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Monday, May 02, 2005

Random Acts of Book Kindness

I've been a member of BookCrossing.com for several months now, and have released a few books into the wild. Book Crossing is a unique process where you register a book online, sticker the book with a registration ID and a note that tells people it's a free book that can be tracked on its travels, and you "release" it into the wild on a park bench, in a waiting room, at a bus station, wherever you think people might pick it up. It's like a place where book lovers and "message in a bottle" droppers combine forces for the good of the literary world.

I've released a few books in this way, one of which actually made it 'across the pond' but that's only because I released it onto the desk of a guy from Australia who was working here and whom I knew would be travelling through Europe - a few other releases of mine have yet to have been picked up. I wonder if they're just sitting in some 'Lost & Found' somewhere. In any case, purposely releasing books into the wild in this fashion is MUCH better than the usual way of lending the book to a friend and never getting it back.

The tough thing about releasing books is I tend to only want to release good ones - but I'm leary of letting go of the good ones, so I usually end up buying a second copy of one I'm eager to "share" with the world. I recently found duplicate copies of books I enjoyed reading on my bookshelves and plan on releasing them soon. They are "Day of The Triffids" by John Wyndham (an old sci-fi classic) and "Long Time Gone" by Denis Hamill, (a relatively new contemporary fiction tale). Both books were excellent and ones certainly worth sharing.

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