Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ON BOOKS ~ BookCrossing...

Have you heard of this site? Have you heard of their concept? This is a new discovery for me although they have been at it for 8 years. It truly is a "novel" idea (pun intended).

Essentially - you take all those books you have lying around that you don't want anymore and release them into the world for random discovery. You register on BookCrossing and then you take that pile of books and register them one by one so that each of them is assigned a unique BookCrossing ID. Then you write that ID number on the inside cover of the book, include a little note with the BookCrossing website and set the book free.

The idea is that someone will come along and discover this book, pick it up and take it home. They will then go log on to BookCrossing and type in the book's ID number and add a note in the book's online Journal entry letting the system know where they are, how they came across the book, and even what they thought about it. Then they in turn will pass along the book and the process repeats so everyone can see the little book's journey through the world.

I have heard that only a small percentage of the books put out there on a "Wild Release" are actually ever journaled by those that find them. Better success is obviously found in a "Controlled Release" where you actually give the book to someone specifically and they then journal the book's progress before passing it along. But since I didn't have anyone wanting to take the random books in my collection off my hands I decided to try a Wild Release.

I felt like I was part of a secret society plotting where I could release my book incognito. When we decided to try out this breakfast place a co-worker had recommended I thought that might be the perfect spot for the release. When we got there the line was quite long. Any place where people are forced to wait is a good spot for releasing a book. The problem was that the benches were occupied with people - waiting of course. There wasn't a spot for me to sit and I really didn't think it would be very sly of me to set a book down between random people and get back in line. I could see it now - "Excuse me Miss (because I certainly can't look old enough to be called ma'am) but isn't this your book? What kind of a weirdo are you slinking up to me and sticking your book next to my leg?" So I decided that it would be best to try the drop on the way out.

All through the meal I had to cram the book in next to me on the chair because we had the smallest table possible - or at least it shrank in size from all the plates of delicious breakfast items we ordered. So after stuffing ourselves sufficiently we had to waddle our way out the front door past the waiting area - even though we were parked right outside the back exit. As it was close to closing time there weren't any people waiting any longer so I threw the book on top of the newspaper pile and hightailed it out of there before the hostess came chasing after me waving the book in her hand saying - "Excuse me Miss but it appears you didn't notice your book fly out of your hand onto our bench!"

Thus far, no one has gone online and added themselves to the book's journal entry so I don't know what has become of it. This makes me sad because now I am worried that it is languishing in a Lost & Found bin underneath the register. But then again, maybe a really old Grandpa picked it up and doesn't understand what a website is but really likes that he scored a free book at breakfast. Oh well. I've got more to release into the world and am headed off for a long weekend to Rhode Island - maybe the people there are more web savvy readers.

You can release your own books on BookCrossing, or you can go there just to find where books were released recently in your area and "capture" yourself a freebie. C'mon - you know you'd rather feel like a Special Agent tracking down a book in the wild instead of going to the library. Who doesn't like a Scavenger Hunt?


Catherine @ The Blonde Diaries said...

That is a neat idea. It is similar to the Where's George? website that is set up for dollar bills. About once a year I receive an email with an update on my 2 dollar bills that I released in 2005.

I'm going to register a book to leave in the cruise ship library next month to see what happens to it.

lareine said...

wish there's something like that here... although i'm a bit of a pack rat so i might find it difficult to let go of a book... unless it's a bad one... but then, if i give away this "bad" book, i don't think anyone would be interested in it, right?... well, who knows, liking a book is subjective.... what i consider "bad" maybe "good" to others...

in any case, enjoy your long weekend :)

Square Peg Guy said...

I've heard of BookCrossing. But we usually just donate our books to the public library for their annual book sale. Once we've read a book, we either want to keep it, or we don't want to think about it again.

I do maintain a listing of books I've read (or own) on LibraryThing.

BTW, I awarded your blog the "One Lovely Blog Award"

Please visit my link to receive it:



kayerj said...

I'll check this site out, thanks for visiting while I was gone--and yes I have finished watching season 5 of Lost. But I think I need to watch it again

Penny said...

What book was it?
This sounds lovely. I am always reading and I would love to pass books on that really touch me.

Thanks for the link!

ps. who's your fav. player for the Sox?
I am partial to Jacoby :)

Anonymous said...

I have heard of people doing this with a one dollar bill but never with books. It a very interesting idea that I think I will have to try.

Scent-sationally yours,

Unknown said...

I've heard of bookcrossing before and have got a few books which have been registered with bookcrossing via bookmooch. I've never tried to release one in to the wild before though!

I can imagine having similar problems to you lol!! I hope your book turns up somewhere interesting.

Lauren said...

I love that site! I discovered it a few years ago and have participated twice. My favorite moment, however, was in Paris. I was staying in a hotel and happened upon a BookCrossing book (totally accidental!) that traveled from Amsterdam. How cool is that? I brought it back to the states and then let it go.