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Blank Jourals traveling in Geocaches, will a large number of them harm the hobby or diminish your enjoyment?

Hi everyone. I've discovered Bookcrossing through Geocaching(a while ago, but will poke around more now) and will be trying a couple of experiments with releasing books that are intended to travel from one Geocache to another. My most hopeful ideas are to release some Blank Journals/Notebooks and let them get filled up as they travel. I have to see what I can do to find some that are inexpensive and still have ISBN numbers on them and meet my design preferances. Another idea I'm working on is to release some puzzle books, where each finder would complete a puzzle or more, sign the page with a note, and move the book along. Has anyone tried any ideas like these either in the wild or through Geocaching? Please tell me all about things that you've released that are outside the norms of "books to read". I'm also curious about a couple of things...

I've noticed some notebooks that have a number that looks like an ISBN, but is some other system. Does anyone know if other systems can be used here?

With the use of preassigned numbers can these BCIDs ever be attached to books/notebooks that do not have an ISBN, or is that frowned upon in the community?

Thanks for any advice.






As I mentioned in my "introduce myself" post, I have come here from the game of Geocaching. I would like to combine the two hobbies by releasing many traveling Journals/Notebooks, as well as Puzzle Books with the idea that they will be an interactive activity for the finders before they move them to a new Geocache(all the instructions would be attached, as well as described in the release notes). I currently own several hundred "Travel Bug" type items through that site, so I am very familiar with the risks and benefits of travelers in that game. I'm also a bit familiar with the loss rate of unofficial travelers in that game, so I'm not really looking for feedback on those aspects of my project idea. What I'm concerned about is if a project like that will have any negative impacts on the way this community is using this site.

My biggest concern is that when someone looks to see if any books are in the wild in their area, they might get a list full of Journals/Puzzle Books that make it hard to sort though to find books they are interested in(I'm assuming that only a small part of this community would be interested in these)

My other main concern is that there will be these items listed in the wild, but they will not be easily accessible to BookCrossers who do not like Geocaching.

OK, so here is the big question(and a little unusual for online forums)...I'm not looking for just a bunch of people to applaud my ideas(although I wouldn't complain about a little of that), what I'm looking for is any possible negative concequences that these ideas might have on THIS hobby and THIS community. If ideas like those would harm your enjoyment of this hobby, or interfere with your ability to use this site, please share with me so that I'll be able to take that into account when I decide how(and IF) I should go forward with it.

Thanks for your help.
WRITE SHOP ROBERT

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Hi everyone. I've discovered Bookcrossing through Geocaching(a while ago, but will poke around more now) and will be trying a couple of experiments with releasing books that are intended to travel from one Geocache to another. My most hopeful ideas are to release some Blank Journals/Notebooks and let them get filled up as they travel. I have to see what I can do to find some that are inexpensive and still have ISBN numbers on them and meet my design preferances. Another idea I'm working on is to release some puzzle books, where each finder would complete a puzzle or more, sign the page with a note, and move the book along. Has anyone tried any ideas like these either in the wild or through Geocaching? Please tell me all about things that you've released that are outside the norms of "books to read". I'm also curious about a couple of things...

I've noticed some notebooks that have a number that looks like an ISBN, but is some other system. Does anyone know if other systems can be used here?

With the use of preassigned numbers can these BCIDs ever be attached to books/notebooks that do not have an ISBN, or is that frowned upon in the community?

Thanks for any advice.






As I mentioned in my "introduce myself" post, I have come here from the game of Geocaching. I would like to combine the two hobbies by releasing many traveling Journals/Notebooks, as well as Puzzle Books with the idea that they will be an interactive activity for the finders before they move them to a new Geocache(all the instructions would be attached, as well as described in the release notes). I currently own several hundred "Travel Bug" type items through that site, so I am very familiar with the risks and benefits of travelers in that game. I'm also a bit familiar with the loss rate of unofficial travelers in that game, so I'm not really looking for feedback on those aspects of my project idea. What I'm concerned about is if a project like that will have any negative impacts on the way this community is using this site.

My biggest concern is that when someone looks to see if any books are in the wild in their area, they might get a list full of Journals/Puzzle Books that make it hard to sort though to find books they are interested in(I'm assuming that only a small part of this community would be interested in these)

My other main concern is that there will be these items listed in the wild, but they will not be easily accessible to BookCrossers who do not like Geocaching.

OK, so here is the big question(and a little unusual for online forums)...I'm not looking for just a bunch of people to applaud my ideas(although I wouldn't complain about a little of that), what I'm looking for is any possible negative concequences that these ideas might have on THIS hobby and THIS community. If ideas like those would harm your enjoyment of this hobby, or interfere with your ability to use this site, please share with me so that I'll be able to take that into account when I decide how(and IF) I should go forward with it.

Thanks for your help.
WRITE SHOP ROBERT
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According to the FAQs, notebooks and journals are allowed because they represent physical books, though in the case of puzzle books, you'd need to be sure they were bound books rather than magazines, as magazines aren't allowed. But since you're only using note/puzzle books that use the ISBN system (I hadn't realised this was common, but I looked on Amazon just now and found that Moleskine notebooks are one brand that have ISBNs), I assume they're all bound books.

In terms of notebooks and puzzle books flooding the release stats for an area, I guess it would really depend on your release town, the level of activity there when you release the notebooks, and how many you release at a time. 'Go Hunting' (http://www.bookcrossing.com/hunt ) shows any uncaught releases in a town in the past thirty days, so you might choose to plan using the recent stats.

If your release town has only one recent release, then releasing ten notebooks/puzzle books there at once is going to mean there's a lot more of those than of other books, but in a large city which gets an average of fifty new releases a day, the overall picture will be different. But the whole problem (if people do find it a problem; I'm on the fence) could be sidestepped by releasing them one at a time. Though I don't know how Geocaching works - is releasing objects en masse inherent to it?
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Though I don't know how Geocaching works - is releasing objects en masse inherent to it?

One way that people have combined Geocaching and Book Crossing is to create a special Geocache loaded with BC books, and maybe even make it a zone of sorts. Another way is to just release books individually as they find different Geocaches. I guess I might try it both ways, but I'm still in the thinking stages. I'm going to have to receive more input from users here, as well as reading up on the rules. I'm trying to keep it on the inexpensive side, but still keep the released items up to a standard that they will be acceptable among the users here. I have seen a few Puzzle books that are the same format as some of the monthly magazine types, but they have an ISBN, so I'll have to figure out if they are up to par. I also have found some spiral bound puzzle books that have an ISBN.

I guess I need to rethink my original thoughts that anything with an ISBN is acceptable, and also rethink the thought that everything must have one?

What is considered the definition here of a "Bound" journal/Notebook/Puzzle Book? Are paperbacks with glued bindings acceptable for these uses, or would these be dragging the hobby to the lowest common denominator? How about blank notebooks with a single sewn binding(like a total of 40-60 pages)?

Maybe I should collect some examples of what I'd like to use and post some pictures to get better feedback.


Please, help me keep from clouding things up here, if my ideas are not up to par, feel free to let me know.
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I combine bookcrossing with geocaching and collect small books especially for leaving in caches. I am not sure about puzzle books and personally think that it would depend on the type of puzzlebook. Blank journals could be a bit confusing as they could get muddled up with the logbook. I would suggest starting with one or two to see how they go. The other way to do it is to have a themed cache. There are about three bookcrossing caches in New Zealand which are very successful.
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I combine bookcrossing with geocaching and collect small books especially for leaving in caches. I am not sure about puzzle books and personally think that it would depend on the type of puzzlebook. Blank journals could be a bit confusing as they could get muddled up with the logbook. I would suggest starting with one or two to see how they go. The other way to do it is to have a themed cache. There are about three bookcrossing caches in New Zealand which are very successful.

For my Puzzle/Journal types, I plan to attach a tag as well as a sticker, hopefully making them instantly recognizable to Geocachers as a Traveler and not the official logbook, but that is one of my concerns.
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While I prefer leaving actual books - small ones if that's all that will fit in a cache - your blank-journal or puzzle-book idea might work too, though I agree with the comment that blank books might be confused with the cache log unless you're very, very clear with the instructions (and possibly even then). [Re adding a metal tag - I've seen at least one BC-registered book that was also tagged as a Travel Bug; that's certainly a way to make it very obvious that it's a traveler, although it means that someone who wanted to track the book on both sites would have to log it as a TB and on BookCrossing as well.]

I do have a suggestion for ways to avoid "flooding" the hunting pages with geocached books, though; in my area, the location lists include a special "--- Geocaches" entry at the "city" level, and I use those to log my geocache releases. That way, the geocache releases all appear under the special "city" entry, and will not turn up as release-alerts for specific cities; folks who want to get alerts for the geocache releases can subscribe to that entry. [It's OK to make release notes for geocache releases to the specific town they're in, of course; anyone who goes book-hunting should realize that the odds of finding a book in the wild aren't that great, and may require driving to out-of-the-way places, possibly paying admission to get in, etc. So if a release requires joining Geocaching to find, that's just another "if" in the book-hunting process - though I do think it's nice to explain a little bit about this or any other limitations on hunting the book.]

I've seen people create individual release zones for each cache, but I just use a single "New Hampshire geocache (see notes for details)" release zone for mine, so that all my cached releases within the same state go under that entry. This does mean I can't add specific mapping info to the release zone, but as I prefer not to publicize the cache locations that's actually a feature. I do include a link to the actual cache in my release notes, and I try to include a brief line about geocaching itself. I figure that some people might be tantalized into joining Geocaching.com purely to hunt for the book, and that's great, but otherwise I don't want to give away too much info about a cache's location in BookCrossing release notes. [If I had a BC-specific cache, as others have mentioned, and if I wanted it to be easy to find, as with some of the "no GPS needed" geocaches, I might make release notes for that in the actual town where it's located.]
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I do have a suggestion for ways to avoid "flooding" the hunting pages with geocached books, though; in my area, the location lists include a special "--- Geocaches" entry at the "city" level, and I use those to log my geocache releases.


I did notice that the moment when you select a city also allows you to "Add a City" so I was thinking that adding "Geocache" as a city name would help keep things clear.
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I did notice that the moment when you select a city also allows you to "Add a City" so I was thinking that adding "Geocache" as a city name would help keep things clear.


Your profile says you're in California, and it already has a city-list entry for "-- Geocaching". [I think all the US states, and many/most other state/provinces, have a list of "general purpose" entries in their city lists. The items that begin with "--" (to put them at the front of the alphabetical city list) may include things like highways (for releases at rest stops and such, when you may not know what town you're actually in) or different types of mass transport (again, where it may be difficult to know just where you are, or where the release location itself - train, plane - is moving).

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