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The world as a library

The BookCrossing site is an innovative attempt to help distribute books in an ‘underground’ way – in some cases literally. The idea is that people should register their books with the site, and then, after they’ve been read, leave them around in various places for others to pick up and read. These people then can pass them on in the same way when they have finished.

The result is a sort of ad-hoc free library stretching across the world. It sounds great, and certainly people seem to be using it, but I wonder how many books will end up in airport cleaner’s waste bins, and also whether the standard book will turn out to be a holiday pot-boiler. In other words, I bet no one is going to leave their copy of Lord of the Rings on Paddington station, are they?

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