October 30, 2012

Indiana library finds a gun inside donated book


An Indiana library employee found a gun inside a book donated to the library.

A “historic looking” handgun was found inside a hollowed-out book at a northwest Indiana library last week, reports the Northwest Indiana Times. The book had been donated to the Valparaiso branch of the Porter County Public Library, and because the library receives thousands of donate books each month, records aren’t kept, so there’s no way of knowing who dropped off the book.

The book in question was a copy of Outerbridge Reach by Robert Stone, a “towering story about a man pitting himself against the sea, against society, and against himself.” The library employee who opened up the book got a big surprise upon finding that it had been hollowed out to make room for the weapon. Assistant Library Director Phyllis Nelson told the Northwest Indiana Times, “Somebody just opened it up and said, ‘Oh my.'”

Nelson contacted the police, who determined that the gun had not been stolen; it’s a .31-caliber, single shot, black powder handgun, gold with a wooden handle (see photo). Somewhat surprisingly, it’s not the first gun to be found in a book donated to the Valparaiso library—Nelson says that the same thing happened twelve years ago.

Again, there aren’t any records of who donates books, but to me this seems like the handiwork of Ron Swanson. Given his love of firearms, hostility toward libraries, and Indiana hometown, everything just seems to add up.


Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.