Have you ever heard of bookcrossing before? It’s been around for way over a decade now and I’m still stunned about how few people actually know what it is. So here’s a brief explanation for those who don’t know it:
Think of bookcrossing as being the biggest library in the world, where everyone can add their own books to share with people. If you have a book you’d like to share, you can register it to the site. It then gets a personal bookcrossing-ID, and you can “set it free” wherever you like: in a restaurant, at the trainstation, on a bench… Just “casually” leave it somewhere. Someone will find it and hopefully register it on the bookcrossing site, so that you know it’s been found. The aim would be that the person reads the book, writes down a short review about it and passes it on – either to friends or releasing it in the wild again. And so on:) That way you can sort of travel along with your book, see who’s read it, what they thought about it and where the book is traveling at the moment!
I think it’s such a neat and great idea to connect with each other! When I first read about it I was all excited and couldn’t wait to get started 🙂
So much for the idea… I don’t know about you though, if you’re also a fellow bookcrosser with more luck than I – but alas, my books tend to
- a) never get picked up for some reason? (I wonder where they end up being^^)
- b) get picked up with a note “will read it, will let you know”, never to be heard again from anymore…
So why is that, I keep wondering? What do people prevent from registering the book online and keeping track of where it goes on to? Even when they promised to you to do so? I’ve passed books on to friends, but this was YEARS ago already, and the book entry is frozen in the part where I wrote down I passed it on… what a terrible shame :(!
When people hear about the idea, they really like it, are interested and inspired about it. But only a few get hooked with it, and I really just wonder why, oh why…? (If you’re one of these persons and read this – PLEASE kick your bum and comment about the reasons why you don’t go on with the bookcrossing idea 😉 !!!).
I’ve been registered to bookcrossing for about 10 years now and registered 71 books all in all. Many of the released books just plainly vanished – I surely hope they’ve not been found and thrown in the bin :(… The book with the most entries (9) was a controlled chain-release I participated in with several other bookcrossing members. It’s midways – and no one seems to care about the book anymore…
I vividly remember the first book I released, it was in a small alternative café in the old town of Zürich. I paid my drinks and sneakily left it on the bench behind me to quickly leave the place together with my friend. We were nearly around the corner, when a young man came storming out of the café, looking for me and calling after me: “Wait, you’ve left your book!!!”. He came running after me in the rain, which was actually quite romantic;) I then had to explain to him that I left it there on purpose, while he was still trying to give it back to me until I told him to read the sticker on the inside of the cover where it was all explained and he slowly made his way back to the café. He never registered the book 😉
It took me years to finally find my first bookcrossing book of my own, and I was very excited about it! It wasn’t released in the wild, though I just found it in a bookshelf at a hostel abroad (does that count?). So while people are happy enough to exchange books in public bookshelves, at hostels, café’s etc., why wouldn’t they get excited about joining bookcrossing? What inconvenience is there in typing a registering code on a website and leaving a note? Maybe you have had other experiences about bookcrossing around where you live, maybe it’s more popular over there.
There is one café here in Zürich which holds a weekly meeting of bookcrossing members, where you can go and discuss about the books and exchange them, pass them on, leave them on the bookshelf for further exchanges. The exchanges seem to be quite vivid. I’ve never joined though, it would get a bit too personal for my taste;) But I went to the bookshelf and happily exchanged a few books 🙂
So maybe this inspires you to have a look at the page, to start bookcrossing or to dust off your long forgotten bookcrossing account and try all over again. In any case: happy experiences 🙂 Feel free to share them here on the comments section ❤