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March 18, 2004
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We're growing faster than ever, and we have an immediate need for a full-time web developer. (As the sole developer and support guy, I've been getting a bit overwhelmed lately, so the person we hire will be my new favorite person in the world.) We'd like nothing more than to fill this position from within the BookCrossing membership, so if you or someone you know might be interested, please see the complete job description and contact method here:


Since announcing the Wild Animus free book promotion last week, we've already had over 10,000 requests for the book! Too Far, the independent publishing house from Woodside, California, has graciously decided to continue the promotion and print even more copies to give away to BookCrossers like you! We're going to start shipping the first 8,000 copies within the next 2-3 weeks, and will get the rest out within 4-6 weeks as the printer completes the next run.

To give you a taste of the novel, Too Far has granted us permission to post the Prologue to our website. Read it here:

As icing on the cake, the author, Rich Shapero, will be attending the first annual BookCrossing Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, next month! He's planning to give a short talk about his book, engage the audience in an interactive discussion, and sign books for those interested. He'll be bringing more copies with him, in case you haven't yet received yours by then. See below for conference details.


Wild Animus by Rich Shapero

Wild Animus

by Rich Shapero

Wild Animus is a novel about obsession and surrender, set in the wilderness of Alaskaís Mt. Wrangell. It is the story of one manís 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 ďmustĒ 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.

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 almost 230,000 BookCrossers around the world, so get in on this while Too Far can meet the demand! Do it now!


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)


Derby's first book crossing meeting is successful
by optics

How many times do you go into a pub to find someone sitting on their own reading, maybe a book they brought with them or a book from one of the shelves in the pub. Perhaps there'll be people sitting at the bar glancing over, passing comments like "lonely b**tard". Sure, they may not be surrounded by their friends, talking and laughing but five minutes earlier it could have been a different story. For five minutes earlier they could have been at a Book Crossing meeting. ...

[read it all at]

Spanish Bookcrossers want to show their gratitude
by YagoBCN

I feel impotent. Iím facing a blank screen, trying to put in order so many feelings and images of death, pain and anger that even my fingers tremble over the keyboard. The heavy weight of reality has sunk our souls so deeply that I simply donít feel able to lift them with the fragile ropes of words. And thatís the only thing that seems to be clear in my head so far: words are not enough. Most of us spend our lives thinking they are powerful. As readers, we assume words are able to convey a whole range of human emotions and to reach our souls making us laugh, cry or shiver with fear. Still, when something like the recent Madrid terrorist attacks happen, they seem useless. ...

[read it all at]

What about those friends lists?
by Vysion

You've probably seen them under member links: "Friends List" and "Friend Of". What are they? Well, they are not about winning the third annual BC popularity contest. Instead, the "friends" concept at Bookcrossing is a means of keeping shortcuts to your Bookcrossing friends and their bookshelves. Never worked with this feature? Have no fear, it is easy and I'll even walk you through it....

[read it all at]

Hello. My name is Karen, and I'm a literoholic
by Karen Pruitt Fowler (Mamawrites77)

As Iíve grown up, many of my interests have fallen by the wayside. No, Iím not on a self-actualized quest to become a jack-of-all-trades. Iíve just outgrown certain things, or they decided to outgrow me first. ...

[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:


This is your last chance to release your no-longer-needed computer books to Iraq! They must arrive by next Friday!

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 new 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:


Top 10 All-Time
USA 118,228 (52%)
CANADA 17,202 (8%)
UNITED KINGDOM 14,835 (7%)
GERMANY 12,477 (5%)
ITALY 10,508 (5%)
SPAIN 10,169 (4%)
AUSTRALIA 7,218 (3%)
PORTUGAL 2,847 (1%)
FRANCE 2,705 (1%)
NETHERLANDS 2,580 (1%)

Top 10 Last Week

Wow, look what happened in Canada last week. BookCrossing was featured on an hour-long radio spot nationwide on CBC Radio, which led to our second-highest daily new member count ever (1,088) last Saturday and huge numbers since then!

USA 2,808 (55%)
CANADA 989 (19%)
GERMANY 168 (3%)
AUSTRALIA 161 (3%)
SPAIN 134 (3%)
ITALY 46 (1%)
CHINA 43 (1%)
AUSTRIA 41 (1%)
FRANCE 38 (1%)


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...

The New 8th-Edition Bookplates!

Turtle Woman Interrupted

These 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 12, our champion new member referrer was freelancebyu from Powhatan, Virginia. A member since July 2002, freelancebyu has referred 261 new members, and a whopping 171 of them joined in the last 6 days! She operates the FreelanceByU website at, which is chock-full of money-saving tips and links to bargains all over the web.

As a token of appreciation for helping us grow, we'll be sending freelancebyu 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 SSM20 (Peace Release) resulting in many personally-meaningful releases and at least one catch already:

This weekend's SSM21 celebrates the 21st day of March, which is either the Vernal Equinox (first day of Spring, Ostara) or the Autumnal Equinox (first day of Fall) depending upon your relationship to the equator. It was suggested by dizzydormouse in a forum post.

Your SSM21 Assignment:

  • RELEASE ZONE: Somewhere that signifies Spring (or Fall) to you personally. Greening lawns or flower beds or park benches might work for Spring. Fall is more difficult - let's see what the Aussies come up with. :)
  • RELEASE METHOD: If you're releasing outdoors, don't forget to protect the book(s) from the elements with a plastic bag. For Spring, you might tape a flower to the book, and set it next to a park bench. Get extra credit for books with subjects related to Spring (or Fall). And remember to take pictures!
  • RELEASE TIME: This Sunday, March 21, 2004, any time. (Morning might work best for the Spring releases.)

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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