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Rescuing a Release

A rough beginning for "Rough Waters"
by ResQgeek
August 2, 2007
On Saturday morning, I had to take my younger daughter to a regional shopping mall to attend a friend's birthday party at Build-A-Bear Workshop. I figured that I would have an hour or more to kill at the mall, so naturally I took some books along to release. After dropping my daughter off at the birthday party, I strolled through the mall, releasing my books.

I themed my first release, a paperback camping guide called Roughing it Easy by releasing it in the L.L.Bean store, on a table in front of their in-store fish pond, which was located near the camping supplies. I released a couple of other books in the main concourse of the mall, but when I spotted the FYE music and video store, I found another theme. The cover art for Chartbreaker showed a band performing in concert, so I took it into the store and left it on top of a display of used music CDs.

Only one more book left. I left Rough Waters on a bench along the edge of a fountain, on the lower level, right below the Build-A-Bear Workshop. I knew the birthday party wasn't over yet, so I thought I could watch the book from the railing on the upper level and maybe even see the book caught. As I watched, a number of people approached the fountain, almost all of them with small children who wanted to throw coins into the water. A few parents glanced at the book, but none showed more than passing interest in it. Finally, a family showed up with a snack they had just purchased from a nearby vendor. They sat by the fountain to eat, and the two young boys ran back and forth along the bench. The younger boy was still a toddler, and the mother anxiously followed him, trying to keep him from toppling into the water. She picked up the book, glanced at my sticky note on the cover and handed it to her husband. He opened the book, read the sticker inside and tossed the book back down on the bench dismissively. A minute or two later, he looked back at the book, walked over to it and picked it up. He then carried it to the nearest trash bin and threw it away!

I was shocked. I can understand not being interested in the book, but what possessed him to throw a hardcover book in the trash? The book was a library discard (and accordingly had library labels on it), but it was still in good condition, so it didn't look like trash to me. I fumed silently while they packed up their things and bustled off down the mall. After they were out of sight, I hurried down the stairs, rescued the book from the trash, and returned it to the fountain. I continued to observe it from the upper level until the end of the birthday party, but no one took any further interest, and it was still sitting by the fountain, patiently waiting as we left for home.

That evening, I received an e-mail notification for a new journal entry for the book. An AnonymousFinder entry indicates that the book is on its way to England, which makes me glad I watched my release and was able to save it from the trash bin. This book is now traveling the world, even if the journey started out a little bumpy.

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