Madrid: A hotel in the Spanish capital has created a library of books left behind by the guests.
Many travellers leave books behind in their hurry to catch flights or get to the railway station on time. The hotel has created a 250-book library out of the forgotten items.
The downtown Conde Duque hotel's collection includes paperback novels, travel guides and art books in English, Spanish, Japanese, Greek, Chinese, Dutch and other languages.
The wide variety of languages is due to the fact the guests of the hotel, located in the Chamberi district not far from Madrid's famous Gran Via thoroughfare, are mostly foreigners and business travellers who often carry books inside their luggage.
The eclectic collection includes a cookbook with traditional Roman recipes, a title about Michael Jackson's dance steps, the memoirs of Spanish bullfighter Jose Ortega Cano and handbooks of natural remedies.
Of course, the library's shelves also contain such expected volumes as bestsellers like Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons" and a variety of religious texts.
Indeed, one of the titles that attracts the most attention of visitors to this unusual library is a Spanish translation of "Book of Mormon" (a sacred text in churches of the Latter Day Saints movement) with a dedication inside the front cover.
The idea for the library emerged a year ago, when the hotel's sales manager, Paloma Cabranes, used a small vitrine to store roughly 40 titles that guests had left behind in the hotel's 143 rooms.
"I'm a big fan of literature in English and I asked the head of the clean-up crew to leave the books forgotten by the guests with me, but because the number of copies grew, I decided to put them in a vitrine so my colleagues and other guests could use them," Cabranes said.
Now that the library has expanded, some guests have begun to leave books behind on purpose to further enlarge the collection. One such individual is an employee of a hotel in Galicia who donated a book of poetry.
But others forget to return the books they have borrowed, especially the travel guides, a situation exacerbated by the fact the hotel has no system in place to keep track of the library's collection.
As many items other than books are also left behind, the hotel now is considering how it can make the best use of these.
"We're thinking about setting up a little market with the items that guests have left behind, like chargers for mobile phone batteries," Cabranes joked.