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November 20, 2004
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IN THIS ISSUE...



BOOKCROSSING NEWS

BookCrossing's lead programmer Dan Clune missing since November 6

Dan Clune missing

Never has the power of the Bookcrossing community been put to the test it has since the November 6th disappearance of our lead programmer, Dan Clune. Dan had worked full-time for BookCrossing in the Idaho office since April 2004. As the news and implications stunned those of us who knew and worked with him personally, we were equally stunned by the incredible support that has flowed in from our extended Bookcrossing family.

Dan was last seen shortly before 2 a.m. at the Long Bridge Grill, which sits at the south end of the bridge spanning the Pend Oreille River in Sandpoint, ID. Those who know Clune know it's out of character for him to miss work or stay out of contact with friends and colleagues, which has them worried for his safety. The Sandpoint community and police have continued to search the area for him, and his family has offered a $2,500 reward for information that leads to his return.

We are incredibly touched by the outpouring of hope and support that has literally poured in from the world wide community of bookcrossers. This is an extremely difficult situation for us, and every day we are faced with situations that bring Dan's absence home. Shortly before he went missing, he shared how amazing he thought BookCrossing was, and that he saw it as something that could change the world.

If you would like to help the family and search effort financially, you have two options. The BookCrossing founders have set up a fund to which you may mail checks:

The Dan Clune Search Fund
Panhandle State Bank
P.O. Box 967
Sandpoint, ID 83864
Or, if PayPal is easier for you, BookCrosser casualreader is managing online donations at his BookRelay.com site.

Thank you all again. We will do our best to keep you updated in our Announcements Forum, though you all have done a marvelous job of searching out news and letting each other know. This is understandably a hard subject for us, and we appreciate not only your prayers, messages of hope, but your hard work in keeping the BC community informed.


BookCrossing support volunteers online to help us help you

BookCrossing members bookczuk, GoryDetails, BrynnSC, and quinnsmom have graciously donated their time and efforts in helping us answer support email from our 309,000+ members, and their assistance is already making a huge difference in how quickly your issues get answered and your problems get solved.

Any time you contact us for support from www.bookcrossing.com/contact, your message is routed in round-robin rotation to one of our logged-in support agents. Please do not contact our volunteers directly via Private Messaging for support—your issue won't be tracked properly that way.


BookCrossing Beta site sports new features, access for any Wings member

The BookCrossing Beta website at beta.bookcrossing.com has been updated with several new features, and we need your help with testing and feedback. Here's a short list of the major new functionality:

  • The ISBN Lookup feature, used when registering books, has been improved so that "junk" data isn't ever returned, and expanded so that book cover art and info can be retrieved from not only Amazon.com, but also Amazon.de for our German members and Amazon.co.uk for our UK members. Other countries will be added when Amazon Web Services offers them; Canada and France are reported to be available "soon."
  • Replying to Forum messages is much quicker thanks to some new JavaScript that eliminates the necessity of new page loads to get to the Reply form
  • Lists of Countries, States/Provinces, and Cities are now editable by "Locale Managers" (member volunteers), which should help us clean up all the misspellings of regions on the site and lock down the data entry process for cleaner data in the future.
Any member with Wings will have access to the Beta site, and Beta discussions and feedback are happening in our Beta Site Forum. If you're from a non-US country, and would like to help with region editing, you may make your request in that forum. The quicker we get feedback and region editing done, the quicker we can move the beta changes to the live website so everyone can benefit.


BookCrossing partners with PhotoFramesPlus.com for holiday shopping season

Bookends... BookCrossing is proud to announce a brand new partnership with PhotoFramesPlus.com and their fine collection of bookends. This partnership gives you a very special way to help out the site you love and organize your bookshelves at the same time. We've handpicked the best the site has to offer, and feel this is one of the finest sources for bookends online. PhotoFramesPlus.com also has a great selection of corporate gifts, desk accessories, home furnishings and world globes. BookCrossing will receive a generous percentage every time you click on the bookends ad and purchase an item, so be sure to click and buy often!


More than dough rising at Panera Bread Co. of Iowa

More than dough is Rising at Panera Bread Co. of Iowa—there’s also a rising interest in BookCrossing. Panera Bread locations in Iowa believe in giving back to the community; they sponsor many good causes including Breast Cancer Awareness and the Day-End Dough-Nations where they donate any bakery products remaining at the end of the day to local food pantries and shelters, and now they are promoting literacy by sponsoring OBCZs (Official BookCrossing Zones).

After releasing 600 books in 6 pilot stores, customers took notice and requested that more of their stores participate. Now, all 13 of their stores have OBCZs. Customers are welcome to come in to relax in a comfy leather chair with an expresso drink and a good book. Children are given bagel bookmarks to encourage reading. With each book read, the child colors in a bagel. When the bookmark is full, they can return it to Panera Bread for a free bagel.

BookCrossers are excited about having OBCZs in a favorite place to meet. BookCrosser LoveTeaAndBooks printed out the Panera Bread’s bookshelf and took it to a New York Meetup at a Panera Bread Co. There happened to be a Panera corporate officer in training who also loved the idea, and will be opening 20 more locations in NY. What a delicious way to promote literacy!

Read the whole Panera discussion in our Announcements forum, here.


BookCrossing member fanclub a Lovemark commenter winner

For Alice Alcorn (screenname fanclub), a student in Honolulu, Hawaii, the random acts of kindness promoted by BookCrossing have created a special emotional connection:

"BookCrossing builds 'ohana.' Ohana is the Hawaiian concept of family, and it stretches far beyond the standard idea of a biological one. Ohana embraces the people who are special to you, who become an integral part of your life. BookCrossing fosters a sense of community that is welcome in today's busy world. Many of us have found friends and built a new ohana out of our appreciation and love of literature and discourse."

As one of three runners-up in Lovemarks.com' KitchenAid prize round, Alice received an autographed copy of Lovemarks, the Future Beyond Brands.

BookCrossing remains the Top Lovemark by Popular Vote at Lovemarks.com, above Foster's Lager, Apple Computers, Guinness Beer, and Coca-Cola. If you haven't yet done so, you may still put in your comments about BookCrossing here.




NEW BOOKCROSSING ARTICLES

UNLEASHED IN SEATTLE
Pier 54: Writer releases book and, cosmically, another writer picks it up!
by Adrienna

One fine August day in 2003, I ferried over to Seattle to enjoy the music of Bumbershoot with my best friend. There was a charge to the air that day, so I figured it was a great time to liberate a book. I'd already chosen the book I was to release -- Write from the Heart: Unleashing the Power of Your Creativity, by Hal Zina Bennett. This book had been a treasure for this budding writer, and I felt it was time to pass it on. Walking from the ferry to the Key Arena, I only had to find a place to release it....

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1485]


SHARING AND GIVING
A great idea for this time of year
by Carol Oswald (kylara70)

I love bookcrossing. It is a unique and interesting experiment in this chaos we call humanity. ...

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1490]


EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW - TO ME
(Or Why I Love My Used Bookstore)
by AmyMS88

I will admit I love walking in to the big chain bookstore in my town. Acres and acres of books await in their brightly lit home. Rows of brand-new, pristine volumes in a wide variety of topics are available to fill almost any need. No dogears or broken spines here! The eye-catching displays of the latest best-sellers are coupled with tables holding the latest in trade paperbacks. This store offers big comfy chairs to curl up in, and a coffee shop in the store for all your caffeine needs. You can sip coffee and read all afternoon and you’re never obligated to buy any books (though perhaps tempted!)...

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1491]


MY FIRST BC WEEK
My first impressions from BookCrossing
by bookfriend3

About a week ago, there was an article in the daily newspaper about BC. It catched my attention right away. Letting books out in the wild, free them, what an idea! And then connecting all actions through Internet! Wow! I had to try the BookCrossing website at once and I like it a lot. The idea of sharing books, to make each other happy with books, to fill the world with books, where books are free to everybody, where you can just drop by some place and discover a book that you would never have got otherwise, yes, how fascinating!...

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1492]


MEET MUNDOO....
My friend is a BC Addict and we know where to find her!
by flitterby

My best friend, "Mundoo" is totally addicted to BookCrossing. She tops the Australian BookCrossing charts with (to date) 1,814 books registered and 1,552 released. Yet she lives on a small island in South Australia and runs a business in a very small country town. She's always surprising me with books and other pleasures so I thought I'd write this article as a way to turn the tables and surprise her with some recognition for her efforts. Mundoo is the type of person that can find extraordinary means to deliver a gift. She once gave me a coffee mug as a gift, but had it delivered to me (with coffee) while we were at a cafe. Long before we arrived, she had arranged with the manager to use the mugs she left him in order to make the gift a real surprise. Boy was it! She releases books with the same flair and attention to detail....

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1493]


A BOOKCROSSING FAIRY TALE
Once Upon A Time in the Life of a Bookcrosser
by MollyGrue

Once upon a time, there was a woman who loved to read. And because she loved to read, she also loved books. She also loved collecting books. "What does it matter if I don't read them right away? They will be there when I want to read them." So she collected books in many genres, especially science-fiction, fantasy and children's literature, because she loved to read those the most....

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1494]


FIRST ANNUAL SPANISH BOOKCROSSING MEETING
400 books released at Zaragoza in one day
by Encuentrico

Last 10/30,10/31 and 11/1 more than 40 Spanish bookcrossers from all ages and cities all around Spain had gone to the first annual meeting of Spanish bookcrossers at the city of Zaragoza. ...

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1498]


THIS BOOK MADE A DIFFERENCE
Book found in laundromat helps young woman
by LoveTeaAndBooks

I fell in love with the concept of Bookcrossing the moment I saw it. I know that many new Bookcrossers become frustrated when they "free" their books, and then no one journals that the book has been found. I also became frustrated until a book I left at a local laundromat in June was found by the most appropriate person I could imagine. The journal entry was not entered until 3 months later in September, but I knew immediately that this book captured the spirit of Bookcrossing. ...

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1499]


TIME OF YEAR TO GIVE THANKS TO BOOKCROSSING
Shamelessly Naming Names and Telling Tales to Give Credit Where Due
by John K. Gallaher (BigJohnLefty)

BookCrossing as a whole appears to be a much more unified (though by no means homogeneous) group than other internet “communities”. BookCrossers all over the world – I’m thankful you’re my friends! Although I’m not a “name-dropper” by nature, do feel compelled to list as many as I can of those in whose generosity, karma and/or good vibes I’ve had the benefit of basking, not to mention the enjoyment I've gotten from the books....

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1501]


IT'S NOT THE BOOKS
A Weekend in Sydney at the Australian Bookcrossers' Conference
by Skyring

We thought of our Northern Hemisphere cousins as a late spring sun burned out of a gem-blue sky, sparkling and dimpling on the busy waters of the harbour. It was hot and gusty on the wide forecourt of the Sydney Opera House and here we were, a crowd of Bookcrossers ready for the grand public stunt of the first Australian Bookcrossing Convention, pretending we were just a scattering of camera-toting tourists as we assembled for our flashmob.

...

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1513]


CALL FOR WRITERS

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:

http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/submit




GLOBAL BOOKCROSSING GROWTH CHARTS

Top 10 Countries All-Time
USA 152,349 (49%)
CANADA 23,487 (8%)
UNITED KINGDOM 21,478 (7%)
GERMANY 19,210 (6%)
SPAIN 14,998 (5%)
AUSTRALIA 13,685 (4%)
ITALY 11,855 (4%)
FRANCE 4,168 (1%)
PORTUGAL 3,798 (1%)
NETHERLANDS 3,484 (1%)

Top 10 Countries Last Week
USA 714 (41%)
AUSTRALIA 212 (12%)
UNITED KINGDOM 139 (8%)
SPAIN 104 (6%)
GERMANY 99 (6%)
CANADA 98 (6%)
ITALY 43 (2%)
PORTUGAL 32 (2%)
FRANCE 28 (2%)
NETHERLANDS 21 (1%)



THE LATEST WILD BOOK CATCHES

Wild books released by our members are being caught all over the world, every day! Our site watch forum is where members post news of great wild book catches. Here are some of the best from the last few days...

Intriguing release notes and journals. A race?
by felicia-fairy

Ohhh, how lucky is this?
by Skyring

My first release caught!
by Sumeragi

for some reason the idea of BookCrossing popped into my head
by Skyring

"Who knows what delightful surprises might await me?"
by mojosmom

Woo Hoo - 75% catch rate
by solittletime

Released in NYC in March--and now in Brazil
by watchcat

released yesterday and journaled today
by varykino

An important release and catch for solittletime.
by kiptrix




CURRENT BOOK RELEASE CHALLENGES

Stuck in a bookcrossing rut? Seeking guidance for your next wild book release safari? Here are some fresh ideas posted by members in our Release Challenges forum to whet your adventure appetite. And if you can think of other timely or unique challenges, post them to the forum and you may see them here in the next newsletter!

December Just for Fun Challenge.
by billhookbabe

World Peace Movement, please help!!!
by phatt-cat

National Children's Book Week
by Green-Leader

St Nicholas release challenge on 5 December 2004
by maupi

A personal challenge
by solittletime

"International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women" 25th Nov.
by Vargas

Going postal, a challenge for the holiday season
by appaloosatb




MUST-READ FORUM THREADS

Our forums offer hundreds of new topics each day. Here are a few recent ones you don't want to miss... jump right into the conversations!

my top ten for this year
started by truthteller in Book Talk

2005 BookCrossing Convention Online Registration Form (xpost)
started by yvi-1 in Conventions and Meetings

BookCrossing mentioned in the Make a Note Newsletter!
started by Minnikin in Announcements

The most catchings occur at what kind of place?
started by petsnpeople in Release Techniques

Bookcrossing on Neighbours!
started by saine in Announcements





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Last Week: 14,873

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