I recently came across a wonderful website called BookCrossing. It’s a simple idea, well executed.
The notion is that you take a book you’ve just read, register it on the BookCrossing website – and then leave it somewhere. After that, ‘the world takes over’. Someone picks up the book, reads it and then passes it on – after logging where it’s been read on the BookCrossing website.
The person who first released the book into the wild can track the book as it travels around. Great fun.
I liked the idea so much that I’ve decided to release three copies of The Well. The first copy has already been claimed and I’m told will be on its way to Florida in a few weeks. I’m offering a second copy via Twitter and Facebook – if that isn’t claimed within a few days, I’ll be leaving it at a railway station in London when I visit there at the weekend. The final copy I’ve made available to users of BookCrossing to claim.
Update: the second copy is now on its way to Italy.
There’s an added twist. As well as including BookCrossing’s instructional stickers (so that people picking up the book don’t think it’s been accidentally left), I’m also adding another sticker – asking people to take their picture, with The Well, in front of any kind of landmark. Any pictures I receive will be posted on this website.
I think it will be interesting to watch the book travel around and I really like the way that BookCrossing makes reading fun – and free! In an era where printed books are starting to feel the squeeze, this is a great way of passing around some love for paper.