I should have added this image to my post about English Books and Tea, but I forget. This is my cheap copy of Forever Amber (along with my interrail pass and my ever-present water bottle) on the Thalys high-speed train from Cologne to Paris.
I probably should have bookcrossed that book properly, really. I think I just left it in my hotel room in Paris. I bet a French chamber maid idly picked it up, flicked through it and threw it away. Or put it in the staffroom in case anyone wanted it. I'd like to think that maybe it was picked up by someone who was trying to improve their English and they now know what a Cavalier was. But I'll never know.
This is why I like second-hand books - I like the idea of books with a story behind them. I try to buy new books whenever I can, to support writers, but when I'm just too skint, or when I'm interested in a writer who gets very mixed reviews, I will often seek out second-hand books. They're also fantastic when you forgot to bring a book to work and you happen to work near four different charity shops.
I would love to know more about who owned second-hand books before me, and who will own them after me, which is why I think bookcrossing is a great idea. Shame I can never be bothered to actually do it. . . But I found a bookcrossed book in a pub in Dublin recently (I was there with some friends and was terribly antisocial for a few minutes while I read all the spines), and I took it home to read, so it is only fair that I should set it free when I'm finished with it!