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corner corner Rolling out the Releases

Bringing BookCrossing to the White House Easter Egg Roll

by ResQgeek
April 25, 2006

Yesterday, the White House hosted its annual Easter Egg Roll, and my family was among the thousands who crowded onto the South Lawn to join in the festivities. And for the second year in a row, I brought a few books along to release, putting the White House on the BookCrossing map.

Last year, as Easter approached, my wife began her plans to take our daughters down to the Easter Egg Roll. Her preparations inspired me to see if anyone had ever released a book at the White House. I searched the release zones but as far as I could tell no books had ever been released there. The opportunity to be the first to release at such a prominent location was too tempting, so I gathered together about half a dozen books and brought them with us. Unfortunately, the weather conspired to impact my efforts. In the drenching rain, we made our way onto the White House lawn, where our daughter rolled their eggs, and we were promptly herded towards the exits, as the event was cancelled because of the weather. I did manage to release my books (properly protected from the deluge in bags), but there was no one left to catch them, and the only book I've since heard from was the one picked up by the daughter of one of our friends.

So this year, as Easter approached, I hoped to improve on last year's results. I collected books, including four sent to me by southernfryed specifically to release at the White House. They were labeled and bagged, and I eagerly awaited the big day. It began raining Easter night, and I feared a repeat of last year's washout. It continued to rain as we arrived outside the White House to await our entry time. But fortune smiled on us, and the rain began to let up as we worked our way through the security check point. By the time we reached the lawn, the rain had stopped, and the sun began to peek out from behind the clouds.

As we moved around the grounds, participating in the various activities, I released my books. One of the first was Margaret Truman's Murder in the White House, the first of my Capital Murder series of themed releases, which I left on a fence near the entrance to the egg rolling area. That book quickly disappeared, so I replaced it with another, and then a third. Three other books were left on the benches arranged around the platforms where various dignatories read books to crowds of rapt children. The final book was left on table set up for kids to color and make bunny ears to wear. By the time I left, almost all of these books had been picked up. I saw one mother take a book out of its bag, thumb through the book and place it into her stoller with a smile.

Hopefully, I'll get some journal entries for some of these books. But even if I don't, it was great fun to be releasing books on the South Lawn of the White House, and this time I'm sure these books are finding their way to new homes, where they will entertain new readers. Now I need to start making plans for next year.

Here's a list of the books I released:


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