Bayswater's Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor Blog

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Hey, Book Detective!

Our latest “Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor” unveiled our first ever plant, or deliberately placed find.  How do we know it was deliberately placed?  Well….you will see.

     The book that held our find is a First United States Edition copy of ‘The Children’s Book,” authored by A.S. Blatt in 2009.  While the title suggests that this novel must have been written for a younger audience, the truth is actually quite the opposite.  The author, six years prior to writing “The Children’s Book,” wrote an Op-Ed article in the New York Times that criticized the writing of Harry Potter due to, in her opinion, its lack of writing for adult interest.  It was easy to see what a child would find interesting about the famous series, she stated, but the books were missing “a real sense of mystery, powerful forces, dangerous creatures in dark forests” and “that shiver of awe” that would be needed to keep an adult interested in the books.  Blatt’s response to her perceived lack of adult content in the Harry Potter series?  What else but the writing of “The Children’s Book,” which contains many magical stories, settings and characters, and is anything BUT a book that should be read for children.

     But, back to our first ever deliberately placed find (that we know of).  Hidden away between pages 238-239, we discovered a folded note card that stated the following message:

Hey, book detective- we’re looking forward to seeing you on June 22.  Good luck sorting through all these used books.

     Hey, book detective, we thought?  Good luck sorting through all these used books?  That sounded like a challenge to us, and someone who knows we spend time sifting through thousands of books to discover the forgotten items tucked away in their pages.  June 22, we asked ourselves?  We love a good mystery, and this had us briefly puzzled.

     Then, we remembered.  Our beloved former employee, Josiah, who had scheduled his wedding for June 22 and invited us, must have donated this book at some point, complete with hidden message, to see if we would find it!  We’ll admit, it took us a couple of months to make the discovery, so no, Sherlock Holmes we are certainly not, but alas, out of the pages of “The Children’s Book” finally fell his “book detective” note/challenge.  Josiah, if you are reading this, we say, well played!  Despite the countless used books that surround us each day, we (eventually) found your note and happily accept the title of “book detective.”

     The copy of A.S. Blatt’s 2009 First United States Edition printing of “The Children’s Book,” complete with find, can be yours for the price of $6.99.  You can catch up with our previous finds of the week on the used book floor at and on facebook.  Better yet, stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!