When I discover new blogs, I look them over pretty thoroughly, for you can discover some great treasures taking the links that bloggers offer you.
BookCrossing was a fairly recent find for me, and I wanted to be sure to mention it before our February Ho‘ohana on Books draws to a close. I discovered it on Average Jane, via Yvonne’s recommendation. Scroll down the left side column, and you’ll find it under the heading that says Book Tools.
BookCrossing is a web-based book sharing community that recycles good books. If a book turns you on, there’s no sense wasting it on some dusty bookshelf for those nasty silverfish to munch on — share the love!
Here’s what it says on their home page:
You’ve come to a friendly place, and we welcome you to our book-lovers’ community. Our members love books enough to let them go—into the wild—to be found by others. Book sharing has never been more exciting, more serendipitous, than with BookCrossing. Our goal, simply, is to make the whole world a library. BookCrossing is a book exchange of infinite proportion, the first and only of its kind.
Let’s get right down to it. You know the feeling you get after reading a book that speaks to you, that touches your life, a feeling that you want to share it with someone else? BookCrossing.com gives you a simple way to share books with the world, and follow their paths forever!
The first time I released one of my books “into the wild” I smiled to myself for days afterward thinking about where it might be and who might be reading it. I’ve released Dr. Seuss books in doctor’s offices and have tagged my son’s discarded schoolbooks for his teachers to give away next semester.
I wish I had thought of their business plan myself: you’ve got to click in and check it out. A good way is to start reading through their FAQ page.
I’ve been doing a couple of different things with BookCrossing. If you’ve read Managing with Aloha already, you can add your own journal entry about it on Ikela’s bookshelf (a friend of mine), and give me your feedback about it. When you go to the BC home page, put in this number: BCID: 453-2332408.
If you haven’t read it yet there’s two things you can do: buy one now (mahalo) or send me an email and I’ll put you on my waitlist for if-and-when one of the 3 I have already released come back — I’ll RABCK you. RABCK means Random Act of BookCrossing Kindness — I’ll send you the book without asking for a trade or postage reimbursement. It’s just the act of doing something nice for another BookCrosser.
When I give my Managing with Aloha talks to different community groups I’ll often take some books I’ve already tagged with Book Crossing labels to give away to whoever wants them. I find that most people aren’t that great about going back to the BookCrossing website and adding a journal entry, but it’s still nice to know that my already-read books are out there getting read again. I have a couple of presentations scheduled next week, and I’ll be releasing two books by Tom Peters, one by Larry Bossidy, another by John Eldridge, and one by Spencer Johnson.
Parting with my books is a hard thing for me to do, but I don’t like the thought of them sitting around ignored either, and BookCrossing has given me a way to feel really great about recycling them. When the person I released a book to is done with it, they in turn can pass it on too, using the same labeling I’ve already registered it with — it’s so easy for them not to let a book waste away either.
BookCrossing is free: Visit them and consider starting your own bookshelf there — share some aloha by reading, registering, and releasing your own books. We need more people to fall in love with reading, for community literacy can rock our world.