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January 12, 2005
[This occasional newsletter is sent to members of BookCrossing.com. See the bottom of this newsletter for simple removal instructions.]


IN THIS ISSUE...



BOOKCROSSING NEWS

Supply Store News: 11th Edition Bookplate Labels launched, Release Bags back in stock

bookplate labelsNew Bookplate Labels! Now, here's the Purr-fect label for cat fanciers. BookCrossing is proud to offer our newest label, featuring Maynard's Muse by artist Beverly Chick. Beverly is a traditional-style artist whose love for animals and nature can be seen in her mixed media pieces, and her donation of Maynard's Muse to our bookplate label series is very much appreciated.


release bagsRelease Bags Are Back In Stock! If you've been holding back your releases for the Winter Wonderland challenge, or wondering how to keep your books safe and dry in the face of rains and storms, wait no more! Our jazzy Release Bags are back in stock at the Supply Store. And if you are wondering if they will really keep your books safe and dry, take a peek at the infamous Skyring's Convention Journal, where you can see charbono's photo of latest fashion wear for local statues, and newk's attempt to float a book. Leave it to the Aussies to test the limits!

Wings and Wings for a Year
Purchases of supply store items or donations to the site entitle you to wings for a month. That's thirty days of flying around the site. We now offer Wings for a Year for $50- which is just that; you will flutter for a year from the purchase date, which saves you the trouble of having to remember to renew your wings each month. (But don't forget to come back and check out the Supply Store regularly, as we keep adding new neat stuff for you!) At this time, we do not have any other variations on winging, which can be done on a monthly basis for as little as $5/month. If you want to wing someone for more than a month, you either need to spring for a year or do it monthly. We're thinking of other options, but have not implemented any at this point.

Gift Certificates
Gift Certificates are now available. In order to process these, please be sure to include the screen name of the intended recipient so that we can send it on to them. That's the only way to share your generosity! The wings for the purchase (month-long) will go to you, and your recipient will get their own wings when they redeem their coupon. At this time, we are issuing coupon codes via email, so if you need something more elegant to wrap and put in a box, let us know using the comments section during the order process and we'll figure out a way to get something in hard copy to you.


Book Shopping Spree offer on labels - an update

Many BookCrossers have been wondering what happened with the $100 book-shopping spree offer that was announced in the March newsletter. Well, the selection criteria were more complicated than we'd thought when the idea first was conceived, and the giveaway kept getting postponed. But we're planning to catch up now, and will be awarding one $100 shopping spree per month from April 2004 through December 2004, to a randomly-selected BookCrosser who joined in that month as a result of journaling a wild-released book. Keep your eyes peeled to future newsletters for announcements of winners. The shopping spree offer will be discontinued after the December winner has been chosen. Future BookCrossing Supply Store labels will not include the shopping-spree text, but if you still have any of the labels that do mention it, you may want to snip that bit off of the bottom. Labels that included the text: series #8 ("Turtle Woman"), series #9 ("Ali on the Beach"), and series #10 ("BookCrossing in Times Square"). See all our currently available labels in our secure Supply Store.


Need a refill for your Slim Stamp?

BookCrossing Stamp Is your BookCrossing Stamp beginning to run low on ink after all of the furious releasing you've been doing? We've now researched a good replacement ink: MaxLight re-ink.

There are quite a few sources for this ink and a simple Google on "MaxLight re-ink" by one of our support volunteers (See? They do all sorts of great things for us!) yielded the following sites. While we do not have direct experience with refilling the stamp nor any these websites, we wanted to give you the benefit of our research:

Thestampmaker.com
MaxLight ink in a 1/4 ounce tube for $4.25 (plus shipping and handling)

Stamp-Connection.com
Offers the same ink for $5.95

Benton Trophy Online
The 1/4 oz. tube is $5.25 here

The Notary Store
It's $5 a bottle here, or $12 for 2 oz, with discounts for quantity.


BookCrossing reaches out to Tsunami victims

Many of you have been in touch with us to ask what we as a community can do to help the victims of the recent tsunami. We encourage you to reach out through your home communities in any way you can to help the survivors of this disaster and to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. If you are still looking for ways to make contributions, you might want to check one of the many forum threads on the subject including How to Help the Earthquake/Tsunami Victims, Help Tsunami Victims—A list from Charity Navigator, Help for the Tsunami's animal victims, and Tsunami aid? Is there a way to help other than with money?.


Celebrity Cruises partners with BookCrossing

Celebrity CruisesCelebrity Cruises is now partnering with BookCrossing! While Celebrity passengers visit exotic locales, their books can come along, too! Celebrity Cruises is the industry's highest-rated premium cruise brand with a taste of luxury. The cruise line has 10 ships in its fleet, which sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal and South America. In addition, Celebrity Xpeditions offers exotic travel experiences in the Galapagos Islands, the Arctic, and Antarctica.

Celebrity Cruises is the only premium cruise line which employs professional librarians on a full-time basis. This is not surprising, since each Celebrity ship's library contains up to 3,000 books along with automated card catalogues, a bar-coding system for quick checkout and returns. In addition, each library carries reference materials as well as periodicals and port-specific information. On days at sea, avid readers are likely to find the library a welcome site, because Celebrity's librarians hold book discussions, with topics such as "The DaVinci Code: All Fiction?" and "Marvelous Mystery Novels." Music aficionados can rent iPods in Celebrity's libraries as well, which can be pre-programmed with guests' favorite tunes.

Well, these shipboard librarians are about to become busier – they are now stocking their libraries with books that have been previously registered, and offering guests specifically-designed Celebrity Cruises/BookCrossing labels (below) so that the passengers might be encouraged to register their books and send their books on their own way.

Celebrity Cruises BookCrossing Label
Celebrity's Director of Entertainment and Cruise Programs, Michael Thomas, notes that "BookCrossing adds elements of both surprise and mystery to Celebrity's libraries," and that "finding a BookCrossing-registered book is like finding a message in a bottle."

If you are interested in booking a Celebrity Cruise, call your travel agent. In the US dial 1-800-437-3111, or visit the Celebrity Cruises website. And don't forget your books!


Significant site improvements made, more on the way

We've made several improvements to the BookCrossing website in the last few days, most notably:

  • ISBN lookups now get clean book registration info and pictures from not only Amazon.com, but alternatively Amazon.de (for our German members) and Amazon.co.uk (for our UK members)
  • Forum replies to any post can be made without a new page load
  • Forum performance has been very significantly improved (as of Wednesday afternoon, January 12th), making the entire site more responsive

And more improvements are on the way. Our traffic is up over 7 million "real" pageviews per month (not counting search engine spiders), which includes prolonged spikes during the day of over 15 page requests per second. To keep up with the demand, 4 new servers are installed and are being configured in our farm as you're reading this. We hope to have a new cluster configuration working by the end of February that will do away with slow page loads for all time. Just a note: this stuff ain't cheap or easy... thank you for your voluntary financial support.




NEW BOOKCROSSING ARTICLES

EUROPE AT ITS BEST
The very first BookCrossing Euregio-Meeting
by owlet

On December 11 2004, the very first BookCrossing Euregio-Meeting took place in Maastricht, the Netherlands. As you might know, Maastricht is located in the south of the Netherlands and is very close to the German and Belgium borders; Luxembourg is a mere two hour ride away. The idea to have a Euregio-Meeting with German, Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg BookCrossers was therefore a logical one and came up during a meetup in Aachen, Germany. German BookCrosser pinardelrio and I decided to organize it. ...

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1561]


SPANISH READERS EMBRACE ALL CHALLENGES

by CGrauGarriga

Spaniards have the reputation of being late night party goers and siesta devotees, and, according to the national polls, they're also compulsive book buyers who seldom read their books. Well… not entirely true. I am from Spain and believe it or not, when it's siesta time, I don't sleep: I read (still love to party, though). Like me, so many Spaniards are doing the same, especially when they're faced with a challenge and more so if they are bookcrossers. ...

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1570]


TRAVELS WITH BOOKCROSSING
How Bookcrossing has changed the way we travel
by Banzyni

London had really got to us. Don't get me wrong. We had good jobs, a flat, travelled a lot, and generally enjoyed life. There was just, well, no sense of satisfaction. ...

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1568]


BOOKS AHOY!
How I Discovered the Celebrity Cruises/BookCrossing Connection
by Minnikin

"You're bringing books along on your honeymoon?" Well, what BookCrosser wouldn't? I recently spent a week cruising the Caribbean aboard the Celebrity cruise ship Century. Tucked in my suitcase along with my sun block and sandals was a stack of books, all registered and labeled, ready to be released on the high seas....

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/1564]


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 157,342 (49%)
CANADA 24,204 (8%)
UNITED KINGDOM 22,387 (7%)
GERMANY 20,506 (6%)
SPAIN 15,865 (5%)
AUSTRALIA 14,459 (4%)
ITALY 12,158 (4%)
FRANCE 4,477 (1%)
PORTUGAL 4,091 (1%)
NETHERLANDS 3,632 (1%)

Top 10 Countries Last Week
USA 775 (42%)
GERMANY 187 (10%)
UNITED KINGDOM 157 (8%)
AUSTRALIA 117 (6%)
SPAIN 113 (6%)
CANADA 103 (6%)
FRANCE 53 (3%)
ITALY 32 (2%)
SWITZERLAND 30 (2%)
NEW ZEALAND 28 (2%)



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...

I'd have been excited to find this book at the doctor's office, too.
by Megi53

"Will now always look for another stray book looking for a temporary but good home"
by Netstation

Busy Christmas travel for one of JDT's books
by Antof9

From a Bus Stop in Christchurch NZ to Wales, UK!
by libragirl

We should start a book fence!
by boreal

made me feel like a kid again
by solittletime

Sometimes the employees get it
by nimrodiel

One of mine: Georgia to Oklahoma to Baghdad (and Madrid next)
by KF-in-Georgia

One for mojosmom (and other people who like ABC books)
by silentmiaouw

I just had my first wild catch for one of the books I released
by jessibud

Wow - 26 months!
by MaryZee




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!

Australia: Tsunami Sunday release challenge Jan 16 2005.
by Jenny-G

The Eccentrics' Release Challenge
by lucybrown

New Year 12 months 12 books challenge
by tabby-cat-owner

My 52 towns in 52 weeks release challenge for 2005...
by bluepointjive

Challenge for 2005, anyone want to join me ?
by BreakEveryRule




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!

If a BookCrosser invited you to a party at their home would you go?
started by whokyles in Chit-Chat

1/11/05 and 1/12/05: What are you reading now?
started by Amusedbythis in Book Talk

Allowing children to read 'difficult' books
started by Moem in Book Talk

How not to release books (taliesan's thread, x-post from Chit-Chat)
started by GoryDetails in Release Techniques

The Solution for Peace in our Forum
started by fsr44 in Chit-Chat

Uncaught books! What do you do?
started by kerble in Release Techniques

Books that *everyone* has read. Except you.
started by Antof9 in Book Talk

FAQs in wild releases - Your thoughts?
started by whokyles in Release Techniques





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Members
Total: 321,586
Last Week: 1,847

Books
Total: 1,665,827
Last Week: 17,863

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 Meetup.com and find out where your meeting will be!