Sunday, May 24, 2009

Free Books! (Just comment).

"Releasing books in to the wild" is what Bookcrossing is all about. You assign your book a tracking number, scope out a release spot, leave the book there and wait. Sometimes a finder will journal on the book, sometimes its never heard from again. Sometimes it hops a plane to Paris, sometimes (to my great dismay) it gets rained on and thrown in the trash. It's a different way of thinking about books and book ownership. When I first heard of BookCrossing I thought: "Oh, no way could I EVER let go of my books! They are a PART OF ME!"

I collected books. I read so many, it was a type of pride to have shelves packed to the brim, double and triple layered. I "knew" where each book was, in each shelf, at least approximately. I log the books in a journal with a rating system.

Here is an "infinity bookshelf". My bookshelves aren't as stylish, but sometimes it felt like they held an infinite number of books!

And so the idea of leaving one on a park bench, with a sticker on it stating "I'm not lost, I'm free!" was a smidgen less than horrifying.

My virgin release: I tried releasing a book I didn't enjoy much, to see what it felt like, this "releasing books in the wild". The book was "Look Homeward Angel" by Thomas Wolfe, and I left it in the frozen pizza section of the grocery store. I had written all over it that this was a free book, take me home, etc. Oh the thrill! The adrenaline! I lurked at the top of the aisle, then realizing a watched pot never boils I went home. The next day I returned, it was still there, I moved it to the tomato bin. I never heard back. One learns. Stores are not great release spots. People think they are stealing. Employees throw out merchandise that doesn't belong there.

I've scoped out better spots by watching and waiting. Post offices, by the weighing machine? Great spot. Contrary to what one might think, crowded public places like festivals? Not optimal. Perhaps people are worried someone's watching them, and again, feel like they are stealing or are on Candid Camera. Doctor's offices waiting rooms? Wonderful spots!

Here are some journal entries from finders that prove this is a fun, educational, positive-karma type activity you can do:

I joined BookCrossing when my shelves got so heavy they threatened to break. I believed I would lighten my load by registering and releasing books. Lo and behold, after eight months of releasing books (I have released a total of 190 books) I have more books than ever. I guess that saying "you've got to give it away to keep it" is true. What happens is that other BookCrossers start sending you books. Boxes of books. Books on your wish list, books you've signed up to read on the website, books to welcome you as a newcomer, and books to release in your area. I cannot release them fast enough, nor can I read them all. My "to be read pile" is more like a mountain than a pile. I started going to library sales, yard sales and Goodwill's and buying cheap books just to release them and help with BookCrossing's mission to "make the world a library".

So in the spirit of BookCrossing, post a comment with your address and the type of book you like (sci-fi, thriller, romance, biography, memoir, literature, fiction, etc) and I will send you a surprise book. The only catch? You must "journal" it at when you receive it, and again IF you release it into the wild or to a friend. So two journal entries total. That's the whole "catch". BC is spam free, and you can journal anonymously without giving out any personal info. Of course, I will not post your address in the comments here either. At some point, when I decide I've spent enough in postage, I'll close the comments on this post. But not for awhile, I've got to make some space for Charlie. Oh yea, BookCrossers have decided to send Charlie children's books as a sort of "bookCrossing shower", so here we go again..... I love it! It's a great community. If you decide to join, tell them Mikavr sent ya.

PS BookCrossers have a great sense of humor:


Adopting1Soon said...

Charmaine, I do happen to have a Grisham with your name on it. I'll get it in the mail this week. You're welcome!

Adopting1Soon said...

One cookbook coming your way :-)

Adopting1Soon said...

One memoir coming our way (I have a great one in mind! I gave it 5 stars out of 5)

Adopting1Soon said...

YOUR way, Harmony, sorry keyboard has been dying a slow death...

Camil2 said...

That video was hilarious! I love this idea. Okay, I'm looking for 20 Things Adoptees Want Their Parents to Know (something like that) or a good memoir.
PS It takes me awhile to read a book, with kids and all you just wait ;-)Som be patient with me.

Adopting1Soon said...

On the way....

Liz said...

How fun! Found link on CHSFS forum. I am a big r... How fun! Found link on CHSFS forum. I am a big reader, but will be happy to switch to children's books when my baby comes home! I love all types of books, not picky!

J-Momma said...

i'd love one! either a good memoir or fiction novel would be great. you should still have my address. email me if you need it again.

i've been meaning to ask, why did you ask me all those questions for the prize if it was a book. just curious.

p.s. name is __________ (i noticed the package was addressed to j-momma, which made me laugh)

Adopting1Soon said...

I sent the book after asking the questions becasue the stuff I had didn't seem to fit your answers. Like a long necklace, when you don't wear them, etc. It just seemed the baby book fit your life better. I'll get that novel in the mail to you soon :-) Glad you're playing!

Yarntangler said...

I too am a Bookcrosser and love to find odd places to release books. We left a mystery about a missing skeleton sitting on a phony coffin last summer at 1880 Town in South Dakota. Rest areas and benches at tourist spots are great places to leave them.

But mine rarely get journal ed once they leave home without me.

Yarntangler said...

We are also Book Crossers. Finding fun places to leave them is always a game we play. Hubby left a mystery about missing skeletons on top of a phony coffin at 1880 Town in South Dakota last summer.

As full time RV travelers we've found rest areas and benches at tourist spots are great places to leave our books.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I would love to receive The World Without Us. Thanks in advance for your generosity and congratulations on your upcoming adoption of your beautiful little girl.

All the best,