Dear Amazon,

No, I will not trade in "The Signal and the Noise", as you so enticingly suggest, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, and I think most importantly, I only bought it a month ago, and since as you well know I bought it in a batch along with an unhealthy number of books about Zeppelins, I have not even started reading it yet.  I may never read it.  It may be one of the books that, once recommended to me, sits on a shelf for the rest of my life adding to my general feeling of ignorant inadequacy that, I think we can all agree, makes me just that little bit more British.

Secondly, even if I had read it by now, there is every chance that I would wish to quote from it at some point in the future, or lend it to someone at random and forget who it was I lent it to, leading to a situation where I would embarrassingly ask someone in five years time if the copy they have on their bookshelf was one they borrowed from me, whereupon they forget as well and end up in an awkward stalemate where no one really knows the polite way out of this impasse, leading to us never speaking to each other again and avoiding each other in the street, which, I think we can all agree, makes us both that little bit more British.

And thirdly, if I were going to get rid of it, I would give it to a charity shop so it does some good rather than wasting my time selling it.  Given that I suspect it would raise something like a couple of pounds, and I would probably have to spend more than a few minutes going to the post office to post it, and it would sit on my desk for a few days making me feel even more of the aforementioned guilt before I even did get to the post office, plus the fact that it would be raining and I wouldn't have a coat that day when I finally gave in, it simply isn't worth my while.  Although I realise that having said that does make me sound like some kind of rich landowner demanding that other people do the menial work for me, and hence a little bit more riddled with guilt.  Which, I think we can all agree, makes me a little bit more British.

So, in summary, thank you for reminding me what a guilt- and angst-riddled person I am, and what a beautiful guilt- and angst-riddled country I live in, but I shall not be 'trading in' any time soon.  Either the book or the country.

Yours without any feeling of sincerity,

A completely anonymous customer strangely addressed by his first name in all your correspondence as if you knew about me or cared about me any more than a cat would.  If I had a cat.  Which I don't.  If I did, it would be sneering at me even as I type this.  Thanks for pointing that out.