I wonder how many of you have discovered BookCrossing?
It’s an amazing social network for books and book lovers. If you have never found a BookCrossing book then just head over to their site at BookCrossing.com now and take a look and see where you can find some.
The basic idea is that you donate a book to BookCrossing, register it and put a sticker in it with a BookCrossing id. You then place it somewhere to be found (you can hide nearby and watch what happens if you are nosey!). When somebody picks it up and discovers it is a free book, they can take it away with them. This is known as a ‘controlled release‘. Hopefully the finder will set up an account, if they don’t already have one, and add your book to their journal by quoting the id from your sticker. This way you can see who has found your book and where it travels to. The finder can also rate and review the book.
It is free to join and use BookCrossing. If you want to support them you can make a donation or buy supplies, such as stickers for your books. You can, of course, print your own stickers to add to the books you ‘release‘.
You can also find and set up BookCrossing zones. Two or three cafes near to where I live have shelves where you can leave and take books. Members arrange social gatherings at these zones to swap books and chat.
I recently went to a BookCrossing Unconvention and met so many people, from different countries, who loved books and reading, and were also generous to pass their books along to others when they had finished with them. I can’t think of a nicer bunch of people to spend time with and have made lots of new friends.
Give it a try, free books and new friends. What’s not to like?