From Inside The Pages
why don't you use Tumblr anymore? You should :)

I’m not really using it since I use my Wordpress blog now. It’s a lot easier for what I do with it…but I have all those posts sent here :)

Also, not sure when you send this though. Tumblr’s now telling me and I just looked at Tumblr today. Sorry if it’s been awhile. 

Wo Kee Restaurant

Submitted by Bob in response to the post from The Ratman’s Notebook ( :

I enjoyed seeing the card for Wo Kee Restaurant. From infancy until my early 20’s when it closed, Wo Kee on Doyers Street (yes, in Chinatown) was a frequent family dinner destination. My father had been eating there since the 1940’s, took my mother starting in the mid 50’s, me in the late 50’s and my brother thereafter. As a young boy they’d let me use a cleaver to cut the head off a cooked duck. This is the place where as a 3 year old with probably undiagnosed hyperactivity, I would disappear from the table, whereabouts unknown until a shriek from the other side of the restaurant revealed my having crawled on the floor and under  someone elses table. Very good cantonese food and seafood, and the first and best (sweet) hot & sour soup I ever had. Thanks for the memories. Where did you get the card from? By the way, it cannot be from the early 1950’s as the 5 number zip code did not come out until the early 60’s. As to area code, all of NYC was 212 back then so it was not necessary and for those out of NYC, everyone knew the area code was 212. 


For years I have been looking to be my hands on some poetry by Dylan Thomas. My luck finally lead me to find a copy of The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas. Aside from a few poems, namely Don’t Go Gentle Into That Good Night, I haven’t read much Thomas.
  My want to see what he is all about is simple, and a bit foolish. Some one sharing (but not named after on purpose) the great Bob Dylan (’s birth name) should get to know what Bob Dylan was inspired by. He did of course use the name Dylan because of Dylan Thomas. Why not see what’s so great about a poet that inspires a famous name change?
Aside from finding this copy of the book, I found a short list of the previous owner’s possible favorite poems. There are three poems listed on the back of either a check out or catelog or some other card used in the Memorial Library University of Wisconsin, in Madison, Wisconsin. 
I’m not sure what’s more strange; the card from a discarded library book or a list of only three poems. Granted one is Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. But one would think that while reading a collected edition of a poet’s work, there would be more than three that would catch the readers attention, even if this were for school research or something along those lines.
No matter what the cause, the poems (and page numbers) are:

128 Do Not (Go Gentle Into That Good Night)
10   (The) Force (that through the green fuse drives the flower)
112 (A) Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, or a Child in London
-parentheses to finish word missing in the list

In the table of the contents there is one more poem marked, as well as the three from the card. That one is  And  death shall have no dominion, found on page 77.
Seeing the, even though few, poems a previous owner choice to highlight enhances the enjoyment of a book at times. It allows for the pondering of why they were chosen and leads to attempting to figure out if they will inspire in my reading the same fancy. 

I’ve recently gotten back into the addicting (and seemingly never-ending) activity of clicking the stumble button on my stumbleupon account. Before my recent rediscovery of the site, I would spend my time clicking stumble more often than finding a random page that caught my interest. Now that I narrowed down my interests to what I really would take time looking at, I’ve been finding some interesting articles and sites. is such a site. Forgotten Bookmarks seems for the most part almost a twin of my blog here. That makes me happy that I’m not the only one seeking more than the words inside of books.
So take some time and browse the site. You might enjoy it as much as I have. 

For my post today, which I hope will be the start of getting back in the swing of things, is on a note/bookmark found in my recently bought copy of Life Expectancy by one of my new favorite authors, Dean Koontz. First I’d like to give a little personal back story to the weekend that just went by.
This past weekend marked a year of being with my girlfriend. It was such a great weekend, especially considering the last time she visited Hurricane Irene came through and messed up the county.
The great thing about the weekend was that it coincided with a town wide garage sale day in a neighboring town of Cobleskill. This is the same town in which my local bookstore is in, and because of the special events of the day it too was having a sale of it’s own. “Fill up a bag or box and give us what you feel it’s worth.” On the sidewalk outside the store were tables of books that were calling our names. While we filled the box up, more and more books were continuously being brought out. I wish I had much more money and all day to spend there. I’m sure I’d have gotten even more books than I did. In the end we only came away with ONE box, that was mostly due to my girlfriend advising me not to spend all my money in one place. This came in handy in the near future.
Next we went across the street to the library because they were having a sale. My girlfriend picked up a few books for her grandma and we were on our way around town for even more sales. Sale after sale have something for us to by. Mostly we were able to get random things to furnish her new apartment with, which was also a goal for the day.
At one notable sale the price for books was five for a dollar. I was very happy when I came away with three collections of Lovecraft inspired stories, which also included some of his stories as well. This is the first time I’ve found anything with his work in print. Needless to say, we bought a few dollars worth of books there.
At one of the last sales of the day, the woman running it told us to fill up a bag and give her a dollar for it. After weeding through boxes of mainly selfhelp and other uninteresting books we came out with a bag bursting with what I hope will be interesting reads.
The next day we went to the arboretum where a large plant/bake/book sale was being held. Basically the forty minute drive left us with yet another box full of books. In total, I gained forty-six books in two days. My collection started at 1,009. By Sunday night it was at 1,055.

Back to Life Expectancy. At the last sale of the weekend, at the arboretum, I purchased this Dean Koontz novel, along with a few others to fill up my collection. While looking through the books from the weekend to see if anything interesting was in them, I stumbled upon a piece of folded paper. It looked like any piece of paper folded for use as a bookmark. I almost thought nothing of it.
When I realized that I should unfold it just to see if something was on it, to my surprise there was something written on it. The message inside gave me a weird feeling about it’s origin.
"Amy 3-22-07
I am a good person and
I deserve a happy life!”
What was the reason for Amy to have written this, and did she intend it to just stay in a book? The book has a man’s name on the inside cover showing ownership. It could have been previously owned by him before Amy got it, like many of my books are. But it could also have been Amy’s first then the man’s. Why would he keep this memento in the book? He could just be like me and like to keep the things from inside the pages of books or just never have noticed it.
Onto what the message says, about Amy. This is a simple, yet revealing sentence. More or a statement than anything else. “I am a good person and I deserve a happy life!” It sounds like words from a self-help book or a mantra from a support group. Is Amy a troubled woman? Is she just a teenager or child who was feeling down for many of the reasons young boys and girls are? I’ll never know the true answer, but I hope whatever Amy’s doing now and wherever she is, that she has that happy life now and that she’s still a good person.

I bought my copy of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Stories by Washington Irving a few years ago after realizing that in all the years that I’ve heard of the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, that I have never read the actual story. It seems to me that most of the stories I, and very likely most of today’s youth, know a lot of classic stories/ novels even though I haven’t read many of them. I bought the book to fix that issue. I have bought many books to remedy this issue. Some I have read, many I still need to get to. One day, maybe after I finish the book I’m almost finished with now, I’ll read the story. It is almost that time of year for this story to be talked about anyway.
Aside from just getting knowledge of what the story is like, I gained more knowledge that, to me, is even more interesting. For years I have traveled down from Upstate New York to The City. Along the way on the other side of the Tappan Zee Bridge is an exit sign for Tarrytown and the surrounding area. I’ve always thought to myself “That’s so cool, it’s a real place. I want to go there someday.” What I now know from the purchase of this book is that Sleep Hollow was once (up until 1996) North Tarrytown. The book came with a newspaper clipping telling of the name change from North Tarrytown to the once fictional historical name Sleepyhollow. It’s another example of how buying a second hand book can teach you more that the book itself has to tell. history is within every book whether the information was intended to be told by the author, or by the book’s history. 

Now You’re The Enemy is near the top of my favorite books list. Not many books of poetry make me want to read nonstop what is on the pages. This book did just that.
 My opinion of this book is, I can not and will not deny, biased. James Allen Hall, the poet who wrote these poems was a professor of mine for four of my five semesters for my Creative Writing degree. I bought my copy of the book the summer after my first two semesters of taking his classes because I needed to know what the person teaching me was like behind it all. In his words. Behind his words.
I fell in love with his teaching style and the way the material was presented (and almost unknowingly absorbed) right away. It didn’t take very long for me to know that Dr. Hall was and will be my favorite professor.
In life, James is very fun to be around. There are always laughs when he’s around. Normally a professor is just there for me to be taught by and I can care less about much else then getting the class over with. I never felt that way when learning about poets, authors, and how to write. I wanted more. I wanted to stay in class for longer than the few hours we were in there for in the first place. It was like being taught by a friend.
I rationed this book out over a few week span the summer I bought it. And after I finished reading it, I went back to reread it a few more times. This is the type of poetry I wanted to write. Poetry that takes the reader and throws them into a scene that borders on it being their own experience even though they know it’s not. I want to be able to describe the beauty in the ugly parts of life and and ugly past.
When I realized that my last semester of college was quickly coming to a close I knew that I must get a momento of my time with Dr. Hall. I went to his office one afternoon, it was before one of my other classes. I asked him to sign the book and that I really enjoyed it. Even though I’ve talked to him in class and one-on-one for over a year, I felt like I was in the presence of a celebrity. Here I was getting my book signed by my professor, when it felt like it was in the hands of Derek Jeter.
When he handed the book back to me, I resisted the urge to open it and read it right there. That would have been even more awkward than I was already making it. After a bit of small talk I went off to class, still having not peeked in the book.
What I received that day wasn’t a simple signing by an author.  James Hall, with his message to me, showed that there are people who believe in my work. He has been looking closely over a collection I wrote for his class for a few months and really helped me mature my words to be presentable. I just hope that soon I’ll be able to have a signed copy of my published work to give him. I’ll just have to have patience.

I first heard about Jimmy Santiago Baca a few years ago, around the time I got this book. I was taking an Intro to Humanities class and once day we watched a video that had Bill Moyers interviewing a few poets. Baca was one of them and I felt like looking into some of this poems. What I found instead at my bookstore was a prose book of his. I haven’t had the chance to read this book yet, but I will one day.
 The former owner of this book received it in the “Late winter” of “March 1996.” Included with this book was also a letter written by Baca himself. In this letter Baca tells how he wrote poetry while serving in prison to keep sane. He tells of how his growth as a poet. This is a unique thing to find in a book. It gives insight directly from the poet about what he’s been through to get where he was at the time of writing it. 

It’s been quiet awhile since I’ve written up a post. Now that summer is coming to a close and the work cleaning up after the recent hurricane is finishing, I can start spending just a bit more time in front of a computer (and hopefully in front of a book reading.)
The item I have to post today seems very fitting for events of earlier in the day. My copy of The Take of Genji, written by Murasaki Shikibu, was given to me more than a few years ago by my cousin. I think it was one that either she or her brother read for a class in college and didn’t need anymore. She told me it was a good book and thought I’d like it. Since then I still haven’t sat down to read it. Being the proud owner of (finally) over one thousand books can do that
Back when this book was given to me, I think my collection was housed on a sole bookshelf. Yet, my cousin wished to help me make my just starting book collection grow. And she was looking out for what I was reading, since we’re the two readers in the family. This particular cousin is (in my family) my closest friend, and for labeling my only sister. Technically she’s my god-sister, so that might make some sense.
There’s not much about the particular item that came from this book that’s of note. Since this blog calls for something in the book to link a story to it, I guess I’ll give a brief description of the bookmark that was left in the book.
The bookmark is from Shakespeare & Co. The store is one of the ones in the New York City area. Obviously the book was most likely purchased there. Other than that, there’s not much to obverse.
I guess I should get around to reading this book one of these days. My cousin hasn’t steered me to a book I haven’t liked yet. We’ll just have to see if that changes. 

Cool blog! I have kind of the same idea, but mostly book inscriptions. And most of my posts I reblog (working on that). In english, my blog name is "The History the Books Tell", focusing on the history untold by the author, but the history of the reader. And i like to create fiction, not finding what really happened. I know this is not a question (LOL), i just wanted to share this with you. Feel free to stop by.

That’s a cool concept, creating  a story behind the story that may be there. In some cases I’m sure what I discuss will tend toward a fiction of sorts. I’ll take a look at your blog, for sure. I love seeing what other book lovers find in books.