 that was to a cop thanking them for not arresting the writer for stealing things from Meijer. Did they ever send the letter? Was the donated book from the cop to who the letter was addressed? We don't know.
2. A Bizarre Memo about Andy
The second is what looks like a memo written on a blank piece of paper that reads, "Andy said I am one of the only people in the whole department he can trust." Sounds like an opening scene to an episode of The Office. Speaking of, check out Andy's biggest freak-outs below:
3. An Idea for a Thriller (We Hope)
Written on half of a notebook page, this has the potential to be the most disturbing. We can only hope it's just a quick idea for a novel or tv show. The page reads, "(name scribbled out) was used to standing over dead bodies as a homicide detective. Standing over murder victims, HER murder victims, was an entirely different story. While she awakes with the blood on her hands, she struggles to accept that she, who sacrificed a personal life for a career catching criminals, could be a criminal. The worst kind. A killer."
Nicole adds that this is a book she would read and I have to agree. I'm intrigued already.
4. The "Agreement"
Be warned: this one contains adult content.
The most perplexing of the finds has to be this printed contract...for companionship. If you can't read the screenshot, the contract, typed in some scripted font, says,
Remember this is not an offer for prostitution. That would be breaking the law. No extra tipping is required unless you choose to do so. All money exchanged during this appointment is for my time and companionship only. Anything else that may occur during our scheduled time period is considered on my own personal time and is a matter of personal choice between two consenting adults of legal age and is not contracted for or requested to be contracted for or compensated for in any manner. Prostitution is illegal in the state of Michigan.
It ends with a box for the reader to sign their initials.
Consider my jaw on the floor. It definitely makes you want to skim the books you're about to donate (or even the used books you just bought). See her full video below:
If you love books and are in the West Michigan area, follow Nicole on Tiktok for book recommendations, challenges, and more. Or stop by her physical store in Lowell. Find the address and hours for Bettie's Pages here.
If you love weird, or especially historic finds, check out this local treasure hunter. His finds at an old paper mill in Michigan are incredible: