Long Lost Book

Return a long lost book to its original owner.

It's a random act of literary kindness that could reunite someone with a treasured book from their past and help to support a local bookshop at the same time.

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How it works

Firstly, you need to find a long lost book.

Any old book that has the previous owner's name written inside may be suitable, but if it also includes an address or general location it will be a lot easier to return.

Children's books are great for this, as many will have a "this book belongs to" section at the front.

Your local secondhand bookshop is the perfect place to find a long lost book. The bookseller will probably be happy to reserve any books for you which have interesting inscriptions.

Find the owner

Once you have a book, post the information about it on social media and ask people if they can help to find the original owner, so that you can return it to them.

If the book is extremely old, then clearly you will be hoping to return it to the descendants of the original owner instead, as a piece of their family history.

Please include the following hashtag ...


To help people find your post, include hashtags for any locations that the owner has written in the book. You could also tag local news sources, who may be interested in the story.

Support a bookshop

Returning long lost books is a great way to support your local bookshop.

Obviously, the most important thing you can do is buy a book from them. A secondhand bookseller will have lots of old books that contain names and details of former owners.

But you can also give them some free advertising when you post on social media.

Tell people where you bought the book, making sure to tag the bookshop. This will be valuable PR for them if your post is widely shared and will bring in lots of extra customers.


How secondhand booksellers can take part.

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