The Book Amnesty Service

2006 – 2007


Do you have a book that doesn’t belong to you?
Then you are invited to use the Book Amnesty Service

In a modest way this project aims to allow people to put something right. The Service provides a mechanism to return borrowed books to whomever or wherever they came from. This is done by the Book Amnesty Service returning the books by mail, with an explanation of the service, and an invitation for the recipient to make use of the service too. The Book Amnesty Service considers that everyone has a book that doesn’t belong to them and provides a mechanism to return it with a level of impunity.

The Book Amnesty Service came into being during discussions about books and magazines, and the discovery that some examples were not rightfully ours. We considered that after a time it becomes impossible to quietly right the wrong and own up to having something you shouldn’t. Sometimes one feels justified as the new owner, sometimes the story of acquisition makes the book more treasured and sometimes we forget, on other occasions we don’t care and would keep the book no matter what. In most cases the loss or gain of books is simply absorbed into our flow of possessions, but with this service we offer you the opportunity to return a book and maybe receive back one you’ve lent.

The Book Amnesty Service was realised in Copenhagen, 2006 and Manchester, 2007

The Book Amnesty Service was made by Lesley Young & Berit Nørgaard