One of the saddest books I have ever read, I think! Along with 'Birdsong' - Sebastian Faulks - this actually made me shed a tear. Love lost. Heartbreaking, but written in such a beautiful way, and I just LOVE his characters. I don't think I have ever NOT loved an Ian McEwan book! Read it.
SECOND HAND BOOKS!!! At the end of my street, there is a little independent bookshop called Badger's Books in Worthing, http://www.abebooks.co.uk/badgers-books-worthing,-west-sussex/3197387/sf that I visit almost religiously on an afternoon off. I have found some beautiful treasures in there - (see photos) -
Give me a second hand book over a new one any day - or a book with an inscription inside - I have been given some real beauties in the past, with messages in the front that I'll treasure forever. They are little pieces of history that sit on my bookshelf like old friends. A little piece of that loved person left with me. Call me sentimental, but I love leafing through my old books and finding notes in the margin or old bookmarks...
I always write messages in books I give as presents.