Friday, 6 August 2010

Bookcrossing in a nutshell

I'm a keen bookcrosser, both as a way of disposing of books that I don't choose to sell but also as a way of passing on and sharing my own beloved books.  Lets face it we cannot keep them all, interesting and treasured as they may seem.  Somehow registering them online and releasing them does not seem too much like losing them at all.

I currently have my own bookshelf, Long Neck Books to look after.  Released books were up to 1,500 the last time I looked.  I have been releasing books for old school friends too, who have been passing on their recently deceased parent's books.  Actually the bookshelf that takes more of my time is the one that I have set up at the Kiosk in South Norwood Park & Lake.  The park is a beautiful one in South London.  I hope that the South Norwood Bookcrossing Zone adds something to the park, I certainly believe it does.

For anyone who has not heard of bookcrossing, here are a few words in a nutshell.  I am not sure who can be credited with writing this, certainly not me, but it does help to understand the whole concept.

Happy reading and sharing everyone!

what is bookcrossing?
BookCrossing is the act of releasing books “into the wild” and then following their journeys and the lives they touch. is the website that makes it all possible.

when did it start?
The BookCrossing idea was conceived in March of 2001, and the website was launched about four weeks later, on April 17, 2001. Growth the first eleven months was slow, with only about 100 new members each month. That all changed in March of 2002 with a one-page story in Book magazine, which started an avalanche of media attention that continues today.  The result of the great press and the novel idea is that now around 350 new BookCrossers sign up at the website each day.

who is doing it?
The 287,000+ BookCrossers who have registered 1.37 million books (as of September 3, 2004) come from all age and demographic categories, the largest being women age 25-45. Membership at the website is free, so all that is required is access to the internet and a love for BookCrossing.

where are they doing it?
BookCrossing is a global phenomenon, with members from over 150 countries from Antarctica to Zimbabwe. The United States leads the way, followed by Canada, the UK, Australia, Italy, Spain and Germany. Books know no geographical boundaries, and are often released at overseas travel destinations.

how does it work?
BookCrossers register their books at the website so that each has its own BCID BookCrossing ID number), which is used to “tag” or label the book inside the cover. People who “catch” a wild book follow the instructions on the label to go to to see where the book has been and to make a new journal entry so that other BookCrossers know it’s in good hands.

why are they doing it?
BookCrossing combines serendipity, adventure, altruism and literature in a unique mix that true bibliophiles find irresistible. With its similarity to releasing messages in a bottle, or notes in helium balloons, BookCrossing harkens back fond childhood memories. With its connection to literacy, BookCrossing makes an ideal activity with which parents and teachers can encourage children to appreciate both reading and sharing.


No comments: