Monday, February 21, 2005

Books in the Wild

If you are a reader, this entry is for you. I have discovered an exciting new hobby called BookCrossing.

Here's the premise...we all buy lots of books and read through them and then stick them on a shelf. Maybe we recommend them to a friend and hand them over, or possibly we see them sitting there a few years later and pick them up for a quick read like a conversation with an old friend. If you think of it, you might leave you book behind in a public place for someone to find, but usually books end up in the bottom of your bag, and ultimately you have stacks of books at home that you enjoyed (and some you threw across the room), and your forget about them until you're forced to pack them in a box when you move and you realize you're going to spend an additional $200 on movers due to heavy, bulky book boxes.

WELL. NO MORE!

BookCrossing is a way to make your reading double as a public service. It's an organized group of folks who "Read and Release." Now when you start a book, you register it online to get it an ID. You put the ID and some basic BookCrossing info in the cover, and then when you've read it you leave it anyplace you can. It's important to log onto the website to let it know that you have released a book and where you put it, and maybe even write a review. Why? For tracking...

Eventually, someone comes along and picks that book up. There are lots of notes left behind (by you) encouraging the new reader to sign online to let you know that the book found a new home. The notes also encourage readers to pass the book on when they're through with it so it can continue to see the world and meet interesting new people.

Your reward...you're spreading good (or perhaps bad) literature, essays, poems, and theories throughout the world. You've tagged your book, so you get to follow it's progress as it makes new friends and influences people. And, when you need a new book you can always go hunting...the BookCrossing website shows you when and where books have been released into the wild in your area, so when you don't feeling like heading to a library or a bookstore, you can head into the world to hunt down a recent release from a fellow BookCrosser. (And you don't even need a conceal and carry permit.)

There's a link to the right. Check it out. It's fun.

And Happy Hunting.

2 comments:

lulu said...

Mindy,
This is so cool. I just joined and released a book into the wilds of Chicago this morning on my way to work (Starbucks) Now I have something to do with all the books on my shelves that are just gathering dust.

cool.

Melinda June said...

Lulu, I KNEW you'd love this. So glad you joined! Spread the gospel.