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December 15, 2009
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Notes from Idaho

Onward to 2010!

BookCrossers are familiar with the names of the BookCrossing founders. But there is another name you may not know - a vital member of the team who handles all those little things such as getting your Supply Store orders ready to ship, waiting in line at the post office, unpacking supplies, or helping Heather fill a wheelbarrow with books for a mass release. His name is Johnny Mittl. Once you meet Johnny, you won't likely forget him. He's bright, witty, generous to a fault; and, perhaps, eccentric, if his steady diet of habanero peppers and garlic, and his published book, Astral Projection (Modus Operandi) are any indication. But most notably, Johnny has been the go-to man behind the scenes at BookCrossing for the past nine years. He's the person who handles the vital details around the office which keep BookCrossing running -- the things we take for granted, but which are essential to our operation. Simply put: Johnny is the oil in the machine that is BookCrossing headquarters in Sandpoint, Idaho. Johnny has the rare ability to give freely of himself to others. He always has a story to tell and a laugh to share. We here at BookCrossing appreciate that. Now, in this season of giving, Heather and I would like to acknowledge all that Johnny does for us and for you. From our hearts we thank you, Johnny, for your humor and wit, your knowledge, and the presence with which you grace us every day. We love ya, JM!

As we approach the end of 2009, we want to give you a heads-up about new features coming to our website. Many of these features are being tested behind the scenes and will soon transfer to our Beta site. There'll be a new look to member bookshelves, and some great new ways to see who is reading (and registering, journalling and releasing) what books. Additionally, we'll be unveiling a whole line of virtual gifts -- ways for you to send a little present or pick-me-up to your BookCrossing pals. We have a nice bunch of virtual gifts that will be made available, and more gifts will be added on a regular basis. Bally Points (the currency used to send a gift) will be available for sale in the Supply Store when the gifts are introduced. And since books of a feather flock together, you can now follow us on Twitter to keep up with the activities between newsletters. As a veterinarian, I have always associated tweets with the sounds made by birds, but now I look forward to tweets made by flocks of BookCrossers around the world.

Finally, our BookCrossing website will be undergoing a visual update while Matt and Michael finish up the heavy lifting on the backend. As always, we'd be grateful to receive feedback from you about how you like it. We'll be giving you the opportunity soon to see some of the possible new looks for BookCrossing. Keep watching Twitter and the Announcements Forum for an announcement that the link has gone live. We value your opinion. Be sure to let us know what you think and have your say!

May the end of the year find you happy, healthy, in the company of good friends and a good book at hand. I send wishes from all of us here in Sandpoint for all the best in 2010. Peace on Earth. Good books to all.

To learn more about Johnny Mittl, click here. At 80 years young, he's still going strong. Drop him a note via his blog. He loves fan mail. (Pictured: Heather plants some "appreciation" on our beloved Johnny).

Bruce Pedersen
BookCrossing Co-founder/CEO


Classroom Corner Winner: This Time Will Be Different!

We're pleased to bring you December's Classroom Corner winner: Ctychic's This Time Will Be Different. In case you missed it, we've recently launched a Newsletter contest for students, teachers and like-minded souls: Classroom Corner. (Click here for complete guidelines and information). Classroom Corner submissions should be related to BookCrossing, reading, or the book/publishing industry. Don't miss out on this month's essay about the unexplainable urge to spread the word of BookCrossing, and be sure to submit your own entry for the contest! Get busy. Get writing. Get creative. Get writing! Submit your winning entry today.

If you're not in the classroom, but still have been bitten by the writing bug, we encourage you to submit an article for review through the usual channels. Don't forget, we give Members Plus for all articles which are accepted for publication.

BookCrossing Photo of the Month: RockPuppy Rocks!

Some say it's a dog-eat-dog world, but perhaps it's more like a dog-read-dog world. Congratulations to RockDg9 and to her academic poodle who assists her on BookCrossing ventures. She tells us, "Every year I host the September Sapphire Release Challenge (in the Release Challenges Forum) in which BookCrossers release books with blue covers. RockPuppy loves to help me with my wild-releasing expeditions, and in the picture he is posing with my blue books for the challenge." We'd also like to give an honorable mention in our photo contest to Bookgirrl for her photo taken May of 2006 in Strawberry Fields, Central Park, NYC. The book? Larry Kane's Ticket to Ride, a chronicle of his travels with The Beatles on their first and second junkets to North America. For more information about sending in a photo for consideration in the newsletter, click here.

BookCrossing Monopoly: Play Along

On a board where streets are wild release locations and jail is an OBCZ (who wouldn't prefer that?), the Dutch forum is once again playing BookCrossing Monopoly. The game is played with teams rather than with individuals. Each turn, teams have a week to release a book at the release location on which they have landed. Points (bally’s) are given for releases, catches, new members, or sheer creativity. The teams, made up of two or three BookCrossers, are thoroughly enjoying themselves and have made more than 140 wild releases already. The releases are quite clever and creative: a book on a home-made raft in a river, one at platform 9 ¾, and a series of books released at a succession of bus shelters. Other BookCrossers are hunting down books in their hometowns, even when they should be grocery shopping. Let’s hope partners and families of those BookCrossers aren't going hungry because someone went book-hunting instead of filling the grocery basket!

In addition to being traditional, this year's Monopoly game is a pre-Amsterdam-2010-convention event. Expected convention-goers from other countries have joined with the Dutch teams to play "Conventiemonopoly" to get to know one another and the Netherlands. The game is already on Week 8, but there’s still room on some of the teams for extra players. So if you are headed to the convention in Amsterdam and would like to join in on the game, reply in this thread and the Dutch BookCrossers will help get you on a team.

Many thanks to iiwi for this article. The fabulous Monopoly-Bally on the board was designed by BookCrosser yellow-star, who died in October 2008, at age 19, from bone cancer. Her joy and smile are greatly missed.

BookCrossing Supply Store's Year-End Extravaganza!!!

BookCrossers, you're the cheese to our macaroni; the bangers to our mash; the Vegemite to our bread; and the glass of milk to our chocolate chip cookie! Because we appreciate you so much, we are offering a free gift with every order placed during December. Yep, you read that right: each domestic and international package will include a mystery gift along with all your great BookCrossing merchandise. Do your year-end shopping from the comfort of your own home and avoid the crowds. Heck, you can even visit the Supply Store in your pajamas. We won't tell! Just don't miss our extreme sales. Be sure to check out our Mystery Ballycumber Clearance Boxes, our Perfect Stocking Stuffer Kits, and our Sticky-to-Me Clearance Packs, all on sale now. It's our way of saying "Thanks!" and wishing you a very merry 2010! Click on over to the Supply Store today!

Many thanks to TuBaW for the BallyClaus holiday image. We welcome all member-created images of Ballycumber in action. For more details, click here.

6,000,000 Books Registered and Going Strong

Another BookCrossing milestone was reached on November 26 when our 6,000,000th book was registered. Since 2005, when we approached the goal of having 1,000,000 books registered on our website, BookCrossers have watched eagerly to see all those zeros and zeds line up on the counter in the upper right-hand corner of the web page. Folks even posted their predictions in a thread in the Site Watch Forum, as to when the 6,000,000th book would be registered. But if you want to be the lucky person to snag this book, you may have to travel to Asia to find it. Member BookcrossSG1 registered the 5,999,999th and the 6,000,000th books, and promised to release them at one of the local BookCrossing zones in Singapore. Surely, exploring Singapore, the first country in its entirety to be designated a BookCrossing zone, and tracking down such a memorable release is worth the effort, right? Happy traveling to all BookCrossing books!

Lovely Book and Lovely Movie: The Lovely Bones

Pop the popcorn and prepare yourselves: Paramount's North American release of the movie of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones is almost here*. This story of love, grief, forgiveness and hope has touched many readers. As the #4 most released book of all time on our site, we couldn't help thinking that you (such passionate readers) would be interested in this upcoming film. We've partnered with Paramount to get the word out about the movie, which is directed by Peter Jackson and stars Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz & Susan Sarandon. Check out the conversations in our Based on the Book: Books to Movies forum on the book and the movie made from it. We know there are lots of opinions out there and look forward to hearing from you all. Keep your eyes open in the forums for other BookCrossing opportunities related to The Lovely Bones.

*Promotional information. including movie release dates, contests and articles pertaining to The Lovely Bones relates to the North American premiere of the movie only. We don't wish to exclude our members outside of North America. We welcome your participation in any forum activities and encourage you to see the film when it comes to your home region. Thank you.



by Michelle Leavitt (explorer1118m)

I'm the first to admit that I let a busy life and a few too many Wild Release disappointments in the past take the shine off my BookCrossing experience. ...

[read it all at]

National Day Of Reading: November 21, 2009
by chubsiewhubsie

Today I was part of a grass roots campaign across America. Why you ask? The answer is simple: to spread the importance of reading to all. ...

[read it all at]

Lori Lansen's "A Wife's Tale" introduces BookCrossing in her newest Novel
by JuneBug31

Imagine my surprise today as I was reading Lori Lansens' newest novel titled: The Wife's Tale, when reading page 213, she mentions BookCrossing as part of the story!!! Can you believe that? Wow, you know people aretaking notice of us if authors are now using BookCrossing as script in their novels....

[read it all at]


by Christine Coleman (paraglider)

I’m a writer and I love the BookCrossers for their unconditional love of books in general; for the support they’ve given me as an author; and for what they’ve taught me as a reader....

[read it all at]

Classroom Corner Winner December 2009
by Ctychic (BCNewsletter)

I’m always looking for my next mark. An unsuspecting professor that assigns an “open” assignment is always my favorite. ...

[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 get the idea. Write it up, then submit it here:


Top 10 Countries All-Time
USA 321,436 (39%)
UNITED KINGDOM 89,348 (11%)
GERMANY 56,997 (7%)
CANADA 47,763 (6%)
SPAIN 39,336 (5%)
AUSTRALIA 35,116 (4%)
ITALY 24,760 (3%)
NETHERLANDS 17,555 (2%)
FRANCE 17,370 (2%)
PORTUGAL 11,751 (1%)

Top 10 Countries Last Week
USA 295 (19%)
GERMANY 108 (7%)
ITALY 104 (7%)
FINLAND 77 (5%)
GREECE 49 (3%)
SPAIN 46 (3%)
CANADA 37 (2%)


Wild books released by our members are being caught all over the world, every day! Our site watch forum is where members post news of great wild book catches. Here are some of the best from the last few days...

Mississippi River release is caught
Is this cool or what?
by MaryZee

AF enjoyed found book so much they check out more books from their library!
The perfect book for the perfect person, karma man.
by KiwiinEngland

"...Winnie the Pooh is very clever little bear!" :D
Left the Finnish translation of The Tao of Pooh on the terrace of the Vohvelikahvila (waffle café) in November. The café is very small, they’ve got only some 4 or 5 tables inside and they were all occupied. I was amazed to see they still had tables outside -- covered with snow -- but it was pretty warm (above the zero, that is). I love the way AF defines Winnie the Pooh and also that they read the book with their children. :)
(The book and my JE’s are in Finnish but AF writes in English)

by Tarna

Scotland to Dubai to New Zealand!
I've not had many catches at all recently and certainly nothing exciting, so I was really chuffed to get this in my inbox!

by swan-scot

"I would end up on Candid Camera"
Finder debated whether or not to pick up the book, thinking it was a trick and they'd get on Candid Camera.
by AlterEgoZoe

Heaven-Ali got a great catch - Chester to Morrocco

And the book told it's story in a very entertaining way. A wonderful catch from a Summer Meet-Up I attended back in August.

Well done Ali!
by weebly

I was honestly surprised to find a book in a tree
by bookczuk

serendipitous titles for this catch!
from Vevey to Berlin to someone's garden in Barcelona- Changing places, Small world, nice work!
by over-the-moon

Amazing catch after 6 years
Nat4lee and I are both members of BCinDC, although I live about 2 hours (and a state) away. This book was one I released at the Random House/Carroll County book fair back in 2003, the first year I gave books away at the book fair. I didn't even have a table that year (when I contacted them, all the tables were spoken for), so I just wandered around talking to people about BC and gave away about 30 books that day. 6 years and 116 miles (186 k) later...

ETA- this is now my longest release-to-catch. I have one that was caught after 2 months short of 5 years.
by MaryZee

Woohoo! The Animal Family is going to Switzerland:

[I was visiting my sister this weekend and released quite a few books in the area without having computer access for making release notes, so I started making the release notes as soon as I got home- just in time for the catch {grin}.]
by GoryDetails

Released 3 years ago and travelled through British Columbia to Arizona back to
British Columbia and it looks like it will travel again.
by uppity

This is interesting...
One Bookcrosser only ever released one book in 2004. It was just caught (5 years later) and got a new member who already released a book!

That's a catch rate of 100%. :)
by SqueakyChu

bookcrossing is an excellent game!!
by KiwiinEngland

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