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You can't take it with you

Alastair Campbell’s memoir The Blair Years, about his work as communications chief for former British prime minister Tony Blair, has topped a list he would probably rather it hadn’t. The hotel chain Travelodge reports that it is the book most frequently left behind in rooms by its hotel guests this year, according to a story in The Guardian. Tina Brown’s The Diana Chronicles came in at number six and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at number 10.

Over 6,500 books are left behind in Travelodge hotels throughout the year and are either returned to customers or donated to [the] local charity shop.

It is unclear whether the books are read before being abandoned or are simply discarded out of boredom. However, most of the books on the list are hardbacks and many are heavy tomes – in weight if not in tone – which may offer some clues as to why holidaymakers choose to discard them rather than carry them on their travels. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows comes in at nearly 800 pages while [Jilly Cooper’s] Wicked is pushing on 900. The reasons for the frequent abandonment in Travelodge hotels of Paul McKenna’s I Can Make You Thin can, however, only be a matter of speculation.

Quillblog wonders if Campbell, who resigned in 2003 after the storm of controversy over a “sexed-up” document about the weapons of mass destruction Saddam Hussein was thought to possess, believes in the adage “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”