Featured Question with Forrest Fenn and The Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt: Books on a Shelf

treasure hunt thrill of the chase

Forrest Fenn’s Unique Book with a King’s Seal

Hi Forrest,

Many photos of you in your office show your bookshelves in the background.  Out of the thousands of books that could have been chosen, how did a book get a place on the shelf?   Thanks so much ~ jenny


Hi back to you.

I’m comfortable with books and I spend most of my time now of days in their company. I designed our library around a 26′ x 14′ Persian rug, which is a 140 year-old Sarouk.

The right side of my library contains ethnology, archaeology, and anthropology research books. I won’t buy any book that doesn’t contain photographs.

The shelves on the left hold books that I think are special, and about 200 of them are unique. Many have signed bindings with letters, drawings, documents, or photographs tipped or bound in.

I am not buying books anymore so my shelves are pretty much set. Thanks for the question. f


forrest fenn books

Front Corner

The following are some snapshots of Forrest’s books I took while visiting Forrest, and I thought I would share them with this Q/A.  They show Forrest’s many books on the shelves and the great care he gives them.

Also to mention, in a previous post, Chatting with Forrest: His Office, I include how he defines the word ‘Unique’.  His definition is charming, and demonstrates just how extraordinary his collection of books is.  Treasures for sure.

While visiting, I enjoyed listening to Forrest share the many interesting and intriguing tidbits about certain books he had collected over the years, and what made some of them unique.

No matter what objects are of a collection, creating a unique collection is something meaningful, powerful, and true treasure.  The stories connected to those items, as mentioned in Life’s Treasures Found and Kept (guest post) are priceless.  Some may hold great monetary value, while others are great treasures from the memories or thoughts attached; that invisible line from heart to item.

I would love to learn more of some of your most unique treasures, if you’d like to share them in comments below.

But first, I hope you enjoy some snapshots of how Forrest’s Office is lined with numerous books and other items tucked within. It’s neat to imagine Forrest sitting with these treasures surrounding him, and writing the Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt.

Now, stories are being shared to fill shelves of our minds, each unique,  and I’m thinking if they were all written out, they would not all be able to fit on those of Forrest’s Office today.

How beautiful the stories grow.

forrest fenn treasure hunt his books

Forrest with some of his books


forrest fenn book thrill of the chase

Forrest showing us his books


forrest fenn in office

Forrest Fenn in Office


forrest fenn thrill of the chase treasure hunt

Forrest talking about a book


thrill of the chase treasure hunt

Glimpse at Persian Rug



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91 Responses

  1. GEYDELKON says:

    Thanks for the post Jenny and to you Sir, thanks again.

  2. jl says:

    I think your library with stock market investment books is more practical for us common folks. I did by treasure island here a while back because I had never read it. It is probably the oldest book I own now, if I remember correctly it was published in 1935 and was a bargain at 11.50.

    • nmc says:

      I thought the picture you’re referring to was of Jenny’s bookshelf?

    • Jenny Kile says:

      Oh that book of Treasure Island does sound like a deal, jl! A collection of books that I value the most are my mom’s Nancy Drew and Dana Girls books…… I love the originals. My sister got her Cherry Ames books.

      And then I have other books, one in German—so I have no idea what that one says, but no matter– they were my Dad’s grandfather’s.

      And my stock market books are very special..,although I invest, I’m not an official day trader, but that was one of my dreams when I was younger (16)- I had wall papered my room with the Wall Street Journal’s stock lists—- and once a month, I would throw a dart at the wall to pick a stock , choose a stock with research of my own, and watch a stock chosen by a professional. It was a game for me to see which would win the most at the end of the month…..dart, me, or professional. Amazingly, each, over time, won equally.

      I could go on…but won’t….lol….. lets just say…I love books…… and found Forrest’s collection so cool….

      • Anthony says:

        I also hated the Similarities.

        If sailor tales to sailor tunes,
        Storm and adventure, heat and cold,
        If schooners, islands, and maroons,
        And buccaneers, and buried gold,
        And all the old romance, retold
        Exactly in the ancient way,
        Can please, as me they pleased of old,
        The wiser youngsters of today:
        — So be it, and fall on! If not,
        If studious youth no longer crave,
        His ancient appetites forgot,
        Kingston, or Ballantyne the brave,
        Or Cooper of the wood and wave:
        So be it, also! And may I
        And all my pirates share the grave
        Where these and their creations lie

      • jl says:

        I just like reading them not so much collecting them. I do like anything that is old and maybe overlooked or neglected that is more deserving of a better home. Last night I found copy of Alice in Wonderland, I have never read that one so I picked it up at a bargain of 2 bucks at the local goodwill. So I got a book and goodwill made 2 bucks everyone’s happy snappy.

  3. nmc says:

    26″ x 14″? I’m guessing that’s a typo. Lovely library though. Who doesn’t love books 🙂

  4. Y Mangum says:

    26 x 14 = 364 – the total number of gifts in “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. Great post, Jenny!


    • Jeremy P. says:

      That seems like an interesting number, considering the number of days in a year and the peculiar wording of “I’m comfortable with books and I spend most of my time now of days in their company.”

      “books… now of days”… Book of Days.

      “He also thought it might have once held a family bible or a Book of Days.”

      I think Forrest is trying to drive us all crazy.

      • anna says:

        Jeremy, I hope Forrest is healthy and doing well. Nice to see recent photos of him looking hale.
        His comment reminds me strangely of JFK Jrs statement about his mother in the the company of her beloved books as she nobly fought disease.

        I would love to explore ff’s beautiful library with a guided tour. Just opening a few of his books would be a thrill for me.
        Be well sir!

  5. Jenny Kile says:

    Hi all, That was a typo…..now fixed. I apologize. The rug was to be in feet not inches…..My miss….

    • Jenny Kile says:

      It would be a beautiful rug for a doll house though! I want one!

    • The Wolf says:

      Not a problem Jenny, those hand repairs are allowed or is that a foot repair? 😉

    • Inohury says:

      Jenny, I apologize, the error/typo of (‘ feet) vs ” inches), was this typo forrests’ or your own. Meaning did he send it in error and it was clarified then fixed with his knowledge? If I may, who made the typo?

      • Jenny Kile says:

        Hi Inohury, I copy and pasted his answer with the error, and was later asked by Forrest to edit and make it the correct ‘feet’. ~jenny

        • Inohury says:

          Thank you, Jenny. I appreciate the clarification!
          Thank you for ALL YOU DO! You perform an invaluable service with your amazing mysteries!

  6. Sparrow says:

    Thanks Jenny and Forrest!

  7. HeadedDown says:

    That’s a Good question Jenny. Be great if someone would ask him if anyone has solved the home of Brown clue?

    • Ron Ricker says:

      Jenny knows the home of brown clue.I mean i think she does. If she reads her mail she should know.
      Can somebody please advise on how to link to images since there is no attachment support here?

  8. Spoon says:

    Wow, that is one beautiful rug. Thanks for the pics, Jenny.

  9. Ramona says:

    Thank you Jenny and Forrest. What an incredible office he’s created. I could spend days in there just looking at all the cool stuff. Fenn tequila, Fenn gin, and what about the book that says Marvin Fenn? What’s in those pages?

  10. pdenver says:

    Thank you for the “Featured Question,” Jenny and Mr. Fenn. Beautiful library. I wonder if Mr. Fenn has read every book in his library.

  11. 23kachinas says:

    The King’s Seal is very similar to the Great Seal?

  12. jl says:

    Who moved the bear spray?

  13. Kedar's Mom says:

    I found a pair of 1975 WTC brochures amidst a box of vintage maps, I bought them and a map of the Crazy Horse Monument from the 80’s. Paid 25 cents each.

    • pdenver says:

      Nearly 40 years ago, I came upon a four-plate collection, and they were not sold to the general public, so to speak. I think they were called/owned by the Ladies of the Civil War, or at least, something like that. They’re embossed plates and absolutely beautiful. I’ve kept them hidden in boxes while my children were growing. It may be time to display them.

  14. Homely Girl says:

    Love the story, Jenny. I have more books than shelves right now and am wondering which walls to cover. Some very old family treasures like an 1854 German Bible given to my great-great-grandfather when he left home for America. An old book of “receipts” with some very unusual medicinal cures is pretty interesting reading. Not quite so old, a huge book of poetry where I just read the entire Rubaiyat of Omar Khyam (a Brit’s translation) which Forrest quotes from/uses in his book.
    Thanks for letting me go on about “important literature.” : )

  15. Passenger says:

    I see “Flywater” about 10 books over from “Saddles”

    “The book now occupies a different shelf, closer to my view …”

    I wonder if ‘My View” by Robert Olander is the book next to it? ha. There is also “Rocky Mountain Rendezvous” a few over to the left. Might be insightful?

    • Passenger says:

      Forrest — Are we to assume that “Flywater” is now just as important at North American steel traps and Confederate muskets? Ha.

      This is what happens when you let the world into your home! 🙂

      Take care,

  16. ace 340 says:

    Impressive. I can carry all my books in two hands. Not counting maps and photo albums. Still have to read half of them though. g

  17. Ramona says:

    What are the yellow and blue dots on the shelves? Numbers?

  18. Grey Jedi says:

    Does anyone know what the flowers in the vase on Forrest’s desk are?

    • WiseOne says:

      My guess would be “heliainthus annuus,” common sunflower and the white ones look like alstroemeria. That’s one of my personal favorites because they last a long time. 🙂

      • WiseOne says:

        There’s also another name for alstroemeria… “Peruvian Lily.” 😉

        • WiseOne says:

          Alstroemeria flower is symbolic of wealth, prosperity and fortune. It is also the flower of friendship//

          • Grey Jedi says:

            Thank you so much for your response, WiseOne 🙂

            • WiseOne says:

              You’re welcome, Grey Jedi.
              The different symbolic meanings of Sunflowers are interesting as well. One never knows where ff might hide a hint or two… Now do we? 🙂

              • pdenver says:

                Hello WiseOne. Could the flowers be a hint or two? Perhaps they’re just a beautiful bouquet placed on his desk during the Fall season, being these blooms are from that season, to add a special touch to his library? 🙂

                • Buckeye Bob says:

                  What with the bear spray having been added for the recycled money auction, it seems likely the flowers are a hint.

                  Lilies and the
                  Fleur De Lis.

                • pdenver says:

                  Hello Buckeye Bob. If I’m not mistaken, I believe the can of bear spray has been on his desk well before the recycled money auction. Are those Fleur De Lis on his desk? I can’t tell. I’ve read Fleur De Lis are/form of lilies.

                • Buckeye Bob says:

                  pdenver, “Fleur De Lis” means
                  “The Flower Of The Lily”.

                  But I think there’s more to it than that.

                • jl says:

                  Just a little

                • Buckeye Bob says:

                  jl, you are a master of the understatement.

                • Buckeye Bob says:

                  pdenver, actually there’s a lot to this, as jl implies.

                  I wonder, since I think Forrest likes you quite a bit and since my internet is at risk for a lack of bank diligence (my check from a broker still hasn’t cleared)
                  if you might act as a messenger for me?
                  I just want ff to know that I have this figured out to go with the rest for as far as my eye can see.

                  This is a compliment to you, dear lady, of which you can’t fully realize at this point.

                  I’m sorry to sound full of myself, but the game is afoot and it’s just a lot of fun.

                • pdenver says:

                  Hello Buckeye Bob. I’m quite confused in what you’ve said and why you feel this way.

                • jl says:

                  Oh BB,
                  Be careful how you show your hand and don’t get too caught up with the game. It’s not how far the eye can see but to see what’s far with the eye.

                • Buckeye Bob says:

                  It’s nothing to worry about, pdenver.
                  I’m playing games a little and using your likeable self a little, all rolled up in a giant ball of string.

                  And I have to admit that my excitement gets me carried away, because this thing ff has built is pretty darn cool.

                • Buckeye Bob says:

                  jl, you said:
                  “It’s not how far the eye can see but to see what’s far with the eye.”

                  I’d like to apply that to the “mind’s eye” as well.
                  There’s a banana boat load of stuff in all of this that takes a long look with the mind’s eye to see.
                  I had to do the research, but it was my imagination that led me to the right course.
                  It was:
                  1) research something
                  2) thinking “I wonder if…”
                  3) finding links to those wonderings of ifs.
                  4) Then some more of that.

                  This is why I say that this things is so cool. And I am sure that I don’t have all the linkage figured out. I think this quest will offer research material in the times after the treasure is found.

                  ff spent 15 years on this, and he started it already with a brilliant mind.

                  I’m not highly educated or well read, so others may have an advantage.
                  But imagination is surely the key.

                  After that, it’s all effort.

                • pdenver says:

                  Hello Buckeye Bob. I spoke to my youngest daughter just yesterday about what I’ve learned since I began the Chase, and how much fun I’ve had doing so. It’s awesome.

                • Buckeye Bob says:

                  pdenver, I’ve learned a lot too. All while having loads of fun.
                  Every school should have a class that works like this, because it’s the best way to find out just where an individual’s interests are on top of learning a wide scope of basics and more.

                • Buckeye Bob says:

                  You know, had I known how much I didn’t know when I was in school, I’d have applied myself better.
                  Dumb ol’ me though.

                • pdenver says:

                  I concur. It would be wonderful if schools could do more hands-on learning, along with the traditional books. I believe by having physical contact, such as labs, outdoor exploration, etc., it would keep the interests of today’s children, and less drop out. My children’s high school once offered classes of how to build small engines, such as lawn mowers, etc., woodwork shops, etc., but the school has since dropped these classes and gone to technology and bio. Nothing wrong with the classes, but it would be wonderful to offer a broader assortment. I do not recall if it’s the same school district or another that offered hands on classes with local businesses. The students would get credit and experience, which may be a win-win situation for student, businesses, and society.

                • pdenver says:

                  Hello Buckeye Bob. You’ve made me giggle with your last reply.

                • Buckeye Bob says:

                  Around here we do have technical schools for high school kids to learn trade crafts. They spend half of each day there if they sign up. They do some great projects there, like making a gas grill out of an old oil drum, and it was beautiful after they got done.

                  But I’d like to see such things done early on, to spur the wide scope of interest because each person is going to be different.

                  Field projects are great. But it really needs to expand.

                  I met a girl from NY city once. She told me the first time she left the city was on her honeymoon. They passed a field of cows and her new husband asked her what those were. She guessed they were female horses. That’s just sad. (She was making this exact point, too.)

                • pdenver says:

                  Gosh, that is sad. I concur about the field projects. I was completely saddened and disappointed when my children’s school district discontinued having the 5th graders go to Outdoor Ed. It cost a little bit of money, but there were fundraisers to help out. The kids were gone for 4 days. My first three children were able to go, but it was discontinued before my last three were able to participate. I really wish they would bring it back. The children would love it.

  19. pdenver says:

    Hello Jenny. In the “Front Corner” photo, do you know the stories behind the other lures above the four (which were in a Scrapbook with the lure called “Pickles”…clay pot shelf and first book shelf), as well as, the bronze sculpture to the left of the other bronze sculpture Mr. Fenn titled “The Babysitter” from another scrapbook (fourth book shelf)?

  20. Crow says:

    Very nice and interesting. I like the seal. The cracked wax is a treasure. I inherited a seal kit many years ago. It has a candle the same color except it has tiny gold fleck mixed in. Who was the king? What was the year? Appears to be Spanish or related language. Good calligraphy. I recently learned to write with a large brush – Chinese! The writing of old works (word choice and script) make some unique for sure.

  21. Belle says:

    I could hang out there for quite a while just enjoying the scenery. His office is like a little museum.

  22. SL says:

    The Flyer has many stimulating ‘friends.’ I appreciate the magazine selections as well.

  23. BW says:

    In the photo ‘Forrest showing us his books’, wouldn’t you love to know what pages are tabbed in that book?

  24. Bailey says:

    Gorgeous pregnant bookshelves.

  25. jl says:

    Sure would like to flip the lid on the chest just to the right of the flowers, to see whats in there. It is at an odd angle, I wonder if it’s photo shopped.

  26. HeadedDown says:

    It’s incredible how organized he is. What do the blue and yellow stickers mean? And is that a sabertooth tiger? Did you make your own brand of alcohol? These are wonderful pics and there is so much to look at. And so many stories. I hope he writes it all down. Or records it in someway. Wow. Thanks for posting these.

  27. Strawshadow says:

    Thank you’s Jenny and Mr. Fenn,
    Words of wisdom are most appreciated.

    • JC1117 says:

      I’ll second that, Strawshadow.

      That’s a mesmerizing collection of books.

      I hope Jenny doesn’t mind me posting a link to a video that Dal Neitzel made with Forrest talking about his books.


      I especially get hypnotized around the 12 minute mark when Forrest starts talking about and showing some of his fore-edge painting books. LOL!

      I don’t know what it is…but I am fascinated by those edge painted books.

      Thanks again, Forrest and Jenny. Always fun to read…and look at the pictures. 🙂

      • pdenver says:

        This is a video I enjoy watching. The books are amazing. I never knew what the books were called, but remember seeing a couple when I was a child, and enjoyed seeing the drawings on the edge. I also remember books that showed a moving scene when slightly bending the pages and letting them fold out. Not sure if I did the description of these books any justice. Perhaps you’ll know what I’m trying to describe. I do like the book with the seal, which is shown in the video, as well as, which is shown above (the same book). To see and hold this kind of history is quite interesting.

        • anna says:

          I would enjoy watching Forrest discuss his book collection again. I was unable to get the video to open. Message said pay the owner

          • anna says:

            YouTube has the video – laud and clear. Absolutely loved seeing all those beautiful books, especially the fore edge watercolor paintings, and elegant quill hand writing of our past

        • JC1117 says:

          Hello, Pdenver and Anna.

          I’m glad you were able to find the video, Anna. I enjoy watching all of those fishing videos that Dal and Forrest made.

          Pdenver, I had one of those flip books in high school. It was an instructional book to demonstrate the proper technique for long jump. It was amazing to watch the hang time of that jumper flying through the air. And the slower you flipped the pages…the LONGER he stayed airborn. LOL! Such power…at my fingertips.

          That flip book “tech” is being used as a brilliant security feature these days.


  28. O Indulgence, Where Art Thou?

  29. Jake Faulker says:

    I was looking for a degree in ethnology & realized I already had it.

  30. pdenver says:

    I like your “Featured Photo Comment,” Thriller.

  31. anna says:

    Just curious… is there a reason the photo of ffs library shows sideways? of course it’s a nice arrangement on end with the omega arrow point parflech

  32. HeadedDown says:

    Shed a tear with me…

    • HeadedDown says:

      Mr Fenn, you’ve taken quite a stance against this humble nobody searcher’s opinion. I shed tears and wear my emotions on my sleeve. I blame the bud light and my mouth. But to each their own. I’m sure there are worse than little ole me out there. I can link some news articles if you would like. Just remember Gabriel hears. That Seems to have hit a nerve. I do not know why nor do I apologize. We are what we are. Just ask. I got the links ready. Lol 🙂 🙂 🙂

  33. SD says:

    One of my special treasured possessions is a set of carnival glass candleholders. About 4 years ago my mom divided up some of her things among her 5 kids. She collected carnival glass and each of us were given a colored set that fit our personality and preferences; mine was a pair of clear candleholders with a soft rainbow coating, very subtle but beautiful. I think the color is called marigold, even though the glass is clear, go figure. She went into the Father’s keeping later that year and the following year while wandering through a local “junk junkies’ mail” I saw a matching candy dish and of course bought it. An amazing find, as I could not find that particular pattern and color on any of the dedicated websites (and carnival glass fans are VERY dedicated, lol). So now it is a set. Wish I could have told her I found another piece to match those candleholders, she would have been so tickled, but maybe she knows. They are packed safely away at present, but looking at them brings so many memories and emotions of my mom, those humble little candleholders may be my most precious ‘things.’s

  34. Strawshadow says:

    Nice collection! My favorite book has drawings and pictures and is also signed. It’s a little abused from over reading but still a thrill to thumb through. Each time I read it I see something new that catches my I.

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