BookCrossing explodes onto Golden Lane Estate, as part of Bibliology exhibitionby abigailann
March 9, 2010
The call went out to Golden Lane Estate, London -- bring in your books and discover the world of BookCrossing! They came from not only London, but further away (including some journalists from Hong Kong). Most of them had no idea what they were letting
themselves in for!
A free book from Penguin awaited each person who took up the challenge of BookCrossing there, on the 6th of March. Once the books brought in by participants were registered on the website, it was time to release them into the wild. Whilst some people were afraid that their books wouldn't be found, others embraced the idea and set about finding the most appropriate place to leave their releases. Later, several newbies expressed their desire to track these books and to sign up to the site in their own right. One person, truly in the spirit, I believe, joked whether or not books could be left in a toilet. I told him that some members did just that.
The joke had been inspired by a photography at the 'Bibliology at Golden Lane Estate' exhibition which was organising the event. It was of a pile of children's books sitting near a toilet. All the photographs were of books and how they are stored in the home. The detail on the pictures lent themselves to study of the books owned and other interesting items alongside them on the shelves. Down some notably narrow spiral stairs were projections of pinhole photographs showing people reading. Due to the long exposure of these pictures it was possible to note from the blurs how fast people read and how still they sat whilst they did it.
At the end of the day, writers for Kathryn Faulkers bibilography book told us about the 20 books that had most influences their lives. Whilst some chose books that remained pristine on their shelves, others noted how their childhood favourites were worn by time. One man (surely a BookCrosser at heart) mentioned how he had once bought 3 copies of one of his favourite books just to give to friends, leaving no copy for himself. The happy end to the story is that through BookCrossing, he received a new copy of his very own.
Around 80 books were released into the wild that day, and some had already been journalled by the next morning. I am proud to be able to say that one of mine has already reached the ideal person -- an anonymous finder who has been looking to read it for a while. As I write there are still 71 books wild on The Golden Lane Estate though- if you're in the area why not see if you can catch one!