Jack Knox: Naked selfies a first among book-sale finds

Jack Knox mugshot genericThe good news for the Victoria couple wondering where their naked selfies went: We found them.

The bad news: One of you has a suspicious mole you might want to get checked.

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Just kidding. There was no mole. But a Times Colonist Book Sale volunteer did find nude snapshots at the bottom of a box of donated books — hiding under the covers, as it were.

All manner of weirdities emerge when volunteers unpack the cartons of books donated to the annual charity sale. Over the years, book sorters have stumbled across everything from brass knuckles and a fruit pie to an FBI fingerprint kit and the now-infamous urn of cat ashes that still drifts around the TC newsroom (no one has the guts to chuck it out for fear of triggering some sort of Stephen King Pet Sematary curse). On Tuesday, somebody opened an entire box of metal and glass serving dishes.

The odd bits are in addition to all the bank-notes, love letters and old photos forgotten in the pages of the books themselves (got to love the Sock It To Me shirt of the kid in the 1969 class photo accompanying this column). Those are common.

The nude pics are a first, though. Never before in the 22 years of the book drive have Adam and Eve shown up. No, the images won’t be for sale with the rest of the contributions. I tossed them in the trash, my cheeks turning as pink as, well, those of the couple in the pictures.

Plenty of other, more conventional treasures will be on offer when the hundreds of thousands of donated books are presented to the public at this weekend’s two-day sale, though. Among the more intriguing titles discovered this year:

• A copy of The Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, inscribed to Emily Carr by E. Nicholles on Christmas Day, 1905.

Nicholles was the married name of Carr’s older sister, Clara. A relation?

That book will get set aside until someone brighter than we are tells us what to do with it.

• Ditto for a signed copy of Sir Edmund Hillary’s 1955 book High Adventure

• The Love Poems of Karl Marx. Who knew?

• A 1958 Playboy magazine featuring Jayne Mansfield

• A braille Hebrew-English dictionary, in looseleaf binders

• The British Olympic Association’s official report on the 1932 Olympics

• The Cannibal’s Cookbook: Recipes and Remedies for Human Sacrifice made me think of the lyrics to I Ate My Fiance (“She gave me heartache/she gave me heartburn, too.”) It’s described as a book about the human condition, though you might want to take that with a grain of salt.

• Fifty Things That Might Kill You: The Self Diagnosis Deck for Hypochondriacs comes in the form of removable cards in what looks like a pack of smokes.

• As a counterpoint, Kill Or Get Killed is exactly what it sounds like, an instruction manual on the various ways of doing people in during close combat. Apparently the U.S. Marine Corps uses it. No, we’re not selling it.

• A hardcover Vancouver Island phone book had a purchase price of $5 when published in 1909.

• The campiest title competition came down to Bimbos of the Death Sun, winner of the 1988 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best original paperback mystery, and the zombie romance The Undead In My Bed.

• Knit Your Own Royal Wedding sounds like something that should be done with the hair of one of your 22 cats.

For those looking to discover their own treasures, the sale goes this Saturday and Sunday at the Victoria Curling Club at 1952 Quadra St., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

The books are cheap: hardcovers $3, softcovers $2, pocket books and children’s books $1. Payment is by cash, debit, MasterCard, Visa or American Express, but no cheques.

Once the sale is over, representatives of schools and non-profit groups can help themselves to the remaining books, for free, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

The sale has raised more than $5 million since it started in 1998. As usual, all the money raised will go to education and literacy programs on Vancouver Island.

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