Love Notes and Used Books: A Poem

A disapproving hand-written note found in a used copy of Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World"

The note reads “Jim – I don’t approve of what you are reading. Can’t you read something decent Love, Mother”

Found Objects

Why didn’t I ever bake those Syrian cookies?

I found the recipe – with a strong right hand slant

Written in thick pencil on what might have once been a napkin –

between the pages of a 1967 edition

Of the red-checkered Better Homes and Gardens cookbook

My mom found for me at the Hartville Flea Market

Because the new edition is too fancy to include easy

Recipes like Lazy Day Lasagna.

“When will you start reading something worthwhile?”

Another feminine hand placed this

Scrap of paper, criticism, scrutiny

Meaning well (if unimaginative)

Between the covers of Aldous Huxley’s

Brave New World.

Why did the beloved sell her book of poetry on

Addressed to “my love” on slips of paper

Attached with rusting curlicue paperclips

Advising her to read the poems in a particular (non-linear)

Order. First this, then the one on page 34.

Another slip saying “I thought of you when I read this piece.  I love you.”

I imagine this love is unrequited. Perhaps poetry is simply not her thing

Maybe she has a premium on bookshelf space, and couldn’t afford another


Though perhaps, instead, these messages were intended just for me?

Perhaps I am the love who is meant to read those notes

left in used books

Like treasure maps to their former lives


One thought on “Love Notes and Used Books: A Poem

  1. Pingback: Used Bookstores and the Lost City of Atlantis | A.K. Anderson | Science Fiction and Fantasy Author

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