One of the joys of buying used books is discovering the hidden treasures inside. Handwritten notes in the margins. Gift inscriptions on the inside cover. Bits of paper mysteriously tucked inside pages.
On page 893 of The Modern Library’s 1938 edition of “The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe,” I find a scrap of paper. Omni Baltimore. 301.752.1100 Thanks to Google, I discover the Baltimore Omni was opened in 1984. Its phone number changed to area code 410 in 1991. That’s all we know… a scrap of paper written in the late 1980’s… mysteriously inserted into the chapter entitled The Poetic Principle. What do I imagine? A visit with an old friend during a study break? Maybe a romantic tryst over holiday break….and now it’s time to get back to the books? What the heck. I don’t even know if the same person that underlined the book also wrote the hotel name. But that’s the beauty of imagination, my dear reader. Just imagine the endless possibilities.