Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Set A Book Free ~ You Just Might Make a Friend :-)

Have you ever left a book sitting somewhere, gone back to look for it, and found it missing in action?

Did you wonder who took it? Whether they enjoyed it?

Were you mad that they’d taken your book?

What if you could leave books in the wild on purpose—set them free to find new friends?

Enter BookCrossing, where you Label, Share, and Follow the book

I recently joined the free service and want to quote a bit of my welcome message:

“Grab a book of yours that you’re willing to share with others. It can be one you’ve loved, or one you never really want to read again. Got a second copy of the same book for your birthday? BookCross it! Does a favorite aunt keep sending you books that she likes but you don’t? BookCross them! Just Label, Share & Follow!”

But, there are two fascinating sides to this proposition—you can set a book free and follow its travels and you may just find a book another person has set free :-)

Plus, there’s a way to safely communicate with those who’ve found your book and those whose books you’ve found.

BookCrossing’s FAQ page is it’s own kind of fascination, like this entry:

Q: “What happens to my books when I leave them somewhere? How can I be sure that they will be captured and journaled?”

A: “Well, the truth is that we never know what happens to a wild book — that’s its karma. Sometimes, a person who loves to read will find a book that speaks to them — that’s serendipity.
Sometimes, people take them and never make journal entries — that’s frustrating!!

“BookCrossing is about letting go and letting your book find its own way in the world. All you can do is to make sure that you have prepared it for its adventure — visible BCID [registration number], secure labels, something to catch the public’s attention, and a careful choice of location.

“The bottom line is that a lot of books are captured and never journaled. But hope springs eternal. Some of them take years to write home.”


Q: “What is the difference between a release note and a journal entry? ”

A: “A release note is used to indicate that you have parted with a book one way or another, and will include the location of the release. (Release notes come in two flavors, wild and controlled

“A journal entry is a way to add information or comments to a book that you registered, or one that you found in the wild or received from another BookCrosser. You can use it to describe the book’s condition, to explain where you got it, or to post your thoughts about it – that’s entirely up to you.”

Now, to prepare some of my books and set them free :-)
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

11 responses to “Set A Book Free ~ You Just Might Make a Friend :-)

  1. Pingback: Set A Book Free ~ You Just Might Make a Friend :-) « Notes from An … | Finding Friends

  2. lynnbiederstadt December 26, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Aiyeeeeee! This is something i did all the time when i lived in nyc. What a great idea, to formalize and personalize it! Leave it to you!


    • Alexander M Zoltai December 27, 2011 at 2:34 am

      Yep, I’ve left books for others—I loved finding this site—like you say, “to formalize and personalize it”

      Then, to me, the obverse experience—finding a book in the wild; personalized, yet again :-)


  3. Jane Watson December 27, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    This is a fascinating process. I hope you are going to let us know, Alex, where the books found their freedom, perhaps after they have started their journeys, and keep us posted on where they touch down!


  4. Magdalena Wiklund December 28, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Im also a bookcrosser. Loving it :-)


  5. Magdalena Wiklund December 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Dear Alexander,
    So far a have released about 100 books I think. Many of them just disappeared. Some of them turned up pretty fast and a few of them after a couple of years. A book I released in one city turned up in a bookstore in another city a few years later. One of my books was brought on a boat to Finland going further to China.

    I find BookCrossing very exciting. I found some new friends thanks to BC, when I was living in Australia. Most of all I enjoy the fact that BC brings new books (stories) into my life, stories I would never had chosen to read by my self.

    I hope you really enjoy BC as much as I do, and maybe we could exchange book some time.
    Happy Reading!



  6. Pingback: I’ve registered with BookCrossing | Side Quest Publications

  7. Pingback: BookCrossing: Traveling Books Across the World | Notes from An Alien

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