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The Neon Jungle by John D. MacDonald

Macdonald - neon jungle

Ages ago (2007), I had a brief-lived but well-meaning blog called 'Things I Found in Books'. It had a clear purpose - a photo-journal things I found in books... - but suffered from a lack of success. Mostly because it was boring and self-indulgent.

Still, I find this sort of thing fascinating. 

Most of it, to be completely honest, is because I'm a fanatic collector: anything that makes a book more distinctive (read: valuable) should be duly noted for posterity (read: future purchaser). And part of it is because I like the physical act of collection as well - it isn't just about the signature in the book, it is about how that signature got there. The stories surrounding a signing are part of the autograph. 

However, it isn't just about value, or having a good anecdote for the other book-geeks at the pub. In many cases, that random bit of paper, cryptic inscription or forgotten bookmark, they put the book in a time and a place. Books aren't just for monetary value, or entertainment value, or even artistic value - they've got a historical value as well. They're passed from hand to hand and place to place. If, occasionally, they pick up evidence of their travel through time and space, that can be fascinating as well.

(Not that I'm ever advocating that people write in books. Or dog-ear pages. Or, god forbid, highlight.)

Anyway, that's a long-winded way of saying that occasionally I buy strange books for strange reasons. Like, say, yet another copy of The Neon Jungle, just because of the Pan Am boarding pass left in it.