You know the saying 'If you love something set it free'? Well there's a group who apply this philosophy to books and they've got thousands of members. While watching a program called 'Can we help?' (Fridays 6.30pm on your ABC) my ears pricked up when I heard them talking about Bookcrossing.
Bookcrossing is a way of liberating books. In other words you take books that you would like to share with others and release them into "The Wild". Basically you tag them with a serial number and some information that will help others to identify the book when they find it (if they choose to). So you take the tagged book to a public place where an interested person may be likely to find it and you leave it there! A person finds the book and takes it home to read and hopefully logs onto the Bookcrossing website and checks the details in so you can track the book.
I think this is a great idea, for so many reasons, I can feel the good Karma accumulating just by thinking about it. As a latent traveller I am really keen on this idea because I could never join a library while in foreign countries, couldn't justify spending the money that I needed for baked beans and baggets and often needed to discard books that I had read.
In travellers circles books are often swapped and given away which is great but wouldn't it be even better to see where your old book had gone long after you've hung up your hiking boots and have become lost in the humdrum of a sedentary life?
Apparently there are more than one of these kind of operations going on but I have only had time to check out one. I joined Bookcrossing earlier this week and intend to release a book as soon as I can get the information to stick to it. They sell all kinds of stickers and paraphernalia but I think I'd rather save my money and just print some out on the computer.