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March 12, 2004
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Talk about serendipity! We were contacted by Too Far, an independent publishing house from Woodside, California, who asked if we'd be interested in helping them give away a large number of advance reading copies of their new novel to BookCrossers around the world. Turns out that the kind folks at Too Far are big fans of BookCrossing, and they want passionate, intelligent readers like you to get this book at absolutely no cost, simply to read it, register it, and release it in true BookCrossing fashion!


Wild Animus by Rich Shapero

Wild Animus

by Rich Shapero

Wild Animus is a novel about obsession and surrender, set in the wilderness of Alaska’s Mt. Wrangell. It is the story of one man’s search for the primordial, a test of human foundations, and a journey to the breaking point. If your taste runs to literary fiction, this is a “must” read. Since there will be so many BookCrossers reading Wild Animus concurrently, we're planning to set up its own discussion topic in our online Forum. And we can't say too much about this now, but in the not-too-distant future there's going to be an event centered around this book that you won't want to miss.

You may be asking, "Okay, what's the catch? You're going to mail me this book for nothing?" Fair question. But it's true. Sign up for your free advance reading copy of Wild Animus at BookCrossing, with no obligation or strings attached, and Too Far will even cover the shipping charge:


Remember — there are over 220,000 BookCrossers around the world, so get in on this before they're all gone! Do it now!


Well, you're getting a free book. How about giving one, too, and taking an active role in helping Iraq rebuild?

BookCrossing and the Freedom Technology Center of Mountain View, California are teaming up to help jump-start Iraq's infrastructure recovery with computer software and hardware book donations. Volunteers will meet at Mountain View's Freedom Technology Center all day Friday, March 26 to pack and ship badly-needed computer books to Iraq. Today in Baghdad, up-to-date PC hardware and software are readily available, but computer books are not. Iraq's growing population of techies need books to learn.

How can you help? By shipping computer tech books to their California office so they arrive within the next 2 weeks! So go ahead, look on your shelves - anything related to computers will help. Register and then release them to:

Freedom Technology Center
278 Hope St. Suite E
Mountain View, California 94041-1308 USA

Let's show them the generosity and responsiveness of the BookCrossing community, and have some fun tracking the progress of the books in Iraq along the way!

Read the official press release:


The 2004 BookCrossing Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, is fast approaching on April 16-18. We've got convention registration forms ready; please complete and submit as soon as possible to help those planning the event: (PDF - 12 KB) (Word Doc - 30 KB)


A memoir of Thoreau, childhood and bookcrossing
by Amy Romanczuk (bookczuk)

When I was a child, my world was Walden. My Walden was Walden Road in Silver Spring, Maryland, though, not Thoreau's pond. It was there I climbed trees, made forts in the snow, and played kick the can with neighborhood friends. In the house on Walden Road, I said my first words, took my first steps and read my first book. ...

[read it all at]

Was I looking for this book, or was it the other way around?
by Klaartje

I've been a BookCrosser since Summer 2003. I was already familiar with the idea of trading and passing on books from an adventurous 8-month journey through Africa I made in 2000. More than once on that trip I sought a good book just right for reading under the mosquito net, but I never expected that a book would seek me out....

[read it all at]

Making a bookshelf profile to share with Bookcrossers while remaining anonymous
by Vysion

Do you know about the little feature of your Bookcrossing bookshelf called your profile? It's the area of any bookshelf before you get to the actual books. The profile is provided as a place you can tell other Bookcrossers about yourself. Shy? A few words are all that I ask....

[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:


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UNITED KINGDOM 14,625 (7%)
GERMANY 12,323 (6%)
ITALY 10,469 (5%)
SPAIN 10,041 (5%)
AUSTRALIA 7,073 (3%)
PORTUGAL 2,823 (1%)
FRANCE 2,675 (1%)
NETHERLANDS 2,553 (1%)

Top 10 Last Week
USA 1,130 (48%)
GERMANY 205 (9%)
CANADA 114 (5%)
SPAIN 92 (4%)
ITALY 44 (2%)
FRANCE 38 (2%)
PORTUGAL 37 (2%)


How does BookCrossing make money to survive and grow? Not with membership fees - BookCrossing is free for everyone. Instead, most of our expenses are covered by Supply Store sales to generous members like you. Here's what's happening over at our secure online Store...

Introducing the new 8th-Edition Bookplates!

Turtle Woman Interrupted

These new labels feature Turtle Woman Interrupted by Jennifer Long de Herrera. Without a doubt, this is my favorite bookplate art to date. Something about Turtle Woman's eyes just do it for me. You might also notice that we've added a "Catch Bounty" reward on the labels — a $100 book shopping spree — to help increase your wild catch rates when you use our bookplate labels. We will be awarding this prize to one lucky wild book catcher every month, drawn at random from the pool of qualified entries, starting in April.

The new bookplates are available either a-la-carte or bundled with bookmarks and sticky-notes in our popular Release Kits.

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 March 4, our champion new member referrer was Wyando from Germany. A member for about a year now, Wyando has now referred 66 new members, 10 of whom joined since the last newsletter. Wyando operates the excellent German BookCrossing support site at You can visit his bookshelf here:

As a token of appreciation for helping us grow, we'll be sending Wyando 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 SSM19 (International Women's Day release) went over well, with many releases and pictures and at least one catch already:

This weekend's SSM20 is dedicated to the victims and families of the horrible bombing yesterday in Madrid, Spain. Our thoughts and prayers go out these souls, and to all 10,041 of our Spanish BookCrossing members. It was suggested by yago and grooble in a forum post that we have a SSM for Peace in honor of the tragedy, and I can think of nothing more fitting. I give you SSM20:

  • RELEASE ZONE: Anywhere that signifies peace or needs more peace, in your personal opinion.
  • RELEASE METHOD: Release books that inspire peace in some way.
  • RELEASE TIME: This Sunday, March 14, 2004, at Sunset wherever you live.

The 10 Rules of Sunday Sunset Missions:

  1. Don't talk about SSMs!
  2. Don't talk about SSMs! (you need to read or see Fight Club for that to make sense)
  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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