Treasure in Thrift Books

Ever since I was a kid my must haves for my future house are a grand piano and a mini library. Although I haven’t saved for the piano yet, I was able to get my mini library before 2018 ended. It was a torture before I got it though. A whole different story that involves stress and headaches with contractors, which I just want to forget. An it was also really expensive.

So having a big bookshelf with floor to ceiling height will take a lot of books to fill. And as much as I would’ve want a full library. It wouldn’t be cheap to buy books all at once just to fill it up. And what makes it even harder is my idea to buy mostly hard bound books to make it look more elegant.

So rather than buying brand new books, I went to thrift stores to save a lot of money. But I don’t only want to save but also to find good quality, almost good as new books. And books that wouldn’t give me any problems like termites.

So I went to a few Goodwill stores and found a lot of hard bound quality books for only $1.99. Such a pretty awesome deal from the usual $20 and up price of brand new books. But to my surprise, I didn’t only find good deals, I also found treasures inside these thrift books.

Treasure of MONEY

A lot of times people will use whatever is in their arms reach as bookmarks. And yes that can also include money. Or if you’re like me, I sometimes use books as a secret place to stash money. Which I’ll totally forget until I open the book again. I’m not very particular with the kind of books I read. For as long as I think I’ll like the story, or I can learn something from it. So when I saw this book in good condition, it was no question that I’ll take it home with me.

As I was scanning the pages, I saw these Iraqi dinars. Money for free? You might think that I hit the jackpot, but these aren’t really worth anything. Even if they are thousands of Iraqi dinars they might only be worth a few USD. And worse is there might not even be any way to convert it to USD. This I know because my husband has some of them from way back and he tried to convert it. But no bank or currency exchange that he tried to have it changed has accepted it.

So okay, I might not be able to buy anything with this money. But I still find it very awesome to find it in a thrift purchase. Also having an Iraqi money itself is quite exciting, just the thought of having a currency from a country you and a lot of people are not allowed to go to. Who knows how much it might eventually cost in the future. And you wouldn’t have any chance of finding this in a brand new book, right?

Treasure of MYSTERY

One thing that scare most people from buying thrift stuff is the thought that it might’ve belong to a dead person. Although that thought have stopped me from buying thrift clothes a lot of times, when it comes to books, it actually gives it more value for me. Just the thought that someone spent time to read it gives me the thought that it is worth the read.

It also says a lot of what kind of person the previous owner might be. With this book being about politics and the military and then the Iraqi dinars in it. I’m guessing that the previous owner is either in the military or a military contractor / civilian who was stationed in the Middle East. Every time I see the book, it ignites my curiosity of why the money was there. When and where is the geography when the previous owner read it? Was he fighting in the war when he had the book? Do we have the same thoughts about the book?

Treasure of Knowledge

Aside from the stuff that might be secretly hiding in those books, the real treasure is what you’ll read in those pages. Whether they be facts or work of the imagination. There is always something to learn in any kind of book, whether it be new or thrift, whether it is a best selling or a crappy book. The knowledge you get from reading is not dependent on how much money you spend for the book. But on how much time you spend reading it, and the willingness to learn something from it.


(Information of the ticket owner has been blurred for privacy )
  • Plane Ticket -You might say it’s just a normal plane ticket, so what’s so special about it? But for me seeing the condition of the book and also with the book receipt showing it was bought in the airport (I think I threw the receipt already). Tells me that the person who bought it might’ve read it for the length of that plane ride and just donated it after.  With the thought that it was still an almost brand new book and hard bound, it’s definitely a steal paying only $1.99 for it.
  • Newspaper Cutout –I saw the movie about the author of Winnie the Pooh, and I liked the story so much that after I watched it (in a plane ride) I did additional research about it online. So when I saw this book, with this cutout of Newspaper from 2001 and this Winnie the Pooh postcard, it gave me the goosebumps, reminding me of the curiosity that I felt while watching the movie. Could it be that’s how the previous owner felt too when he saw the cutout, that it made him want to buy the book?

See how interesting some thrift finds can be? It’s like going there and searching for the great books are already a journey in itself.

*With all the thrift books that I bring home, I make sure to scan the pages first, and I also clean them before I put them in the bookshelf.*