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December 18, 2003
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In this issue...

introducing v3

The big news this week is that we're putting the final touches on v3, the new version of our website. We've been working behind the scenes for weeks now, and will be rolling it into production sometime in the next few days. You can preview it in beta form here:
Besides an updated design, there are many new features and enhancements, including Book Status Management for Wings members, a more convenient menu system, lighter-weight pages for faster loading, a Hot Threads list displayed on the left side of every page, and a plain-text version of the site for old browsers and alternet internet devices like PDAs, cellphones, and text readers (at

Since it is still in beta, we'd appreciate hearing about any bugs or issues you notice. Please use this thread in our forums for such feedback:

Thank you, and we hope you like it!

global membership stats

Here's the latest breakdown of BookCrossing members by country...

Top 10 All-Time
USA 102,138 (53%)
CANADA 14,858 (8%)
UNITED KINGDOM 12,796 (7%)
ITALY 9,853 (5%)
GERMANY 9,733 (5%)
SPAIN 8,241 (4%)
AUSTRALIA 5,815 (3%)
PORTUGAL 2,534 (1%)
NETHERLANDS 2,351 (1%)
FRANCE 2,195 (1%)

Top 10 Last Week
USA 579 (36%)
SPAIN 187 (12%)
GERMANY 129 (8%)
CANADA 63 (4%)
ITALY 42 (3%)
FRANCE 32 (2%)

champion referrer since last newsletter

Since the last newsletter 2 weeks ago, our champion new member referrer was MarcoWeb64 from Italy. A member since June 2002, MarcoWeb64 is an extremely active referrer with 336 (!) new members all-time, 15 of whom joined in the last two weeks. He also operates RinaldiWeb's European Bookcrossing Support site (, a real benefit to our European members and BookCrossing in general.


You can visit his bookshelf here:

We'll be sending MarcoWeb64 a $50 gift certificate from our BookCrossing Supply Store, your source for Release Kits, Bookplate Labels, Bookmarks, Sticky-notes, or Stamps. And of course Wings will be earned with the order.

Want to win the $50 prize next week? Get busy referring people! Our Tell-a-Friend form is the best place to start:

do you brake for wild books?

BookCrossing Window Clingy - Caution, I Brake For Wild Books!

We've got a new item at our Supply Store - the BookCrossing Window Clingy! It's a 4 x 6 inch thin plastic film that "clings" to the inside of any window, and it's ideal for your car since it's easily removed or re-positioned. Priced at only $3.95 US, they make great gifts for your BookCrossing friends or family, and of course each order will earn your Wings.

Order your Window Clingies here:

books as ornaments with SSM12

Last week's SSM11 (releasing books in video rental stores) generated lots of activity. Read all the SSM11 reports in our forum, here:

This week's SSM12 was suggested by Annchen from Uppsala, Sweden, in a forum post, and it's perfect for the holiday season that is fast approaching for many of our members. Here is SSM12:

  • RELEASE ZONE: A public Christmas Tree or other holiday symbol near where you live. The more public the location, the better.
  • RELEASE METHOD: Hang a book, protected in a clear plastic baggie, from a Christmas Tree like an ornament. If you can't find a Christmas Tree, find some other public holiday display and do what you can with it.
  • RELEASE TIME: This Sunday evening, December 21st, at Sunset wherever you live.

The 10 Rules of Sunday Sunset Missions:

  1. Don't talk about SSMs!
  2. Don't talk about SSMs! (for Project Mayhem fans)
  3. Be on time! You can get the exact sunset time from
  4. Label the books properly. At the minimum, this means a sticky-note on the outside making it clear that the book is FREE and NOT LOST (don't write anything on the outside to cause others alarm!), and a good, descriptive label inside the cover explaining BookCrossing and including the BCID for the book.
  5. If possible, choose a book with content appropriate to the release location.
  6. If possible, print out one of the press articles from and include it with the book (the Utne Reader or Reader's Digest articles work well).
  7. Take pictures! Those of you with digital cameras, try to take a picture of the release zone with books, upload it with your journal entry, and make a post with the journal entry link in the SSM forum at
  8. Be safe! Use your common sense, and don't do anything to endanger persons or property.
  9. Pay attention to the media the following day or two, try to note any mention of the SSM, and post such mentions to the SSM forum.
  10. And finally, have fun!

As always, Happy 'Crossing!

Ron Hornbaker
Founder and Editor,

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