I work in downtown Winnipeg. One of my favourite places to release a book is on a parking meter just outside my office. My catch rate at this spot is not the greatest, although I have had some books check in from time to time. They all disappear though so I continue to release there.
Today I was outside on the porch at street level having a smoke. Lots of people pass by all day long, so often smiles or comments ("nice day") are exchanged. Today a young man, perhaps in his early twenties walked by, picking up litter as he went. I recognized him as one of our city's "clean team" by the florescent bib he wore. The City employs homeless people to pick up litter, hoping to give them job skills and a bit of a wage (minimum wage). I smiled at him as he went by and he smiled back.
Then, as he passed the parking meter on which I often release books, I heard him say, "Aww, no book." My ears perked up and I said, "Pardon?" He came over and explained a little bit sheepishly, "Sometimes when I come, there's a book there. If there is, I take it." I said, "Oh, I think that's the whole idea. People leave books there for other people to find." He brightened and said, "I don't read but I take them back to my wife and she reads them to me. She likes to get them."
I actually started to tear up then and all I could say was, "I hope you find some more." He grinned and said, "Me too."
You know, I don't care if I ever get another official "catch" from there, I'll keep releasing my books there and thinking of this young man listening as his wife reads to him.
I've always believed many more of our wild books than we ever hear about are enjoyed by others. I also like to think that as well as making someone's day with our gifts, that it inspires them to do a little something for others,
You're welcome. The experience has given me a little prod too. I can't remember the last time I released a book there. So, now I'm wondering, how many times has that young man gone by and said, "Aww, no book."?
Some of my books also disappear fast and I am sure somebody picks them up. Some people might be older and might not have a computer at home. That does not keep me from releasing and I am happy when once in a while a book checks in again.
Mine too. Thank you for clicking through. If I could speak more languages I might have thought to share on the other forums. It is such a universal story. It is an experience that has stayed with me and probably always will. I think of this young man looking for a book in the hopes he can take the wee gift back to his wife, of the wife who shares the gift of the story with her husband, of them both sharing that time together. A reminder that, despite unfortunate circumstances, we are all human beings with gifts of caring and tenderness to give and receive. It makes me hopeful for us all.
Aw... Thanks for bringing this up to the top of this thread. I just got teary reading my own story! But also it reminded me that I've been neglecting my once usual release spots in favour of my Little Free Library. I'm going to get back to doing more real wild releases too.
This should motivate all of us to release more books. I am going to release a box full that has been sitting just waiting for me to set them FREE to travel and find Happy Homes of Fellow Readers who will welcome them with joy!
This reminds me of a book I released at my health centre, when I went to see my nurse. I left it on a chair, and on my way back, I saw a lady taking it and telling her friend: "I will take it home to my mother". There was no entry, but I have always imagined that this old lady read and enjoyed my book. :) Good enough for me. I think this is the true spirit of Bookcrossing... though of course, we all love to see them journalled! Thanks for sharing this lovely story with us, Pooker3... I hope that 3 years from then you are still "wild-releasing" books.
There are two places I release that don't get feedback but I know people are taking and enjoying the books. One is our local Piggly Wiggly and I have run into some of the employees on their break. One day a few saw me with the books and said so you're the one and they proceeded to tell me of the books they had found and how they are traveling to different states via people who had been visiting them. So even though they haven't figured out the enter the BCID part yet I will continue to leave them books.
The other is our local laundromat where homeless people and young men from the rehab center come to do laundry or just sit to find some relief from the weather. Last week I released an entire box of books there and many were taken by the time I left. One man who had a book beside his laundry basket smiled shyly at me so I know they are being taken and read and passed on and as you said that is good enough for me.
These books are bringing joy to someone so let's keep them going and keep the smiles happening.
It's good to remember that some of the people who most need a bit of joy and brightness in their lives (in the form of a book) might not get on internet all that much.
I am addicted to books and buy far too many and read them. I am so lucky that I get away with it, even though I know I should reduce I can still pay the bills (mostly) even with my bookaholic habit.
There was a time I was more dependent on the cheapest second hand and free books. I didn;t have internet or even know how it worked then. So for those people...I hope they find my books or someone's books and find some joy in their day and as some wise person said elsewhere on a forum, if they log it it's just the cherry on top
I become a BC member very recenty and I like to browse the forums and I have seen many heart-warming stories. I remember a Greek catch where the person who found the book was going in and out of hospitals and said he read the book and was a great break at those hard times. I can not find the link for this Greek catch, but today morning I was having a look on the very old posts on Site Watch forum and found this equally moving journal: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/193054
I have only joined BC recently, and through looking around have found the forum page. I have released a couple of books and lucky to have had finders make a journal. I wondered why some books didn't get a journal, but this story makes so much sense and has now encouraged me to talk to people who work in areas where the disadvantaged people go, to see if they will allow me to release books there. Also I can now see why many people release books on park benches. I must admit my eyes welled up just thinking of the wife reading to the chap and both just spending the time together to enjoy the books and you never know they are either passing them on or even making a library for themselves to reread their favourites.
I'm so glad I found this thread. And thank you for sharing your story!
I've been releasing books at a senior/community center in my city. They have a free books box for anyone to leave or take books. I picked this spot because it's sheltered as opposed to the books being out in the elements. I attend a workout class at the center twice a week so I know my books are being picked up as they disappear but I've yet to have anyone leave a journal entry on the books I've released. Thinking nefarious reasons were to blame, I was becoming discouraged. I was starting to think that I'd need to find another release location (BUT WHERE?!). This story has renewed my hope that the books are being taken care of and read. I'll still hold out hope for that elusive journal entry but will now believe that the books I leave at the center are in a good home. Cheers!
I also have released a lot of books to seniors, mostly large-print books. I'd give them to a friend who worked in a retirement home to drop there for me and I never get JEs, but she would tell me when she put them on the "free table" they'd be scooped up immediately, so I knew someone was enjoying them. I'd sure love to get some JEs, but knowing they are being read is even more important to me. (And a lot of the seniors aren't into computers so couldn't journal).