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May 18, 2004
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About a week ago, BookCrossing reached the 250,000 member milestone. I still remember back in the summer of 2002 when, upon reaching only 25,000 members, I thought we were huge. Wonder when I'll be announcing 2.5 million members, and looking back with nostalgia at the Spring of 2004. Anyway, congratulations, everyone! I think it's safe to say we're the largest organization of book lovers on the planet.

Many of you asked "who was the 250,000th member?" I did some digging in the database, and the charmed BookCrosser was (drum roll please)... stephwalker from Brighton, England! Someone should get her some Wings. :)

I'm happy to tell you that Dan and I have been adding new features to the website, not the least of which is the ability to edit your forum posts. We're also hard at work on building an administrative rights architecture, so that we can grant rights to member volunteers to help us edit such things as spelling errors in cities and states/provinces, inappropriate forum posts, etc. Please don't volunteer yet — when we're ready to recruit, I'll announce in a newsletter and the forums.

grover3d has started a little challenge in the forums called The BookCrossing 100 — a compilation of the 100 most-liked books of BookCrossers. See the original thread and rules at, and note that WhiteRaven13 has created a web page where you can easily submit your Top 20 book list:

Bookplate Art Auction at eBay!

Remember the Reading Dr. Seuss bookplate labels? The original 13"x12" pastel, matted and framed, by artist Karen Barton is currently being auctioned on eBay, with the proceeds to go to help support BookCrossing. If you're an art collector, or just want to help BookCrossing in a big way, head on over and place a bid... I'll announce the winner in next week's newsletter:

Reading Dr. Seuss auction


Last week I told you about our new partner, Telphonic, who will generously donate 10% of your long-distance bill to BookCrossing. The response has been very good so far, and so I just wanted to remind you of this easy way to save money and support BookCrossing at the same time.

Telphonic Long Distance Service

I can tell you from personal experience that you'll be very happy with the Telphonic long-distance service. I've been using it at my residence since February of 2004, and our long-distance bill has gone WAY down - with perfect sound quality and rock-solid service. My wife calls Japan a few times every week to talk with her family, and we're now paying half what we used to pay for those calls. The rate is only 5 cents per minute for domestic calls, and 6 cents per minute for calls to Japan! Some countries are higher, but most are far cheaper than what you'll pay with ATT, MCI, et. al. Switching over was painless, too.

As a token of our appreciation for your support, you'll get BookCrossing Wings for as long as you continue the Telphonic service. Simply enter your BookCrossing Screen Name during the sign-up process, and your Wings will appear within a few days on the BookCrossing website.


For our international members, stay tuned, because the folks at Telphonic have some other services that you'll be able to use, too. I'll be announcing them in future newsletters.


How the flames of fury should burn in your book reviews
by Vysion

It seems there are a number of voices in the internet that speak to us when we write a book review:
"You're giving the plot away."
"Be careful, the author could be reading this."
"I can't say that!"
"Don't alienate others."
"Be nice."
"Mmm.. cheesy." (not sure which voice that was, probably Homeric)
You know what I say to those voices. "So what!"...

[read it all at]

Releases don't end when the books leave my hands
by Jamie Specht (bflybabe)

Have you ever wondered what happens to your books after they leave your hands in a wild release? I’ve found myself wondering that a few times now and then for the past few years. Where do all those books go that never get journalled? How many are actually picked up? Well, I wonder no more after being able to watch a catch a few books as they get caught. Here’s my stories on how that came to be…...

[read it all at]

Satisfy The Craving
by J. Taylor (sapphy54)

While talking to my oldest son today, I made mention that I was in the bookstore looking around, possibly shopping. He returned my statement by asking me "why are you in a book store?" While finding that a strange questions I quickly answered by explaining that I "have" to read. ...

[read it all at]

a reply to Creative Loafing's article
by bibliophile42

I read the article in Creative Loafing ( and was moved to reply. Following is the e-mail I sent to the editor....

[read it all at]

Giving the gift of words.
by Phoenixfire

When I read the article in the local Community Press free paper about Bookcrossing it was like a dream come true for me. Immediately all kinds of wonderful scenarios popped into my mind. I could see a myriad of bookish possibilities opening up in so many areas that I had to go the website right away and email all my friends about it. ...

[read it all at]

Watching People React to Wild Releases
by ResQgeek

Have you ever been tempted to watch a book you've released to see who picks it up? This can be both a wonderfully entertaining and a terribly frustrating experience. It provides an interesting opportunity to observe human behavior and often requires quite a bit of patience. In the end, you often know that your books have found new homes, even if they are never journaled....

[read it all at]

How reading has become a whole lot more interesting
by Star49

About two weeks ago I read an article in a Sydney magazine about BookCrossing. I was captivated and read it about three times. As soon as I had the opportunity, I logged on to the internet and checked out the BookCrossing website. It was everything I imagined it would be and more. ...

[read it all at]

The accident that was meant to be
by Kanchi Venugopal (Kanchi)

Accident : anything that happens by chance without an apparent cause. You think? Maybe. Or maybe not. Who's to say that the accident wasn't really an accident but that it was really meant to happen - it was destined. ...

[read it all at]

Through the Eyes of a New Member
by Shenna Racine (tank34mom)

Books with wings! I could hardly believe what I was being told. I could actually 'release' my books 'into the wild' and follow its journey through towns, cities and maybe even countries. A book that had taken me on one journey between the blanket of it's covers could take me on another journey through the hands of other people passionate about reading, just as I am. On the other side I could also 'hunt' for 'released' books. Writings set free by their original owners, not for profit, or for any gain but simply to pass along the joy of reading. ...

[read it all at]

"aris1" and "youdid" doing some detective work
by aris1

It all began in the greek island of Crete last summer, as I was getting a suntan next to my hotel's swimming pool. I think it is very funny the way things turned out. Imagine the owner's surprise! ...

[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 get the idea. Write it up, then submit it here:


Top 10 All-Time
USA 128,955 (51%)
CANADA 19,821 (8%)
UNITED KINGDOM 16,558 (7%)
GERMANY 14,552 (6%)
SPAIN 12,252 (5%)
ITALY 10,868 (4%)
AUSTRALIA 9,323 (4%)
PORTUGAL 3,166 (1%)
FRANCE 3,061 (1%)
NETHERLANDS 2,783 (1%)

Top 10 Last Week
USA 1,014 (40%)
CANADA 253 (10%)
GERMANY 233 (9%)
AUSTRALIA 225 (9%)
SPAIN 194 (8%)
FRANCE 44 (2%)
ITALY 39 (2%)
PORTUGAL 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 Supply Store...

The New 9th-Edition Bookplates!

Alli on the Beach

These labels feature Alli on the Beach by Patrick Yesh. You may recall BookCrosser Allistar from the UK who lost her fight to cancer in March of 2003 at a very young age. The artwork for this bookmark was commissioned by her mother, who continues to release books in Alli's name. You can help keep Alli's legacy alive by purchasing these new bookplate labels, which are available either a-la-carte or bundled with bookmarks and sticky-notes in our popular Release Kits.

We still have the 8th-edition Turtle Woman bookplates available, too. All our available bookplates can be found 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 April 30, our champion new member referrer was S-Prime from Virginia, who has referred 95 new members all-time and 41 in the last couple of weeks. Besides being a good BC recruiter, she's an accomplished artist — check out her website at

As a token of appreciation for helping us grow, we'll be sending S-Prime 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:


Official Crossing Zone poster

I'd like to encourage you to set up a new OBCZ (Official BookCrossing Zone) at an establishment in your neighborhood. With that in mind, here is SSM25...

Your SSM25 Assignment:

  • RELEASE ZONE: An independent cafe, book store, or other small, friendly shop near your home.
  • RELEASE METHOD: Take one or more books, along with your confidence, to start the crossing zone. Also, please consider printing out the Crossing Zone poster at and, with the shop-owner's permission, displaying it near the book release shelf or table, and perhaps also in the front window.
  • RELEASE TIME: This coming weekend, May 22-23, 2004.

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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Supply Store
bc supply store Shop online at our secure Supply Store to buy Bookplate Labels, Bookmarks, Sticky-notes, Release Kits, Stampers, T-Shirts and more! Every purchase or donation made there directly supports the BookCrossing website, and will earn your Wings.

bookcrossing meetups
Did you know BookCrossers are meeting-up together in cities all over the world, the second Tuesday of each month? Go to and find out where your meeting will be!