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February 12, 2004
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Remember two weeks ago, when thousands of you voted for at the Cool Site of the Day website (CSOTD)? Well, your efforts proved sufficient to get us nominated for Cool Site of the Month in January. If we win the January CSOTM, we'll be in the running for the Cool Site of the Year for 2004. We're up against five other websites in this contest.

So how do we win the Monthly contest? Simple — take 15 seconds and go vote, right now:

Cool site of the month!


Nordrhein-Westfalen BookCrossers organize meetings to fit geography
by Jens Meyer (Herrundmeyer)

Saturday afternoon. 3 p.m. It's Meetup time in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. What? asks the average BookCrosser. Meetups on Saturdays? In the afternoon? Well, yes. This is not a monthly Meetup which is organized through It has been organized in the German forum, the German Yahoo! Group and by some industrious BookCrossers who found the active members of the region and invited them to the meeting, sending PMs to each and every one of them....

[read it all at]

A few tips for decorating your book before releasing it
by Vysion

Why label a book? Well, do you want the books you choose to release through Bookcrossing to be found and journaled? That's the main point of labeling a book: to get enough information across so someone can understand BookCrossing and participate in our global adventure....

[read it all at]

Learn to jazz up your bookshelf with some simple HTML
by Yvonne (yvi-1)

Most of us want our BookCrossing bookshelves to be a reflection of ourselves. Plain text just doesn't do that! So here is a short tutorial on how to use HTML within to snazz up your extended profile. ...

[read it all at]

Battling forest fires in San Diego to release a book
by Glenn Wilson (BMac)

A relative of mine, Margaret Castle, is a novelist. She published High Diamonds a couple of years ago, and like most first-time fiction writers was truly frustrated by the response of the major bookstores and other booksellers in getting her book out there so the public would learn of it and read it. She had years and years of writing experience, had dozens of non-interested parties read the book before publishing for input, feedback and criticism. She had taken all the 'right and recommended' steps to ensure her book got the best exposure to the marketplace. She had been to book signings, special events, non-profit fund raisers, speeches... you name it, she'd tried it....

[read it all at]

BookCrossing an ideal activity to teach children the joys of reading
by Holly (kz4ufo)

Once a person discovers BookCrossing, a life is changed forever. He or she is drawn into an amazing global community devoted to one goal - “Making the Entire World a Library.” To accomplish this, books are released everywhere imaginable throughout the world. Yet, believe it or not, there can be more to BookCrossing!...

[read it all at]

Want to write for BookCrossing? If your article is accepted, you could see it featured here in the next newsletter. What topics do we need? Anything about books, reading, or BookCrossing — tutorials, release and catch stories, well-traveled book stories, funny BookCrossing experience stories — you name it. Write it up, then submit it here:


Top 10 All-Time
USA 110,437 (52%)
CANADA 15,710 (7%)
UNITED KINGDOM 13,915 (7%)
GERMANY 11,476 (5%)
ITALY 10,254 (5%)
SPAIN 9,613 (5%)
AUSTRALIA 6,569 (3%)
PORTUGAL 2,719 (1%)
FRANCE 2,493 (1%)
NETHERLANDS 2,474 (1%)

Top 10 Last Week
USA 1,016 (45%)
GERMANY 232 (10%)
SPAIN 120 (5%)
CANADA 103 (5%)
ITALY 67 (3%)
PORTUGAL 67 (3%)
FRANCE 46 (2%)


The new T-shirts and the new 7th-edition BookPlate labels are selling well, and some sizes are already gone, so if you haven't got yours yet, please help support BookCrossing by making a purchase from our secure online store today:

Baby-T for the ladies Regular T-shirt for guys and gals

All colors and styles of t-shirts:

Our 7th-edition bookplate labels, featuring a reproduction of the charming Reading Dr. Seuss, an original pastel by artist Karen Barton, are still available in limited quantities:

Reading Dr. Seuss

You can order them either a la carté here:

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

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.


Since the last newsletter on February 4, our champion new member referrer was 22-year-old sunisunny, a Hungarian BookCrosser currently residing in France. A member since April 2003, sunisunny has referred 25 new members, 22 of whom joined since our last newsletter. Sunisunny's profile gives us a clue how these referrals happened:

I've finally started referring members, especially in my home country, Hungary. I've just sent a tell-a-friend to all the teachers of the department where I am finishing my studies... hope they won't take it badly saying that I spammed the whole fac... LOL... but i see it as a good way of spreading the word... We'll see about the results. :) Also, I told some of my friends at a party to try it, they seemed eager and some of them already joined!

You can visit sunisunny's bookshelf here:

As a token of appreciation for helping us grow, we'll be sending sunisunny a $50 gift certificate from our BookCrossing Supply Store. Want to win the $50 prize next newsletter? Get busy referring people! The best tactic: release lots of books so new members will find them and join. The next-best tactic: use our Tell-a-Friend form to quickly send an email invitation to everyone you know:


Last week's SSM15 (release in a place of spiritual worship) stories may be found here:

This week's SSM16 celebrates St. Valentine's Day, which according to some sources started in third century Rome. What better way to show your affection for someone than to give them a book you love? If you'd like to include a personal note, here's a guide to saying "I love you" in a long list of languages:

And so without further ado, here is SSM16, suggested by nyisutter in a forum post:

  • RELEASE ZONE: A "controlled" release to someone you love, or a "wild" release in a florist shop, candy store, card store, etc.
  • RELEASE METHOD: Pick a book that in some way references romance. As always, creativity is a plus.
  • RELEASE TIME: This Saturday, February 14th, any time. Once again, the calendar-based holiday is overriding the Sunday Sunset rule of the SSM.

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,

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