Visit the site...

February 24, 2004
[This occasional newsletter is sent to members of See the bottom of this newsletter for simple removal instructions.]



USA Weekend This coming Sunday brings what could be our biggest editorial exposure to date: USA Weekend news magazine, an insert in about 600 U.S. newspapers that reaches 50 million readers, is going to feature a little story on BookCrossing. If your local newspaper carries the insert (seems that most large papers carry either Parade or USA Weekend on Sundays), be sure to check it out. I guess I know what I'll be doing Sunday — watching the servers to make sure they're handling the extra traffic.

If your local paper hasn't yet done a feature on BookCrossing, Sunday would be an opportune time for you to clip out the BookCrossing article from USA Weekend and mail it to the editor of your local paper along with a nice letter explaining how it would make a great local-interest story.

In other press, a large feature appeared yesterday in the Advertiser news in Adelaide, Australia:

Novel idea lets book fans live on borrowed time

The next time you see an abandoned book on a bench or train seat, don't assume it was left there by accident. BookCrossing, the US-scheme intent on turning the world into a global library, has taken off in South Australia...
[read more]

and another story yesterday in the Finger Lakes Times Online in Geneva, New York:
If it’s a good read, pass it on: Club members leave novels for others to pick up

When Kelly MacDougal of Waterloo leaves one of her books laying around somewhere, she never worries about whether she’ll find it...
[read more]


Both are free but watching the journey is more fun
by lightwavz

I made my weekly trip to the post office today to dole out my share of books to fellow BookCrossers. Sometimes I make three trips in a week (good thing media mail is cheap). I have had friends look at me with a funny gleam in their eye and say, "But your boyfriend is a librarian! Why don't you just check out the books? It IS free you know." ...

[read it all at]

Treasures in a pile of garbage
by BizzyB

I saw something which made my heart sink last year. I had to make a trip to the community tip with a bundle of recycling and the seemingly never-ending rubbish the foster cats generate. It was a busy day at the tip, if I remember rightly it was a public holiday. There were the gardeners putting their cuttings into the giant composting collection, the do-it-yourself brigade who'd ripped out cupboards and those who'd just been inspired to clear out. And then I saw him....

[read it all at]

Why I love BookCrossing
by Karlita, Atlanta, GA (Karlita)

Why would I go through the trouble of registering a book on a website, documenting it, plotting a place to leave it, and releasing the book "into the wild"? Because it feels GOOD!...

[read it all at]

Watching a community expand in real time
by Rosie Clarke (freesia)

After a busy week at work, I didn't have a lot of energy for the weekend. My room was a complete mess, with clothes, photos, books and papers across the floor and covering every available surface. Somehow I seemed to have amassed so much stuff! ...

[read it all at]

Why I Came Back To BookCrossing
by Penny Farthing (PennyF)

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was in the process of setting up a book blog to record and review what I was reading and hunting down book-related links. I saw a link to BookCrossing on a blog and decided to investigate. I was horrified – these people wanted me to give away my books. After my husband and kids my books are the most precious thing in the world to me. I can’t remember the last time I gave away a book. In fact there are often moments when I consider leaving my kids on a park bench, but I've never thought of doing that to a book! I shuddered and closed the browser window....

[read it all at]

How this reader became a Bookcrosser
by Vysion

I grew up on books. I cherished them as a child with a threadbare doll. I inhaled them like the scent of fresh baked bread. I read and reread my favorite adventures, experiencing the action afresh. However as I aged, my free time for books faded away. Sometimes I'd pick one up that continued a series I had read, but my explorations in reading ended. A few months before I learned of Bookcrossing, I gave away six boxes of books (over half my library) making room as I moved into a new house. Books were not on my mind. A small candle in the soul of my life went out....

[read it all at]


Mit dem Wind um die Welt
by trygvasson / CatrionaMacLeod (trygvasson)

In 19 Tagen, 21 Stunden und 47 Minuten machten Bertrand Piccard und Brian Jones einen der letzten Träume der Menschheit wahr. Mit einem Heißluftballon umrundeten sie die Erde, getrieben alleine vom Wind und dem Mut zum Abenteuer. Unterstützt von einem hochmotivierten Team aus Technikern und Meteorologen trotzten die beiden Piloten widrigen Windverhältnissen, organisatorischen Problemen und technischen Schwierigkeiten. Das Tagebuch ihrer Reise ist ein spannendes Dokument des längsten und weitesten Flugs der Luftfahrtgeschichte, aber auch ein eindrucksvolles Zeugnis für die Einzigartigkeit des Blauen Planeten....

[read it all at]

Want to write for BookCrossing? If your article is accepted, you could see it featured here in the next newsletter. What topics do we need? Anything about books, reading, or BookCrossing — tutorials, release and catch stories, well-traveled book stories, funny BookCrossing experience stories — you name it. Write it up, then submit it here:


Top 10 All-Time
USA 112,286 (52%)
CANADA 15,959 (7%)
UNITED KINGDOM 14,161 (7%)
GERMANY 11,823 (5%)
ITALY 10,350 (5%)
SPAIN 9,774 (5%)
AUSTRALIA 6,779 (3%)
PORTUGAL 2,761 (1%)
FRANCE 2,577 (1%)
NETHERLANDS 2,502 (1%)

Top 10 Last Week
USA 1,026 (44%)
GERMANY 202 (9%)
CANADA 160 (7%)
AUSTRALIA 159 (7%)
SPAIN 78 (3%)
ITALY 58 (2%)
FINLAND 55 (2%)
FRANCE 51 (2%)
CHINA 50 (2%)


How does BookCrossing make money to survive and grow? Not with membership fees - BookCrossing is free for everyone. Instead, most of our expenses are covered by Supply Store sales to generous members like you. Here's what's happening over at our secure online Store...

Reading Dr. Seuss
Reading Dr. Seuss labels are almost gone!

We're down to the short rows of our limited print run of our 7th-edition labels, so get 'em while you can, either a-la-carte or bundled with bookmarks and sticky-notes in our popular Release Kits.

Are you an artist? If you'd like your art to be featured on a future Bookplate series, please contact us at In exchange for the considerable exposure you'll get here and in the future on those 50,000 traveling books, we ask for only the original artwork, which we'll auction to further help support BookCrossing.


Since the last newsletter on February 19, our champion new member referrer was leeann347 from Charleston, South Carolina. A member since last September, leeann347 has referred 19 new members, 15 of which joined in the last week. You can visit leeann347's bookshelf here:

As a token of appreciation for helping us grow, we'll be sending leeann347 a $50 gift certificate from our BookCrossing Supply Store. Want to win the $50 prize next newsletter? Get busy referring people! The best tactic: release lots of books so new members will find them and join. The next-best tactic: use our Tell-a-Friend form to quickly send an email invitation to everyone you know:


Last week's SSM17 (Starbucks release) certainly brought out some strong feelings about the corporate coffee shop chain, leading to much discussion in the forums:

and at least one catch already:

This weekend's SSM18 takes advantage of the happy coincidence of this Leap Year's extra day falling on Sunday, and was suggested by several members in our forums. Perhaps this will be the first SSM to escape controversy; I would assume that every reader of this newsletter is going to be familiar with, if not an ardent follower of, the Gregorian calendar. So without further ado, I give you SSM18:

  • RELEASE ZONE: Anywhere, but extra credit for high (yet visible) placements that require the finder to leap for the catch.
  • RELEASE METHOD: Choose a book that relates in some way to time, astronomy, or leaps (of any sort).
  • RELEASE TIME: This Sunday, February 29, 2004, 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,

All of our newsletters, including this one, are archived on the web at
This newsletter is sent only to members of If you would prefer to not receive this newsletter in the future, you can change your newsletter preference anytime by visiting:

Total: 216,295
Last Week: 2,346

Total: 860,274
Last Week: 16,032

Visit our Supply Store for more details...
Like magazines? Then you'll love the new BookCrossing Newsstand, powered by Magazania. Subscribe to, renew or gift any of your favorite titles - like Oprah, Utne, National Geographic, Book Page, and thousands more - at the best prices anywhere, and 30% of the subscription rate will go to support! Learn more and subscribe or renew today!

bookcrossing meetups
Did you know BookCrossers are meeting-up together in cities all over the world, the second Tuesday of each month? Go to and find out where your meeting will be!

Visit the BookCrossing Supply Store!