Thursday, 16 July 2009

Book Crossing

Much has been written about places to swop paperback books on the UK canal system.

Over a period of time, unofficial, inland waterway locations have sprung up, where its possible to leave books that you have read and no longer need, so that others may enjoy them.

It's been a very ad-hoc arrangement up to now and for some reason, one of the most popular repositories has been the trusty BW sanitation station.

Thanks to a tip off from the blog of fellow boater, Mortimer Bones, my attention has been drawn to an organisation called BookCrossing. 

The BookCrossing concept works on the same principle as the sanitation station idea, but it has been embellished by the knack of our colonial friends for thinking BIG.

This is how it works.

You register for free on their website 

When you have finished a book and want to pass it on to others, for them to read, you log-in to the BookCrossing website and type in the ISBN code for the book in question.

All the information about your book is then entered automatically for you.

You then have the option of leaving a critique and rating for the book.

Once the book details have all been recorded, the website will give you a unique number called a BCID number.

You then open the book and write the following in biro:

I've registered this book at so I can track its journey through this world. Please go to to let me know you found it, then read it and/or pass it on for someone else to enjoy. Thank you! 

The number 123-456789 is an example and should be the BCID for your particular book.

Then go to this web link and enter the BCID number for the book you want to release:

Choose wild release and then, using the drop-down menu, select the location that you plan to release the book in - For example, Little Hallingbury Mill on the River Stort in Essex is one of many canalside locations.

Then, you just leave the book there.

The idea is that other people will find it, read it and then hopefully, go on to the BookCrossing website to log its movements, before passing it on to the next person.

BookCrossing has captured the passion and imagination of over 740,000 people worldwide.

Potentially, your books, once released into the wild, could travel the world.

You will be able to track wherever the book goes.

Have you ever released a balloon with your name on, to see how far it will fly ? 

Give your book some time to let it wander, type in its BCID number and see how far it's got ? 

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