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corner corner Hooking a New Reader

How BookCrossing Indirectly Feeds a New Addiction

by ResQgeek
October 24, 2006

We all know that BookCrossing is a great way to promote literacy and the love of books. Turning the whole world into a library is one of our fundamental goals. We all love the thrill of having a wild release caught, and getting a new member to join as a result is just icing on the cake. But how many of those new members ever make another journal entry, or register another book? A quick browse through the member profiles shows that many new members never become fully infected with the BookCrossing bug. But what about the people who become addicted to the books, if not BookCrossing?

Several weeks ago, a colleague from my office approached me with a request. He has a long commute, and was looking for a book recommendation, something to read on the train ride to and from work. He knew aobut my participation in BookCrossing, and my love of books, so he thought I might be able to help. I asked a few questions, and learned that he liked mysteries and thrillers, but didn’t really read a lot, as he didn’t feel that he had the time. I happened to have a small pile of books in my office, ready to release, and I pulled Ken Follett’s Lie Down with Lions out and handed it to him.

Over the subsequent days, my friend stopped into my office frequently, raving about how much he was enjoying the book, and lamenting that he wished he had more time to devote to reading it. He was so enthusiastic about the book, I dug through my pile of available books at home, and found another Ken Follett book, Code to Zero, and gave it to him to read when he finished the first.

Not only has he devoured both of these books, he has made journal entries for them (as an Anonymous Finder), and is now waiting for me to give him another book to read. He has started finding ways to fit more reading into his schedule, and is now reading at home as well as on the train. In some ways, watching his excitement about these books has been far more rewarding than the passing thrill of a random catch. His enthusiasm for this new hobby is infectious, and I’ve received a couple of other requests for books from other colleagues as well. I might just have created a reading fad at my office. With a little luck, it will be a lasting trend.


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