A Book Exchange is No True Crime

I don’t think that the whole time I was in London I ever came across a book exchange. In fact I would sometimes go to the Southbank and wander hopefully to find one of those famous book crossing exchanges, all to no avail. I am sure there were some book exchanges somewhere I just never seemed to find them. So imagine my slight glee when I was doing some Christmas shopping a few weeks a go and had just rested my weary legs in a café and saw this sign…

Yes, a book exchange not too many miles away! Naturally I had to go and scour the shelves which were brimming and there were two titles that I instantly wanted, yet I didn’t feel without bringing two books back myself I could actually take them. So I had to go back the very next day, well how could I wait, with a few books (it was actually four) that I could leave to find lovely new homes and scooped up two books that looked a little bit different but right up my street.

‘Victorian Murderesses: A True History of Thirteen Respectable French & English Women Accused of Unspeakable Crimes’ by Mary S Hartman possibly has the most impressively long title I have seen for quite some time and with my obsession with all things Victorian this should be a great read. More of a risk/rogue choice however is ‘A Death in Belmont’ by Sebastian Junger which is also none fiction and also based on true crimes, in this case The Boston Strangler, maybe I will be heading for lots of true crime reading in 2011?

Do you have a local book exchange? Have you ever come across a book crossing novel anywhere and which book was it? Any true crime novels I should hunt down as it now seems that I am subconsciously craving it!?!

18 Comments

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18 responses to “A Book Exchange is No True Crime

  1. We have a local book exchange. I was excited about it at first but sadly I rarely find anything good there; a lot of very beat-up children’s books, novels with their covers slashed (so they can’t be resold) and very old medical texts. It seems like just a dumping ground. I haven’t gone in ages because it was too frustrating. Sounds like yours is a great resource, though!

    • The selection wasnt vast at this exchange BUT I don’t know how well they advertise it. I am going to keep popping back there though and checking… the fact they do wonderful lattes and cupcakes certainly helps.

  2. Annabel

    Lucky you – I’ve never found a book-crossing book or exchange.

    The only true crime novel that springs to my mind is a classic of the genre – ‘In cold blood’ by Truman Capote, plus isn’t there one about Gary Gilmore by Norman Mailer?

  3. there is a book exchange run in sheffield during book festival in november must try and get this year missed last year ,all the best stu ohg great book choice simon

  4. This website shows the Official BookCrossing Zones for the whole world, not sure if its completely up to date but seems like there are two in Manchester
    http://homepage.mac.com/pachydomo/England.htm#Gman
    I find there is one near me with old tat on it that never gets changed, and actually has no bookcrossing books on it just random stuff people have left, and another one that changes regularly and has so great options.

  5. Dot

    I have never come across a Book Exchange but I would very much like to, such a good idea!

    • I wonder if you could start one with a local cafe or something? I once passed a cafe that had books it gave away through some publishers and came across Dan Rhodes for the first time which was brill.

  6. I don’t know of any book exchanges where I live, but some years ago I came across a book crossing book in Paris – I was really excited when I found it 🙂 It was about a British guy moving to Paris, so it was a great read for a foreigner like me.

  7. m

    I’ve only once found a book-crossing book and it was a treasure, Elizabeth Taylor’s The Sleeping Beauty – a couple of years ago when I had only just discovered Elizabeth Taylor and was very excited to find it. And it was a Virago edition with the highly-desirable Winifred Nicholson cover. But in the spirit of book-crossing, I felt obliged to release it later in a local cafe … and, of course, never heard how it fared on its travels.
    As the book exchange where I found it was miles across London, I did wonder how best to release it in the hope that it would be found by someone who had loved it as much as I did. Should think in most public places, books simply get disposed of as lost property.

    • I really must read some Elizabeth Taylor this year, I have been told by many people that I really must give her work a whirl. I have recently got Blaming from the library so am looking forward to seeing if she is as much my cup of tea as people think she might be.

      Sad that you never heard what happened to the copy you found and passed on. My slight worry with something like book crossing is that I might not want to pass it on afterwards!!!

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