Wednesday, 4 April 2007

BookCrossing - I am a member and it's brilliant!!

BookCrossing -
n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise.
(added to the Oxford English Dictionary in August 2004)

This is the second book group that I am a part of and the lovely thing about it is that you can join anywhere in the world at the moment there are 544,219 members and 3,803,703 books registered. It's really easy to be a part of -

1. You read a good

2. You go to and register it (along with your thoughts on the book - this is known as a journal entry), You will be given a unique BCID (BookCrossing ID number) which allows the book's movement to be tracked. You must then mark the book with the BCID and the BookCrossing web address so that the finder is able to make a journal entry for the book and enter his/her location on the website.

3. You then Release it for someone else to read (give it to a friend, leave it on a park bench, donate it to charity, "forget" it in a coffee shop, etc. - If you leave it in a public place this is known as leaving a book 'In the Wild'), and then you will get notified by email each time someone goes to and records a journal entry for that book. (Before 'releasing' a book it must be registered on the website)

Told you it was easy!!

If you find a book (or are given one) that has been registered on the website it is known as Catching. To "catch" a book, the BCID marked on the book must be entered at and the person is able to enter their location and make a journal entry about where they found the book and what they thought of it. Then you are encouraged to 're-release' the book so that the process can be continued and other people are able to enjoy the book.

Oh and you can also make Release Notes on a book - This is in addition to your journal entry and you do this when you are leaving it somewhere for a stranger to find. Your book will then appear on the Go Hunting section and other people can 'Go Hunting' and try to find it.

BookCrossing has been criticized by a few authors (There are more authors who are actually members) who claimed that books were being devalued by the website as BookCrossing could lead to lower sales of books and, therefore, the reduction in royalties being paid to authors. I dispute this argument - I think that the website introduces readers to authors and genres that they have not read before (I've gone out and bought other books by an author that I have come across on BookCrossing), that the website gets more people to take up or reclaim reading as a hobby, and that some members, having read a book that they have enjoyed, will buy extra copies to distribute through BookCrossing. (I know quite a few people who have done this - they couldn't stand to part with the book because they loved it so much but still wanted to share it!!)

I think it's brilliant!!


  1. Quite right. Anything that encourages reading is a good thing!

  2. What a great idea! They are going to get another new member very shortly. Katwoman

  3. I released my first two books on Sunday, and one of them has been picked up already! I'll be interested to see where they end up - it's great! Katwoman


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