Saturday, 5 November 2011


I have been trying to declutter this week.  I have made an impact and feel quite satisfied with the space I have made.  But there is still lots to do and I often look at my piles of books and quickly walk away.  That's because I know there are many I will never read again but I hold on to them 'just in case'.   There is only so many books I can accomodate though and to be honest I really do need to make way for new books that I keep buying.

Books to the ceiling Books to the sky. My pile of books Are a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard By the time I read them.

Well, I'd be seriously worried if I grew a beard, but you get the idea!  Recently, I have resisted buying paperbacks as I have so many on my shelves unread, but the other day I was intregued by one I saw in a charity shop.  'The Road Home' by Rose Tremain is not the type of book I would usually read, but something drew me to it and I am so glad I am weak willed at times!  The book was thoroughly enjoyable and I recommend it, but it made me think that there could be other books that I might enjoy and would normally pass by.

Fast forward...........

Yesterday, in the midst of organising paperwork, I suddenly remembered BookCrossing:

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

So, I immediately left what I was doing, to go find out more and several hours later I was signed up and had registered my first book.  I was buzzing with excitement!

Part of the fun is thinking up somewhere interesting to my 'release' my book.  Airports and railway stations are out as I don't want to cause panic over unattended packages!  Then I thought about our GP surgery, but that would mean someone has to give a donation for charity which is a nice idea, but it is  more fun to leave it in an unexpected place for someone just to find.  And so on Sunday I will pop along to a tearoom and discretely leave it and hope that someone is intrigued enough to  read the label and record the book as 'found'.  How exciting would that be!!  The idea of BookCrossing is that each book is uniquely registered, and that you can track who has read it and it's journey around the world (well, there is no harm in wishful thinking)!   And with that in mind, I feel happy to sort through my book piles and to release some in hope that other people will enjoy reading them and that I might be able to follow some of their travels.

Meanwhile, tomorrow, I am going to my monthly crop.  And to make it doubly exciting I have discovered that someone has hidden a book in the locality.  So guess what I will be doing while the rest of the group are eating their lunch?  Yes... I'll be going around looking under benches for a hidden package!  Ofcourse, there are other BookCrossers so someone may have beaten me to it.    Oh... incase you are wondering, sometimes there are clues or a locaility where books are 'released' while others are just left to chance.  Why has this got me excited?  To quote from the website:

BookCrossing combines serendipity, adventure, altruism and literature in an unique mix that true bibliophiles find irresistible. With its similarity to releasing messages in a bottle, or notes in helium balloons, BookCrossing harkens back fond childhood memories. Also, you can see BookCrossing as a worldwide free library. 

I couldn't put it better!  Now remember, the idea is for me to reduce my book collection and not add to it, but next year I will have great fun releasing books in different locations as we travel around in our campervan and perhaps I'll go on the search for the occasional book too. 

I'd love to hear from any fellow BookCrossers, and if you love books and have not heard of this idea before you may just want to check it out for yourself and join in the fun!
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