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August 13, 2003
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In this issue...

urbis to loose books upon manchester, england

I got a call yesterday from Urbis, to let me know they are planning a large-scale book release in Manchester, England, this Saturday, August 16. Urbis is a "new kind of museum," set in an iconic shimmering skyscraper, and focuses on exhibits celebrating urban life in cities like Manchester, Los Angeles, Sao Paolo, Singapore, Paris and Tokyo.

According to their press release, Urbis will be releasing hundreds of books in locations across the city in shops, cafes, pubs, phone boxes, on park benches, at bus stops and in train stations. They will even be enlisting the help of cab drivers and train operators to move books beyond the city limits.

Scott Burnham, Urbis Creative Director said: "The beauty of Bookcrossing is that it's organic - this project will evolve and take on a life its own as books are passed on and on. Bookcrossing is about animating the city of Manchester with a unique collaboration between Urbis and an international project and giving everyone the opportunity to embark on a journey of discovery whether it's finding a book in a unique location, discovering its story or tracing the people who have read it before you."

the weekend australian calls us boobies

Last Saturday, BookCrossing was featured in The Weekend Australian, a large insert in one of Australia's most popular newspapers. Here's a link to the text of the article:

A big thanks go to Jodie Minus, the writer of the piece and fellow BookCrosser, who covered our movement with unusual depth and personal reflection. She also highlighted several active members including BookFrog, Jesse250, Littlemave, TexasWren, and Skyring.

The part of the story that made me smile was the reference to what BC members call themselves - "boobies." Okay, now I know someone on the Yahoo Groups list mentioned in passing that BookCrossing Newbies should be called "boobies," but has it really caught on? I searched our forums for it, and found only this already heated discussion on the story and term:

Perhaps "boobies" means something different in Australia than in the States? I, for one, will stick with "BookCrossers" when referring to you all, and I hope you do the same when referring to me. We should try to nip this one in the bud. And I'll keep you abreast of any changes in member terminology. :)

kingsolver stumped in new jersey

Prodigal Summer Okay, how's this for an unusual release location? Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer was protected with a zip-lock bag then stuck in a hollow tree stump in New Jersey's Hacklebarney State Park, "between the Trout Brook waterfall and the place where the trail first meets Black River Gorge," on July 20th. A fellow hiker found it the next day. Lesson to be learned? Creative releases often lead to quick catches! Read all the details here:

lovely bones lovely catch in starbucks

The Lovely Bones You just gotta love these catches that ellicit a heartfelt journal entry. A case in point was the recent catch of Alice Seybold's The Lovely Bones in a New Zealand Starbucks on July 21st. The journal entry made is poignant enough to deserve my including it here in full:

"Much to my surprise I found The Lovely Bones book this weekend. I was on my way to teach a workshop, but hadn't had anything to eat all day, and had 1/2 hour to spare, so I decided to stop for a coffee and a quick bite at Starbucks (which is not usually a place I visit, and is some distance from where I live). The book was sitting on the self-service counter when I went to get some sugar for my coffee. I wasn't going to take it at first, but a little voice in my head was telling me that it was fate that I had found it, and it really peaked my curiosity. It also reminded me of something I had seen on Oprah once about a friendship chain... somebody does something nice for you but remains anonymous (they just leave you a little note explaining the kind deed but don't sign it), and then it is your responsibility to do something nice for someone else anonymously. It just spreads goodwill around the world. I think BookCrossing is a wonderful idea and I intend to read this book. I haven't read a book (right through) for ages but I think there is a reason I found it so I am excited about reading it. I have a very busy life at the moment so it may take me a while to get through it but I will keep you posted on my progress. Whoever put the book out there... THANK YOU!!"

See for the full journal.

coulter in curves hard to believe

The Lovely Bones And speaking of great catches, this one of Catherine Coulter's The Nightingale Legacy in a Curves workout center in Lemon Grove, California, will get you thinking about fate and synchronicity. Again, the journal entry made by the catcher on August 10th is worth quoting in full:

"I belong to a water aerobics club, and we all read. I had told them that morning that I had just read two Catherine Coulter novels in the last two days. Then the conversation went to how many books we all had piling up in our homes. I told them that I had seen on the news a while back about a group that left their books all over the place for others to find and read, but sadly I didn't remember the name of the group. I usually go to Curves after my water aerobics class, and lo and behold, when I went to my class, there were two Catherine Coulter novels on the table with the BookCossing label on them. Is this weird or what? I read one that day and am reading the other now. I plan on passing them on to members of my water aerobics class. Also I need to join BookCrossing so I can get rid of some 300+ books I have stashed all over the house and make room for more."

See for the full journal.

members raven about latest bookplate art

Sorry for the pun, but it's true - our latest bookplate labels, featuring original art by Tess Garman, are going fast. We only printed 50,000, and as usual, when they're gone, they're gone, so if you like Forgotten Lore:

Forgotten Lore

get over to our Supply Store and buy either a pack of the new bookplate labels or a Release Kit that includes bookmarks and sticky-notes along with the bookplate labels.

What the new bookplates look like:

Supply Store:

More info on Tess:

the first sunday sunset mission - are you in?

Okay, you've read this far, so you must either be A) a really serious BookCrosser, B) really bored at work, or C) looking for the unsubscribe link (keep going down). If you're in group A, listen up: I've got a Sunday Sunset Mission (SSM) for you, the first of its kind, and it's going to happen this weekend! To participate, you must release one or more books at a certain release zone (in your community) by a certain release method at a certain release time - which will always be Sunday at Sunset, whenever that is in your corner of the world.

This week's SSM is simple:

  • RELEASE ZONE: The largest newspaper office near you
  • RELEASE METHOD: Book in a clear plastic bag, hanging by string from tree or sign outside office building
  • RELEASE TIME: This Sunday, August 17th, at Sunset wherever you live

The 10 Rules of Sunday Sunset Missions:

  1. Don't talk about SSMs!
  2. Don't talk about SSMs! (Can you tell I liked Fight Club?)
  3. Be on time! You can get the exact sunset time from
  4. Label the books properly. At the minimum, this means a sticky-note on the outside making it clear that the book is FREE and NOT LOST (don't write anything on the outside to cause others alarm!), and a good, descriptive label inside the cover explaining BookCrossing and including the BCID for the book.
  5. If possible, choose a book with content appropriate to the release location.
  6. If possible, print out one of the press articles from and include it with the book (the Utne Reader or Reader's Digest articles work well).
  7. Take pictures! Those of you with digital cameras, try to take a picture of the release zone with books, upload it with your journal entry, and make a post with the journal entry link in the new SSMs forum at
  8. Be safe! Use your common sense, and don't do anything to endanger persons or property.
  9. Pay attention to the media the following day or two, try to note any mention of the SSM, and post such mentions to the SSM forum.
  10. And finally, have fun!

As always, Happy 'Crossing!

Ron Hornbaker
Founder and Editor,

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