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Suggestions on the "permanent collection" status

by laprofe
June 15, 2004

You might have seen that some books are "travelling", and that word has a yellow background. Others are available, in green like a traffic light that seems to mean "Go ahead and catch me!" Reserved and to-be-read status are self-explanatory. But then... What does Permanent Collection, with its stern grey background, mean? If the purpose of BookCrossing is to let books see the world, why do some people register books that are permanently theirs? It is not as contradictory as it seems, and learning to use the permanent collection status and its etiquette can improve your use of Bookcrossing.

Different people mean different things by "permanent collection". The most immediate and strict meaning is that the Bookcrosser will not part with that book, but he or she wishes everyone to know how good it is. The journal entry is used to make a critique, or maybe a personal comment on why the book is important for that person. Even if this seems to contradict the primary purpose of Bookcrossing, it is still positive, because, first of all, you get to know your fellow bookcrosser better. What if your favourite book is on their permanent collection? You might send them a "me too!" private message and end up having a friend. Who knows? Secondly, you get a review of the book from a sincere person. If someone with a taste you already trust recommends such-and-such book, you can hunt it (or buy it) elsewhere.

Other people use Permanent Collection with the looser sense of "will lend but not give away". Many organise Bookrings so that their favourite books can see the world, be admired, and then come back safely home. Other people just give their books that status in case someone asks for them; remember that some of us live in areas where the mail service can't always be trusted, so Permanent Collection might mean "will lend but not in the mail, only hand-delivered to people in my area". If you want to ask someone for a book in their permanent collection, especially if the other person doesn't know you at all, it is friendly and good-mannered to offer something in exchange to make up for the postage and the trouble. That can be another book in your bookshelf. Some people swap flat collectible items like stamps or postcards,things that are easy to post. Most bookcrossers will not expect anything in exchange, but offering something shows your good intentions.

So, now that you know what it means, maybe you would like to put your all-time favourite book in you permanent collection. How to do it? It's very easy. First, if you haven't registered it yet, do so. It will appear on your bookshelf, and if you're logged in, the last line in its summarised bookshelf entry is something like TBR/AVL/PC/RES/TRAV. Click once on PC. The book is now in your permanent collection.




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