Beyond the Books
Notes from Idaho...
 


THE BEST LAID PLANS OF MICE AND MEN

Well, here we are - this newsletter has finally made it to your Inbox. We must confess, due to holidays, hurdles, and hangups, we’ve been writing and re-writing (and rewriting again) the newsletter since early December.  From Scrooge to Steinbeck (and now Cupid), we are elated to finally push the send button before needing to consider some leprechaun in our theme for March! Happy New Year to you (and our apologies to Mr. Steinbeck for altering your classic)!

Hidden under a fresh blanket of squeaky new snow, we are celebrating the beginning of BookCrossing’s 11th year and send to you, our loyal BookCrossing community, our warmest greetings from the tundra termperatures of Northern Idaho. The 2012 Anniversary BookCrossing Convention to be held in Dublin is fast approaching and many of us will head over there to commune with our fellow BookCrossers and meander the iconic cobbled streets of Dublin, including O'Connell, Grafton, Henri and Amiens, which remind us of a few lines in the song, “Dublin Saunter”, by Noel Purcell:

Grafton Street's a wonderland
There's magic in the air
In Dublin on a sunny summer morning
And if you don't believe me, come and meet me there
 
Of course, we’ll be in Dublin in the ‘spring afternoon’ rather than ‘summer morning’ as referenced in the song, so we’ll be sure to bring warm, rainproof clothing and a little something to read as we arrive at the conference with exciting BookCrossing news and the latest website developments. We’ve been holding back some intel to impart firsthand at the Dublin Convention, and although we’ve been quiet behind the scenes, we are growing stronger as laboreously add we code to support our inevitable growth and development.

We’re excited to share with you our plans and this year’s outlook, so please join us in Dublin if you're able. We’d absolutely love to see you!

Here’s to warm weather and luck of the Irish,

Bruce and Heather



IN WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW

What's black and white and read all over? You’ve asked, we’ve answered: Our black and white Econo Labels back in stock and better than ever as they come with a pre-numbered option! At half the size and near half the price of our standard labels, these 4”x2” (or just roughly 10 cm x 5 cm), no frills babies are perfect for smaller books. Keeping within a modest budget, this option is your economical answer for mass releases - so affordable you can stash some in your glove compartment, purse and every corner of your abode! A mere $12.95 gets you 50 labels (or order in the never-before-offered quantity of 1000 lables for $149.95), so get crackin' to the Supply Store and get some today!



There are more surprises in our Supply Store. We're bringing back some of our vintage bookplates, and with more being added back every week, you'll want to keep checking back. Take a walk down BookCrossing memory lane, and drop a few packs of your ol' favorites in your shopping cart.

Please remember: We need you. Buying from the BookCrossing Supply Store supports BookCrossing and keeps this site
alive.



STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

There are always questions about how personal statistics for BookCrossing are calculated. Even more are the concerns that BookCrossing's reported statistics don't necessarily reflect the statistics members keep on their own. Part of the confusion is due to the fact that there are so many ways to release and catch books: Those books released either as 'wild' or 'controlled' via the Release a Book link, or those passed on without the benefit of an 'official' release note can muddy the figures.  Each method of release generates a different type of 'found and caught' statistic as well. There is no right or wrong method for releasing a book, though certainly using the link provided has the advantage of sending out release notes on wild releases and (when the feature is restored) showing a book's travel stops on the world map. There also are issues having to do with registering books, the use of pre-numbered labels, and when a book is registered. 

All this is a prelude to the reassurances that our hard-working Tech Team is continuously improving the collation and collection of information for site statistics. Rest assured that whenever a coding change takes place, book-related data is recalculated from scratch, not calculated from the point of the change in strategy. So, every time things are recalculated, it's from the beginning of your BookCrossing history, not from the timing of the fix. Cool, huh?

It's our hope that the “perfect” formula for calculating your registrations, releases, finds and catches will soon be in place. And we also hope to work some statistic wizardry on new member stats at some point. These statistics are a bit more difficult to track down, but we certainly intend to try. Until then, we'll keep working to get all your statistic just right.



THE PAPERBACK TRAVELLER

Rather than submit a boring qualitative research report, three creative graduate students completing Master’s Degrees from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands chose BookCrossing to make a short video. The assignment was to portray an example of mobility of information within cities. They titled their final project “The Paperback Traveller”.

As part of their course in Urban Design through the Department of Architecture, the students followed BookCrossing activities throughout an urban landscape; they tracked how (and where) BookCrossing activities linked people together with spaces and movement within the city.

We concur that BookCrossing was the perfect application for such a study. It’s no surprise that public transport was found to be one of the most popular locations for releasing books, and that thrillers and literature seem to be the most preferred genres. We hope their professor appreciated the resulting mini BookCrossing movie, and that it was welcomed as a nice change from the usual paper statistical case study.
We give your team an A+!



THE LATEST WILD BOOK CATCHES

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


a nice exchange in the Post Office
Two contrasting catches today
a catch in Romania travels on to India!
Festival reject now caught three times from wild releases
My first 2nd generation wild catch!
Book took 6 years to go 6 miles...
half way across the world and back again.
Book has been cruising about
AF keeps promise to update.
Two nice wild catches and a new BCer
100% Catch rate today!
Monsterology checks in 3 years later (and a couple of other catches!)     



Please know that every purchase you make in our Supply Store helps to keep BookCrossing free, and your generosity directly supports our cause to make the world a library!



BOOKPLATE OF THE MONTH
More than a twinkle in someone's eye, this gorgeous bookplate sparkles for January.
The eye is gleaming with insight, foresight and hindsight as we reflect on last year and look forward to an eye-opening 2012. Let's face it: The ayes have it!

This month, our winner is...
 

I spy with my little eye created by busybooklover

(These labels are available for purchase in the Supply Store with a pre-numbered option.)


Heather's Wonderin'...
(Note: December's answers to “Heather's Wonderin'...” were too witty to replace simply to be timely in providing post-holiday relevant content; therefore, we hope you'll indulge us, and enjoy a bit of humor from Christmas past.)

“If Santa knew who was good and bad, why don't they use him in courts?”

Did you ever try serving a subpoena to someone who lives at a secret workshop in the North Pole? The process servers alone cost a fortune (and that's assuming they can find the place!)”
-FURBALL


There are no chimneys.
-Covert

Santa has no proof! We only have his word; it would be hearsay testimony.
-AwesomeAud

The lawyers are afraid that he really does know who's naughty and who's nice and just might call them out in the courtroom!
-ResQgeek

“The rest of the year he works for the National Elf Service, so he's not available!

-Fellraven

He gets so tired delivering all those presents that he simply doesn't respond to any mail during the rest of the year. So no one has been able to get hold of him to ask.
-Moem


Santa's job is to know if children (not adults) are good or bad. Maybe, if he knows something in this case, he knows it only about the recent year. So what is with statute-barred prosecution?
-Holiday-Snack

Look for Heather's posts in the Chit-Chat Forum.  Each month, she'll pose a question and we'll publish our favorite answers.


EUROPEAN SUPPLY STORE UPDATE

We know you've been (im)patiently waiting for the European distribution of Supply Store items and we sincerely apologize for the delay. We're still working on the details as the plan we had hoped to have in place by now ran into unforeseen difficulties. As we've had to start from scratch, we can assure you that a EU store (or at least decent EU delivery options) is forthcoming, however, we honestly don't know yet when we will have achieved this. Thanks for your understanding.


SECRET BOOK SCULPTURES

We've been beguiled by these fabulous series of book sculptures and this Banksy-type of artistry.  Releasing a book in secret can be difficult enough, but try secretly slipping one of these out of your bookbag. Here's the ultimate example of 'read and release' taken to an entire new level: reading, sculpting and releasing.

booksculpture thumbnail
(c) Chris Scott - Central Stn

We hope you enjoy these spectacular miniatures (and don't miss the Update link on top of that page!) as much as we do, and should you be so inspired, make your own and set it free (and be sure to send us pictures!)


GOODBYE JOSEKI

January 2, 2012 marked the passing of well-known BookCrosser and frequent Chit-Chat Forum contributor, Matthew (aka Joseki).  With over 25,000 forum posts, Matthew was known for his jokes which were imparted with warm and kind intentions. He made us smile. His onsite presence was a pleasure, and this special BookCrosser contributed his vitality, intelligence and good cheer to many of us.  We will certainly mourn his passing and send our condolences to his wife Betsy and the rest of his family.

Matthew, we remember you fondly.
Rest in peace.


Have an idea for the Newsletter? 

Other members are intrigued and enlightened by articles from fellow members.  Are you a member who loves to write as much as read?  Email heather@bookcrossing.com with feature ideas, thoughts or suggestions or send us an article we can add to the newsletter.  Write on!
here.




MEMBER ARTICLES

Books Can Grow on Trees
by abbigailann


How one author utilized BookCrossing to send her book around the world.
by LauraHarrington



LAST LAUGH

Little Johnny asked and received help from a librarian on how to use the card catalog. In a little while, he approached the librarian again, wanting to know how to spell “tequila”.

“T-e-q-u-i-l-a,” spelled the librarian, and Little Johnny thanked her and went
back to his search.

A short time later he came to the desk, looking quite distraught. “I just can’t find it,” he said.

“What book are you looking for?” the librarian asked.

Replied Little Johnny, “Tequila Mockingbird.”



Copyright © 2012, BookCrossing, Inc., All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
291 Syringa Heights, Sandpoint, ID 83864 (USA)