Have you ever tried bookcrossing, and if so, what’s the best book you’ve left, or found, in this way? Bookcrossing is a way of spreading books by leaving them in public places (for example, a park bench) for someone else to pick up and enjoy. The idea has been around for 10 years now, and there’s a website where you can follow the progress of your book (you have to give each one a special code, that the finder then fills in on the site, so it can be tracked).
I think it’s a fabulous idea, but sadly I’ve never come across a book, just sitting there, waiting for me to take it home. Then again, I haven’t ever left one anywhere either; I always feel like people will think I’m just dumping my rubbish in public, not depositing a book in a kind of virtual library! At the end of the day, though, it’s a great way to find new books that you would never come across otherwise; maybe you could set up your own ‘mini-bookcross’ in class.
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Macmillan Dictionary, John List. John List said: If I found a book on a park bench I'd be sad, thinking its owner had lost it. Bookcrossing post from @MacDictionary http://t.co/KLaAddS […]
BookCrossing is so much fun that I’m helping plan the 2011 BookCrossing Convention in Washington, D.C. You should join us 🙂 It’s so much fun seeing where your books will end up. And you get to hear what other people thought of the book as well. Usually putting a sticky note on the front cover explaining that the book is FREE not lost helps people know it’s not trash.
Just a few of my favorite releases & catches books:
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/204009/ My second book ever released was picked up and taken to France!
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/3794882/ Batman book went from Virginia to Mexico to Colorado and then to Michigan
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/7185125/ A book set in Turkey in 1999 was caught in Virginia by someone who went to Turkey in 1999. The book made it to Zion Park and then California.
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/6492319 Dinosaur book released by a dino skull went from VA to NC (enjoyed by a classroom) and back to VA!
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/6222573 Released by the pandas at the zoo, book picked up & read and then possibly re-released in the same spot!
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/6438915/ Picked up in Virginia and taken to Kenya.
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/7407376/ Boston to Salem to Ohio!
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/6650439/ Washington, DC to Virginia to Chicago to Germany!
I’ve been an active member of the BookCrossing.com site since 2003, and have released over 4,500 books over the years. Only about 10% of those generate further journal entries, though my experience suggests that almost all of them get picked up. Many of the journal entries I’ve received have been one line statements that the book was found or will be read, but every once in a while I get some surprising “catches” where the finder gets the concept and has something interesting to say. I’ve even had success releasing outdated books on politics: http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/2837821 However, one of my favorite catches came from a children’s book I released in Quebec about a year ago: http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/5928068
I’ve been a member of BookCrossing for 1 year, and have released over 100 books into the wild. I like to theme my book releases to their locations if possible. Here are some of my favorite catches I’ve gotten. All of the links include photos of the themed release spots
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8157971/ – My 2nd book release traveled to Canada! It was a Carrie Fisher book left at a Star Wars convention in front of a giant AT-AT walker.
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8160809/ – Cinderella book left in front of Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom, and actually caught by the Disney cast member who plays Cinderella, as well as some other Disney princesses.
Left a few books near the Star Wars ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that got caught…
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8171287/ – The Empire Strikes Back book traveled to Uruguay!
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8023213/ – Star Wars book traveled to Maryland, was read and released again there, and caught by another person.
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/7087410/ – In Cold Blood left in the Capote slot at a video store. I just liked this journal entry because the finder said it made their day.
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/7790853/ – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn left at Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom traveled to Missouri.