I Found A Diary In A Pile Of Used Books And I’m Terrified That The Story Of This Missing Person Is True | Thought Catalog

Pranks are all fun and games until something goes horribly wrong. But occasionally, the fun lies in not knowing which way things will go. We are working with GSN’s terrifying new game show Hellevator, to bring you a story about what can go wrong when a mean-spirited game goes too far. Catch the series premiere of Hellevator Wednesday October 21 at 8/7c.

30dagarmedanalhus / CC BY http://2.0 / flickr.com/photos/-dear-diary/5034427856/30dagarmedanalhus / CC BY http://2.0 / flickr.com/photos/-dear-diary/5034427856/

Before you say anything, yes, I’ll be going to the police. But I wanted to share this with you first.

So my local grocery store, it has this cool thing, see? Right as you walk out with your groceries, there’s this bookshelf. It’s not tidy or orderly but it’s cool, it’s a used book service. You can bring your own for others to read or you can grab one to take home, just stick a dollar in the jar for charity. Honor system.

I’ve snagged a few good ones, nothing super popular or anything but some good true crime stuff. Couple of old mysteries. Then… this.

I first noticed its worn, rosy pink leather with the word “SECRETS” debossed in faded silver. A lock hung uselessly off the side of the book, broken.

I’ll be honest, I thought it was a gimmick. “Secrets” was the title and it was clever marketing shit to get me to pick it up. I thumbed through it–handwritten pages, a pale pink ribbon to mark your spot–and decided to bring the thing home.

I already told you, I’m going to the police. But this is what I found inside, starting on page one.

March 11, 1991

Brad is gone and it’s all my fault. It’s been three days.

I know I flew off the handle. I said things I can’t take back but goddamn it he’s just such a jerk sometimes. We’re supposed to do that big-brother little-sister shit but that got old after we graduated high school.
Mom’s inconsolable. She keeps saying it’s just one of his pranks. “He’ll be back, Jennifer. He’s just playing one of his ‘games’.”

I know all about Brad’s “games”. He was famous for them as a kid and you’d think he’d grow out of it, a guy in his 20s with a job and car insurance, but no—Brad still found time to pour icewater in my shower or trap my deodorant in a jello mold. I don’t know why I moved in with him in the first place.

Yes I do. Because I don’t have the money for my own place.

But Brad was nice about it, at first. He said it’d be fun to live together. Even offered to take me out for my birthday. I should’ve known better.

Mom gave me this journal when I was a little kid. I found it when I moved, thought it was lame and didn’t really give it a second thought. Now that Brad’s gone, though, I feel awful and I thought maybe writing about it would help. Anything’s better than listening to the police talking to Mom in the kitchen, telling her that they’re still looking, but more than 48 hours has passed and those are the most important when a person goes missing.

March 12, 1991

Brad is still gone. He’s still not home. The police told Mom he’s probably just blowing off some steam, he’s a youngish guy and he might just be slumming it somewhere, getting drunk or hooking up.
They don’t know that we were already drunk when it happened. I should’ve told them that in the beginning, I guess.

I thought I heard stuff moving around in my kitchen last night but when I got up, no one was out there. The cabinet doors were open but maybe I forgot to shut them.
I haven’t been sleeping much.

March 15, 1991

Mom just sits in her bedroom and cries. She won’t come out and talk to me so I go back to my empty apartment. It’s a lot quieter without Brad.

Brad’s been gone for a whole week now. They’ve been putting up pictures of his face all over town. He’ll probably be on the news soon.

I’m trying to make myself write about what happened but it’s hard.

We’d been drinking, like I said. Wandering back from downtown because we were celebrating my birthday and we were both too smashed to drive. Got to this sketchy part of town and I knew it was Brad, he’d lead us there on purpose.

I told him it was shitty, he was a guy and he might think it was funny—one of his “games”—but us girls know the bad part of town at night and drunk is just a recipe for disaster.

He didn’t care. He said, “C’mon, let’s check out this building, I hear it’s haunted!”

That’s Brad for you. I’m drunk and hungry on my birthday, thinking we might just have a good time as brother and sister for once, and he leads me to an abandoned building at midnight.

I begged him not to go in but he went ahead anyway and I didn’t have a choice — if I didn’t follow him, I’d be alone, so I went in with him.

He shouldn’t have gone there. He shouldn’t have made me go.

I don’t feel like writing anymore.

March 17, 1991

I keep waking up in the middle of the night. Weird enough it’s the same time every night: 2:36 am. It’s probably just nerves but I feel like someone’s watching me.

Brad’s still gone.

March 18, 1991

Why did Brad insist on going in that building? Why couldn’t we have just had a nice time for my birthday?

I followed him into that building, this hulking monstrosity that was probably an old apartment complex or something, a place that no doubt wasn’t haunted at all but just an excuse for Brad to play one of his “games”. I mean, I should’ve known that, I guess.

He started running up the stairs. Taking them two at a time. I had to take off my heels to catch up to him and was scared the whole time like I might step on a hypodermic needle or something. This place was a real dump.

I almost fell down the stairs and that made me mad, I almost dropped my shoes and when I rounded the corner to tell him so Brad jumped out from behind a big hunk of concrete and yelled “BOO!” Like a stupid little kid.

Except it worked, I screamed and dropped my shoes AND my purse and they went tumbling down the broken concrete steps and Brad just laughed and laughed and laughed.

I got so mad. I started hitting him. I don’t think I would’ve been as mad if I hadn’t been drunk but I was.

He was laughing still, backing away and shielding himself with his arms while I slapped and shrieked that he was an asshole, he was the worst brother ever, he was a shitty person and a horrible roommate and the only reason I was even living with him was because I was too broke for my own place and if I had the money I wouldn’t bother to see him ever again.

Yeah, it was mean. But I meant it.

What I didn’t mean was for Brad to keep backing up while I swatted at him. I wanted him to stand there and take it but he kept laughing and backing up and all of a sudden he was gone.

He was there, right there in front of me, and then gone, down the open elevator shaft neither of us saw. Down all five floors. If I had to guess, it was probably 2:36 am.

I’m only writing this because my apartment isn’t so quiet anymore. Brad’s still gone but… he’s not.
I think he followed me home.

March 20, 1991

Okay, Brad, see? I’m doing it. I’m writing. Stop screaming at me. I can’t take the screaming.

When he fell down the elevator shaft I should’ve gone for help but I didn’t. I was scared, okay? I was worried someone would think I pushed him and I don’t know, maybe I sort of did, so I didn’t go for help. I covered him with rubble and debris and I left him there because I thought they’d find him and maybe think he got murdered for his wallet or something but they haven’t found him and at this point it’s too late to tell the cops or I’ll be implicated.

I can’t tell them, Brad, please stop screaming!

March 26, 1991

Brad wants me to go to the police but I can’t. I don’t want to go to prison. He keeps playing these pranks, stacking all my chairs on top of each other, turning all the pictures on the wall backwards, making the faucets run blood instead of water. It’s his stupid games but now they’re worse because he’s angry and now he has more power.

I hoped just writing it out would help but he’s not happy. He wants me to pay but I did, I paid just by being his sister. Something like this was bound to happen, you know? Him and his “games”.

I’m starting to get pretty scared but I don’t know what to do.

March 30, 1991

This is Jennifer I did it I pushed Brad

Brad is never coming back so I did what I had to do

Consider this my suicide note

Brad is gone and it’s all my fault TC mark

This post is brought to you by Hellevator – the terrifying new game show premiering Wed Oct 21 8/7 C on GSN.

I Found A Diary In A Pile Of Used Books And I’m Terrified That The Story Of This Missing Person Is True | Thought Catalog.Source: I Found A Diary In A Pile Of Used Books And I’m Terrified That The Story Of This Missing Person Is True | Thought Catalog

Repurpose Unwelcome Old Books

I am a book hoarder. I knew I had passed the collecting versus hoarding limit when I needed a second bookshelf for the non-ficiton books I mostly have not read yet. All those good intentions can’t last forever. So I have at least a dozen books about computer software which have not been relevant for awhile. Libraries and second hand bookstores do not want them – computer books in particular they tend not to accept at all. But, I can’t just throw them away! All that idealism that went into picking them for whatever project I had in mind. All that stuff I wanted to learn but didn’t finish… before it became outdated. 

Some books are just obsolete. 

Just because you can’t find someone who wants that old book about Windows ME, doesn’t mean it’s not worth more than the paper it’s printed on. There are people who would be glad to have those old books for art projects. Consider donating them to schools for children to use in craft projects. I’m thinking paper mache but I’m sure teachers working with young people could think of other uses. Artists working with paper could use the pages of your books for practicing, creating a mock up/ rough draft of a project – of cleaning their paint brushes. 

There is hope for your old books so stop keeping them all yourself. 

(Image from Good Housekeeping).

I Want a Vintage/ Antique Library Cart

First, you should know, they are far more expensive than you would expect. (I was surprised). A new cart is also very expensive, plus there will be some assembly required with almost all of them. I can do the assembly, but… I’d still rather have an old cart assembled by someone else long ago. I don’t mind some wear, authentic wear, not contrived to look worn and aged. Fake aging is too artificial. Besides, wouldn’t an old cart be much happier cleaned up and given a fresh coat of paint? I don’t want a sad cart.

This one was on a site from the UK. Even pricier but I really like the look of it.

This one was found by someone else and done over. I would rather have it painted a nice showy red – make it look glamorous.

I found a few vintage/ antique carts online. Most are too expensive once you consider the shipping and the dollar difference from anything in the US. Paying double the asking price just doesn’t seem fair. Even when they say free shipping, that doesn’t mean they will stick to it when it comes to me.

So, I will continue to poke around on the Internet from time to time and see what I find.

The best bargain I could find online for a new book cart was from Wayfair. The company is new to Canada (or at least new to me in Canada). They offer free shipping and likely it is free shipping when it originates here. But, why is the price so much different just over the colour? I like the plain silver better than the white or black. I just think it’s odd. It’s not an old cart though, so no history to it. Likely I’d have to put the wheels on, if not more assembly. So… it is tempting. I’ve begun trying to let go some of my books and the cart would help in sorting them. Plus, I could keep it for the books I use most often and whatever I have on hand in fiction to be read.

How to Turn Your Room into a Home Office

After getting divorced (after having moved to another country and then back home as well) I have a truckload of belongings and one room to my name. Clutter and chaos and a massive lack of storage space meant I had to part with a lot of things. I was able to store some away in the basement of the house I live in. However, that still leaves me living in a house where I only have the bedroom to use as my own space.

It’s not easy finding space for a home office and a home business. Often people aren’t running a business, but they have their computer and like to have a set up where it is easy to use all their electronic gadgets – like a digital camera, a printer, a scanner, possibly a fax and your recharger for the mobile phone too. That’s a lot of stuff to fit onto a computer desk. But, it can be set up in a corner if you don’t have a lot of clutter.

Treat Yourself to a Decent Computer Desk and Chair

I bought myself a computer desk. It has a shelf on top for the monitor and a shelf at foot level for the computer tower. I keep all the cables running down the backside and once in a while I give them a dusting off. The desk level is where I keep the computer mouse and the mousepad. (You should have a mousepad if you don’t already – they keep your mouse cleaner underneath).

I am currently sitting on the second of my computer chairs. The first wasn’t as comfortable as I thought it was going to be. Make sure you sit in any chair before you buy it. I also put felt furniture pads on the bottom of the chair legs to keep them from marking the floor or making noise when I pull the chair in and out. If a chair isn’t working out a week after you buy it, the store should let you exchange it for another.

It is a good idea to have a footstool as well. This lets you elevate your feet and will help your posture if you are going to be sitting in one place for a while.

Busting your Home Office Clutter

I don’t find it so uncluttered to have my home office set up in the same room I sleep in. But, I’m working with it – so can you, if that’s the space you have to work with.

Two things which are really important are to keep the two areas defined from each other and to stop any build up of stuff. This includes, but is not limited to, laundry, coffee cups, assorted paper, notes and notebooks, pens and the odd toothbrush.

I have been working on finding a space for everything and keeping everything in it’s given space. You may think that is easy, it is not. The paper clutter is the hardest to keep controlled. This is my area to work on all those little things and they soon pile up. I found a small filing cabinet and then I found a short plastic drawer tower (that’s what the manufacturer calls it). I have been trying to keep the paper in the file cabinet and the pens and paper (for drawing on or writing notes) in the drawer tower. I have them, one on either side of my computer desk.

I do have a scanner which is currently under a pile of paper clippings which I was sorting out this morning. There isn’t quite enough room for my scanner on the computer desk right now. I’m working on that. I took an old Mac computer from my sister which I wanted to explore and that is taking up space I really didn’t have to give away.

My cables for the digital camera(s) are on top of my desk. I want to get a hook which I can put up on the wall and then have them hang on the hook. This is a great way to keep them from being lost in the day to day clutter. It also helps prevent them being harmed from getting banged around or stepped on if they slide off the desk and onto the floor accidentally. You can even use a twist tie to wrap the cords so you won’t have them trailing down very far when you hang them up.

I do have a bookshelf too, which is for my non-fiction books only. I have them sorted by topic. I keep the fiction books in a mesh bag as I read each book it goes into the bag to be exchanged at the second hand bookstore. Not keeping every book goes a long way to helping keep clutter cleared up when I don’t have a lot of space.

Keep the Kitchen, Bathroom and Laundry Room out of Your Home Office

Last of all, I have two laundry baskets. One for clothes which are freshly cleaned and ready to be put away. Even if I slack off a bit, the clothes are still not being added to the clutter. The other laundry basket is for dirty clothes to be washed. Clothes are a big problem for clutter. Last winter I did my best to part with some of my clothes. I was surprised how hard it was to let go, even things which I have not worn in awhile for assorted reasons.

Also, I keep a container in the linen closet for all my shampoo, toothpaste and related bathroom things. I don’t like to keep my toothbrush in the bathroom itself. I think it would get mildewy. So it’s great having all those things in a small space of their own.

Another big thing which you should do for your home office is to keep all eating in the kitchen. I do have a coffee here while I’m working. However, I almost never eat food while sitting at the computer. It’s much easier not to have dishes and crumbs and crud on my keyboard and around my work area. Even if your keyboard looks not too gross, try picking it up and turning it upside down. Take a look at your computer mouse too. the bottom of it as well as the top. Clean the gross-ness you have wrought.

Rearrange Furniture to Suit Your Space and Your Needs

If you have more space than a bedroom you can do a lot more with your home office. For me, I have the computer desk on one side of the room and the bed and clothes closet and drawers on the other side. I also have two large storage containers with books, computer CDs/ DVDs and some hair clips, etc. One of these fits inside the clothes closet and the other sits at the bottom of the bed, like an old fashioned hope chest.

Don’t Forget Office Supplies

Office supplies stores can be a lot of fun to shop around in. Start out as a window shopper, looking but not buying much – if anything. Decide what will really be useful, what will fit in your space and is there assembly required (or extras to buy for it). For something like extra pens, pencil crayons, etc. You just need a place to put them. However, it’s nice to have a cork board or a whiteboard, some place to leave yourself notes, stick up magnets or fancy thumb tacks. You should also have a calendar.

What to do with your Old Books

It’s very hard to part with an old book, or a book you mean to read, someday. But, there comes a time for every book lover when the amount of books is a bit overwhelming and we need to narrow down the stacks of books just a little…

It is TOO easy to pile up an assortment of books. I confess, I’m a book hoarder. Once they stop being tidy, displayed on a bookshelf, you stray from being a book collector to being a book hoarder. That’s how I feel about it, for myself at the very least. I have books on my shelves. But, I have books in two large-sized storage containers too. Then there are a few stragglers on a dresser, in the dresser of another room… etc. There are more books than I can read.

For me the fiction books are not hard to deal with. I don’t keep any of them once I have read them. I used to keep some, favourites and those I wanted to read as part of a series. Now, I read them and remove them from my home. Otherwise, they just pile up – all too literally.

  • Could you Sell Your Old Books?
    Are you a book lover in need of some space? The best way to make space for more books is to let some of your old books depart for other homes. It’s not easy. But, you can sell your own books.

Get Rid of Your Unwanted Books (Make Space for More)

  • Recycle and repurpose old books into book art.
  • Donate your books to the local library or a charity.
  • Take your books to the thrift store or the Salvation Army to find new readers.
  • Trade your books at the second hand book store.
  • Exchange books with friends, relatives and co-workers.
  • Leave books for someone to find. (Like BookCrossing).

 Trading/ Selling Books to a Second Hand Book Store

One simple way to sell your old books is to find a second hand book store and trade them in for store credits. This is my first choice. I like knowing the book will be read again, recycled and reused. I also like being able to choose new books and getting a discount on them when I have brought in old books. This is budget friendly.

Some second hand book stores will not buy books. They will only trade for store credit. This is great for me because I love having a little credit left for the next book shopping spree I go on. Not everyone wants to buy more books though. So, check with the bookstore before you bring in a sack of books expecting to come out of the store with cash for them.

Also, if you want to sell books the store will only give about an eighth of the original cover price. If you are trading for store credit you can get a quarter of the original cover price.

Let Someone Else Find your Books

Keep Track of your Books Online (Don’t Buy Doubles)

 

The Dusty Bookshelf Challenge

I have too many books to make a list. I don’t want to spend that kind of time on making a list, it just leaves me feeling guilty for not reading the books yet. However, this year I have actually started reading some of the books. My unread books are mainly non-fiction. I read the fiction then exchange them for more fiction at the secondhand bookstore. It’s the non-fiction that pile up, full of good intentions and rusty dreams for my own might-have-beens.

I started this challenge for me. It’s a dream of mine to look at my bookshelf and say unequivocally and without exception, “I’ve read all those books.” And some of those books have been sitting on my shelf for a LONG time. Hence the name 🙂 I would love it if you joined me for my challenge! To make it fun, I’m going to have mini-challenges throughout the year (with giveaways!) to keep you motivated to keep reading those books! There’s also a giveaway for everyone who enters this challenge.

via Sign Up for The Dusty Bookshelf Challenge 2012! | Books: A true story.

The Art in Hoarding

I heard about the woman who was missing and later found under the stash of all her hoardings. I have watched the TV show Hoarders and cringed while thinking of my own collection of clutter and the dust bunnies I haven’t sucked up yet. But, I’ve also looked at photos of collections of clutter and been drawn to them. Things like bookshelves full of books, jars and jars of canned goods, collections of teacups and saucers, you get the idea. There is a beauty in excess.

This started me on an adventure to find others who have thought the same.

Flickr: Beauty in the Clutter
Flickr: Windowsill Art
Flickr: Little Things Belonging to Women – Feminine clutter.
Fine Particulates: The Art of DeCollection
Tumblr: If I Were a Hoarder
Tumblr: Bookshelf Porn
Matters of Style: Maximalists and the Art of Clutter
Design Sponge: Sibella Court

One interesting thing I found is the word maximalist.

Wikipedia says:

Maximalist is a quality of excessive redundancy oft exhibited by way of the overt accumulation of appurtenances that reflect current society. In other references the term refers to either the ostentatious displays of the extensive possessions of the super-rich or the obsessive collecting as frequently found in the behavior of garage sale shoppers who accumulate common household goods past reason.