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November 26, 2003
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In this issue...

global membership stats - spain's on the move

I get an email whenever a new member joins. That works out to around 300 messages a day, but still I try to scan each one, paying particular attention to the new member's country and how they came to hear about BookCrossing. Lately, I've noticed a higher proportion of Spanish and German new members, so I looked at the data to get a clearer picture:

Top 10 All-Time
USA 99,919 (53%)
CANADA 14,618 (8%)
UNITED KINGDOM 12,220 (6%)
ITALY 9,705 (5%)
GERMANY 9,362 (5%)
SPAIN 7,376 (4%)
AUSTRALIA 5,591 (3%)
PORTUGAL 2,456 (1%)
NETHERLANDS 2,308 (1%)
FRANCE 2,076 (1%)

Top 10 Last Week
USA 672 (37%)
SPAIN 337 (18%)
GERMANY 143 (8%)
CANADA 88 (5%)
FRANCE 51 (3%)
ISRAEL 44 (2%)
ITALY 44 (2%)
PORTUGAL 32 (2%)

Sure enough! Over the last week, almost 1 out of every 5 new members has been from Spain, and almost 1 out of every 10 from Germany - both significant increases from the all-time rates.

A little more investigation on the Spanish boom revealed the article ┐Libertad para los libros! in El Correo Digital, and several others have referenced learning about BookCrossing from Spanish TV. This sort of press and global growth, particularly in non-English-speaking countries, never ceases to amaze me.

last week's champion referrer award

Since the last newsletter, our champion new member referrer was WritinReader from Kentucky. A member since August 28, WritinReader has referred THIRTEEN new members to in the last week. Looks like many of those referred have an interest in canines - hmmmmm. You can visit WritinReader's bookshelf here:

We'll be sending the winner a $50 gift certificate from our BookCrossing Supply Store at, your source for Release Kits, Bookplate Labels, Bookmarks, Sticky-notes, or Stamps. And of course Wings will be earned with the order.

Want to win the $50 prize next week? Get busy referring people! Our Tell-a-Friend form is the best place to start:

sixth-edition bookplate labels shipping

Our 6th-edition bookplate labels, featuring a reproduction of Please read me a story?, an original 24"x24" acrylic by artist Mary Grace Dembeck, are selling fast, but supplies are limited!

Please read me a story?

When they're gone, they're gone. You can order them either a la cartÚ here:

or in Release Kits with Bookmarks and Sticky-notes here:

More info on the artist:

Are you an artist? If you'd like your art to be featured on a future Bookplate series, please contact us at In exchange for the considerable exposure you'll get here and in the future on those 50,000 traveling books, we ask for only the original artwork, which we'll auction to further help support BookCrossing.

don't step in a poodle during SSM10

Last week's SSM9 (releasing books and food/clothing to the less fortunate) resulted in many generous releases. This link will take you to the forum discussions on many of them:

This week's SSM10 (wow, is it 10 already?) was suggested in by janaqq from Austin, Texas in a forum post. It's especially timely with the holiday gift-giving season approaching, since so many well-meaning parents visit animal shelters to find puppies or kittens for their kids' present. So, without further ado, here's SSM10:

  • RELEASE ZONE: Any animal shelter, humane society, or animal rescue organization near your home.
  • RELEASE METHOD: Use your imagination, but animal-related books are a must. As an idea, you might leave a book on the care of a particular breed of dog right next to the kennel of that same type of dog - it'd make a wonderful gift for the new owner. Talk to the shelter staff to let them know what you're doing; most of them should appreciate your efforts. And don't forget to take pictures!
  • RELEASE TIME: Anytime between today and this Sunday, November 30, depending upon the open hours of the facility.

The 10 Rules of Sunday Sunset Missions:

  1. Don't talk about SSMs!
  2. Don't talk about SSMs! (for Project Mayhem fans)
  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 SSM 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,

ps. With the Thanksgiving season upon us here in the States, I'm reminded of how thankful I am that each and every one of you has chosen to join our BookCrossing community. Each day I think to myself that I've got the best job in the world, working with people who are both passionately literate and habitually generous. So I thank you all for everything you've done and are doing to make BookCrossing what it is today, and what it will become tomorrow.

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