Hollowed Out Book Returned by Good Samaritans

Who says there’s no money in books these days? When Paul Schnitman moved last summer, he donated several books to the Friends of the Library Bookstore, Rockville, MD. Among them was a faux book with a hollowed-out center, in which his late brother had stored “more than $1,000,” according to the Gazette.

“So I realized probably six weeks later that the book was missing and I went to the bookstore and magically someone had found it and turned it in,” said Schnitman. Ari Z. Brooks, executive director of the Friends of the Library, said clerks at the store were “stunned” when a customer walked up to the counter in mid-November and said, “I don’t think you want this book on the shelf.”

The customer opened the book to reveal a wad of cash bound together by a money clip and two credit cards that had expired in 1991, she said. The two clerks, who Brooks said did not wish to comment or be named, tried to track down the owner of the credit cards, but to no avail. They turned the items over to Jim Ludlum, business manager for the FOL, who put the money in a separate banking account for safekeeping.

To make sure he was the rightful owner of the book, Schnitman said he was asked to write a letter of explanation and provide a copy of his brother’s death certificate. Schnitman said he plans to give the Friends of the Library a donation for its efforts and honesty. He would not say how much money he would donate.