Wednesday, 5 December 2007

FULLY BOOKED

I'm probably the only person in the world who - up until a couple of days ago - had never heard of BookCrossing...


So well-known an activity is it that the compound word 'bookcrossing' has now been admitted into the hallowed halls of the Oxford English Dictionary.

There are, apparently, 614,115 people in over 130 countries who have not only heard of it and are busy doing it.

"Doing what?" you ask - supposing you are not one of those 614, 115.

Well, BookCrossers "share their passion for books with the world". This they do by registering books on the BookCrossing site, and then "setting the book free to travel the world and find new readers". So far over 4,200,000 registered books have been liberated... The BookCrossing web-site explains how its done...

Leave it on a park bench, at a coffee shop, at a hotel on vacation. Share it with a friend or tuck it onto a bookshelf at the gym -- anywhere it might find a new reader! What happens next is up to fate, and we never know where our books might travel next. Track the book's journey around the world as it is passed on from person to person.

Join hundreds of thousands of active BookCrossers daily in our many forums to discuss your favorite authors, characters and books in every genre throughout history right up through current releases.

Help make the whole world a library and share the joy of literacy. Reading becomes an adventure when you BookCross!

I only discovered about the secret plots of these covert bookworms when one of my books was actually BookCrossed...

BookCrosser (or should I say, agent?) 'dicentragirl' issued the following challenge...

The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe

When: December 2nd, 2007
How: C S Lewis’ birthday is this week (the 29th) Let’s celebrate by having a book release in his honor. Pick a book by C S Lewis or one that relates to lions, witches or wardrobes/clothes. Release in a clothing store or get creative (think closets etc).

BookCrosser 'grubsneerg' duly took up the challenge, choosing two books: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe - The Creatures of Narnia by Scout Driggs and C S Lewis Through the Shadowlands by Yours Truly.



Agent 'grubsneerg' reports:

I spent all week trying to think of a good place to leave them and I kept coming up blank. Then I read today's newspaper and saw an ad for Staples, the office supply wonderland, and it clicked--C S Lewis' name is Clive STAPLES Lewis, so I left the Sibley book by the staples in Staples at sunset. Then I headed across the street to do some grocery shopping at Giant Eagle. I thought of leaving the other book by the $1 a night DVD rental machine, but I ended up leaving it in the free literature rack in the lobby. Mission Accomplished (x2)!

So, there we are; I now wait with bated breath to find out what adventures Shadowlands gets up to.

Meanwhile, you can read the history of BookCrossing here and other articles on the subject here and here.

And, of course, you could even become a BookCrosser.

10 comments:

Eudora said...

"Libros viajeros", I know this "adventure" for books, but I never found one of this... Thank you to remember me, I think I want to release some books... perhaps one of "my" books arrive to the british islands...

Brian Sibley said...

SUZANNE comments...

I have actually heard of this new literary activity Brian, but I had no idea it was called BookCrossing.

The problem with this is that when I have a book that is any good I can't bear to be separated from it, partly because I love to re-read them. Even books I find quite dreadful are still gathering dust in my bookshelves - just to remind myself that I read them! For example, 'Middlemarch' is still up there somewhere, but I'll be damned if I ever open it again!

Brian Sibley said...

GILL comments...

Believe it or not I once found one [a BookCrossed book that is] on the bar at Artistico in Emborios! I remember being intrigued and meaning to look them up, but never did of course, so thank you for doing it for me!

Qenny said...

I understand the appeal as a reader, but doesn't it irk you as a writer?

Brian Sibley said...

QENNY - Well, I live with seeing my books end up in remainder stores or fetching absurd sums on ebay, so, heck, I'm just pleased that anyone still READS anything I've written... :-)

Laurie Mann said...

Hey, I've got at least three of your books and one of your BBC radio adaptations. Not a chance I'd release them!

I first heard of BookCrossing a few years ago when I was working part time at a book store. It sounded like it could wreck havoc in book stores (people were suggested to move books to "more visible" places), so I never paid it much attention. Still, when you can get non-readers to read, it is a fine thing.

Boll Weavil said...

Surely you don't look under your own name on Ebay do you Mr B ?

Brian Sibley said...

BOLL - Er... Well... I've actually bought copies of my own books (where I didn't have them) on ebay and paid rather more than they cost when they were originally published!!

Therese said...

what a fun idea! its a bit like the dollar bills here that get stamped with the phrase "where is washington?", and if you get one you can track it's adventure online. although this is obviously more interesting, since it involves reading instead of money. :P
speaking of which (reading, not money), i started and finished reading "the lotr official movie guide" yesterday, and of course i loved it..especially since i am also re-reading the trilogy right now. my mom asked how i was liking your book and i immediately and excitedly began to educate her on various random facts. "...and the oak planted in front of bag end- it wasn't real you know- 250,000 HAND PAINTED leaves! can you believe that?!"

Brian Sibley said...

Thanks Therese; it's so long since I read (let alone WROTE) that book, that you obviously know stuff that I'VE now forgotten!