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Readily Discarded Reads at 35,000 Feet

by Moderator January 2012 - last edited February 2013 by Community Manager

They say that books help to furnish a room - well, now they appear to be making a home for themselves in the seat back pockets of our planes too. A new study has today revealed the literary works of Lord Alan Sugar, Paul Gascoigne and Katie Price were the most readily discarded reads at 35,000 feet.

A survey of Virgin Atlantic’s cabin crew over the festive period left Lord Sugar’s opinionated autobiography The Way I See It: Rants, Revelations and Rules For Life topping the charts as the book passengers were most inclined to abandon onboard.


Alan Sugar's The Way I See It © Pan Macmillan

Alan Sugar's The Way I See It © Pan Macmillan


In second place is Glorious: My World, Football and Me which offers an insight into the mind of Gazza, one of the world’s greatest footballers, whereas glamour model and entrepreneur Katie Price made third place with her seventh novel, Santa Baby.

Virgin Atlantic’s President, Sir Richard Branson was also amongst the authors whose books were left behind on Virgin Atlantic aircraft as his latest book Screw Business as Usual made eighth place.

Here's the full countdown of Virgin Atlantic’s top ten list of books left behind on board its aircraft over the Christmas period:

1)      The Way I See it: Rants, Revelations and Rules For Life by Lord Alan Sugar

2)      Glorious: My World, Football and Me by Paul Gascoigne

3)      Santa Baby by Katie Price

4)      The World of Downton Abbey

5)      I Heart Vegas by Lindsey Kelk

6)      Twisting my Melon by Shaun Ryder

7)      May I have your attention please? by James Corden

8)      Screw Business as Usual by Sir Richard Branson

9)      An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington

10)   The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Other key findings from the survey of Virgin Atlantic’s 3,000 cabin crew revealed:

  • Over 20 copies of Shaun Ryder’s autobiography were left behind on Virgin Atlantic’s services departing out of Manchester to Barbados, Orlando and Las Vegas
  • An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington was found all over Virgin Atlantic’s route network but mainly on long-haul routes to Delhi, Nairobi and Australia
  • Passengers travelling to Las Vegas got themselves in the mood by reading (and leaving behind) Lindsey Kelk’s chick-lit novel I Heart Vegas
  • Business minded passengers travelling to New York, Tokyo and Shanghai passed the time by reading Lord Alan Sugar’s autobiography
  • Travellers heading to Dubai over the Christmas period got into the festive spirit by reading Santa Baby by Katie Price

Passengers who do leave items behind on board Virgin Atlantic planes can collect items from the BAA Lost Property Office.

Header photo by Marcin Wichary on Flickr.com

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Eleanor January 2012
Really funny that as an American, I have only heard of one of these books, "The Help", as it is by a U.S. author. Happy to have not heard of the rest. They sound right up there with "Booky Wook".
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Rob January 2012
Having seen this post just a thought - why doesn't Virgin Atlantic donate these books to local schools and charities?
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G_ January 2012
i wouldn't want anything with Katie price's name on it in schools
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Jono January 2012

Try reading Karl Pilkington's book.

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Carole January 2012
I'm sure they could donate them to the Oxfam shops. They would be happy to receive such a sizeable donation :)
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DebiMOir January 2012
Of course no one ever leaves anything by Sir Richard!
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Darren January 2012
In my experience, these days charities don't want books. Take up too much space and no money in them.
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Jono January 2012
Can't anyone see the sarcasm lol
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Lolly January 2012
Actually all charities have dedicated book shops and websites now in which they sell any books as donations. Also hospitals and hospices will want them too.
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LindsayMead January 2012
I work in a book store, love books, and I haven't heard of any of those books (except The Help, of course). Granted, the genre I read didn't even make the list. I could never ever abandon one of my books. No way. I giveaway or donate, but mostly they get a cushy spot on my shelf.

I image that these books do get donated. At every place that I have worked at, we kept items in the lost and found for about a year and then we give them away. I'm sure the airports do much the same.

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Sharayah January 2012
Walk into your nearest Barnes and Noble and tell me there is no money in books! The medium is experiencing a shift but there will always be money in books.
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Aa January 2012
Did you read the article? He's at no 8
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Emmie January 2012
They're American, so no.
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SallyDawn January 2012
Maybe not so much abandoned as read, enjoyed and left on board because who needs unnecessary stuff on holiday?
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gerard January 2012
Poor reflection on the onboard entertainment if people are reading Kate price;)
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I need this to mean something.
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Ksikizostawi January 2012
szczegółów na oficjalnym blogu Virgin. Tagi: Katie Price, książki zostawione na pokładach samolotów, Lord Alan Sugar, Paul Gascoigne,
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About the author: Maxine

Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.