If you love to read, then you know that there are treasures to be found within the pages of books.  Books entertain, inspire, and even change us.

There are so many ways books can leave an imprint, but what about the imprint the reader leaves behind?



Forgotten Bookmarks is a collection of  interesting finds made by the author Michael Popek.

By day, Michael Popek works in his family’s used bookstore. By night, he’s the voyeuristic force behind www.forgottenbookmarks.com, where he shares the weird objects he has found among the stacks at his store.

There are actual bookmarks, but there are also pictures and ticket stubs, old recipes and notes, valentines, unsent letters, four-leaf clovers, and various sordid, heartbreaking, and bizarre keepsakes. Together this collection of lost treasures offers a glimpse into other readers’ lives that they never intended for us to see.

The secret lives of books.

But what if the reader could make another mark?  What if you could change your favorite story–would you?

That’s the premise in Lauren Baratz-Logsted’s new book Little Women and Me.

Modern-day teen Emily March turns to Louisa May Alcott’s famous book for a school assignment and finds herself mysteriously transported to the world of Little Women, where she and Alcott’s story both undergo surprising changes.

What would you do if you ended up in your favorite book?  Would you change anything?  How would you leave your mark behind?

***My copy of Little Women and Me is up for grabs this week.  Simply leave a comment below (before 12/9) and you will be entered into the giveaway.***


24 thoughts on “The Secret Lives of Books

  1. Janelle Madigan

    Hmm…I don’t think I’d change a thing. My fave book of all-time is Jane Austen’s “Persuasion.” I love just being a fly on the wall. The book has understated pathos, but it’s so darn funny. I love that scene when Admiral Croft discusses moving all of Sir Walter Elliot’s mirrors out of the dressing room–because, really, how many mirrors does one guy need?

    Anyway, I just went wayyy out on a tangent. I’ve never been much for the “choose-your-own-adventure” style and don’t know if I could ever rework a classic. But if I ever wound up as a character in any book, it would be “Alice in Wonderland.” Who wouldn’t want to fall down the rabbit hole?

  2. Wendy Terrien

    I definitely wouldn’t change anything in any of my favorite books. I love the magic that has already been created. That is not to say that I wouldn’t like to *be* a character in some of my favorite books. Drop me in there and I’ll happily enjoy the adventure. 🙂

  3. Pat O'Dea Rosen

    I love the premise of Little Women and Me, Coleen. If I ended up in the original Little Women, I’d try to save Beth’s life. (This will be difficult as I don’t know/remember what disease killed her. Still, I have faith in modern medicine.)

    The movie, Lost in Austen, drops the modern-day heroine into a Jane Austen book. Fun.

  4. Tasha Seegmiller

    I would love to have just spent time with Jo. I love her. But while I was there, I wouldn’t have let Beth go help the German family that one fateful day. Then she could work in the school with Jo.

    Love the premise of this book.

  5. Fabio Bueno

    Great idea. I always wanted to be Tom Sawyer’s friend (not Huck, just myself) and share his adventures. Or maybe Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby. I like the fly-on-the-wall concept 🙂

  6. Karen McFarland

    Loved this Coleen!

    I would have to marry Mr. Darcy. I know, boring. But if I was living during that time period, I would’ve liked to be the Lady of the house rather than the help. lol

    Oh, I know, a bit snobby you say. Yes darling, and it’s time for tea. Pinkies up! 🙂

    Sorry, I’m a bit silly today. Please forgive.

  7. Diane Capri

    I find the idea of changing beloved books fascinating and first came across it a while back, Coleen. There’s a series of light mysteries featuring female protagonist Thursday Next that explores the idea that a bad guy can enter the world of books and change them. The first one is “The Eyre Affair,” giving this treatment to “Jane Eyre.” Good read, but decidedly different.

  8. Stacy Jensen

    I hope I wouldn’t change anything, but we know how meddling never ends well. I’m sure it wouldn’t for me or the book. I love that forgotten bookmarks site. Lots of fun and interesting treasures left behind.

  9. Catherine Johnson

    Gosh if I could enter a book I’d for sure go in The River by Patiricia Wastvedt and tell the protagonist not to go anywhere near the river at the end 😉

    I’ll have to check out that forgotten bookmarks site, sound interesting!

  10. Angela Orlowski-Peart

    I am a rebel by nature so it happens quite often that I wish I could just jump into the book and start changing things around to my liking!

    I definitely need to check out the forgotten bookmarks website — this sounds like something right down my alley! 🙂

  11. Tim L O'Brien

    What an interesting idea. Most of my favorites I wouldn’t change a thing. I would love to ride along with Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call in Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. Having read the novel I would know what dangers lie ahead and be prepared.
    I love the concept and will continue to dwell on this for a long time.

  12. Sheila Seabrook

    What an interesting idea, Coleen. I love the idea of forgotten bookmarks and have bookmarked the site. Every once in a while, I’ll pull a book from the library and someone has left something behind … usually perfume. 🙂

    And I would change Gone With The Wind to a happily ever after ending.

  13. Susanna Hill

    A question like this requires some serious thought! So many books and characters to choose from! I can’t answer right away 🙂

    I’m dying to read Little Women And Me! Little Women was one of my favorite books when I was little – to the point where I insisted I would name my first-born Josephine (I did not but you take me meaning :)) Did you like it?

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Susanna, I did like the book. I like time travel and fish out of water premises and it was fun to move thru the original story with the m.c. Plus mixing this century with that one made for some funny moments. I had to laugh when m.c. was asked to sing Onward Christian Soldiers (which she didn’t know) and she sang Miley Cyrus’s The Climb. 🙂

  14. August McLaughlin

    Ooh.. Fascinating books and questions, Coleen! I’d be scared if I ended up in one of my books, seeing as I write thrillers. 😉 As for my desire to change the stories, I wouldn’t change a thing in my faves. Books I’ve read and wished I, or someone, would rewrite, on the other hand… Hmm… Sounds like fun and a ‘real life’ thriller waiting to happen.

  15. Emma Burcart

    What a cool idea! When I was a kid I remember inventing a character for myself in the stories that I loved so I could actually be with the characters. There actually was a book that I read recently that I would want to change. I didn’t like the death of one of the characters. If I could go back and keep her alive, I would. It was just so cruel!

  16. Louise Behiel

    Fascinating question, Coleen. I’d travel b ack in time with the Heroine from Sun in the Morning, the Linda Howard book. I’d love to see the times the heroine saw – it would be wonderful

  17. Lynn Kelley

    That’s such a good question. If I ended up in my favorite book, I think I’d lose a lot of weight, starving, in The Hunger Games and The Good Earth! I wouldn’t change either. I love those book!

  18. Jessica Therrien

    What a great post and such a fun concept. Hmm…if I was stuck in my favorite book I’m not sure I would change anything. It’s my favorite book for a reason, right? lol…

  19. Margo Berendsen

    Now I’m a little worried about what things I’ve left behind in books!!! But this reminds me of a cool thing our local indy bookstore does: they encourage you to write your thoughts on a book down on bookmarks and leave them in books! They have a whole section of such “bookmarked” books you can browse through.

    That Little Women and Me book is right up my alley! (my alter-ego is LittleWomen21, since I have four daughters and dream of writing a Little Women for the 21st Century book someday)

  20. Patricia

    If I enede up in my favorite book – I’d be my favorite heroine, one that everyone loves to hate – Scarlett O’Hara. I’d be fiesty and frilly and I’d have a love hate relationship with everyone. I’d definitely change 1 major thing – I’d never fall for that Ashleigh Wilkes, I’d be slobbering all over Rhett Butler!

    I love your book suggestions above. Going to check those out.

    Thanks for a fun post!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmid

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