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May 19, 2010
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Notes from Idaho

What does BookCrossing mean to you? Whether it's releasing books, Friday night meetups, completing a Bookring, travelling to a convention, making friends in the forums, or arriving in a new town and searching for events and wild releases - BookCrossers can agree on one thing: BookCrossing connects people around the world in unique ways, through books. Next week's launch of the new site will help facilitate all this and so much more.

This all happens next week, and I'll be honest: I'm nervous. I'm ecstatic. I'm still beaming from the wonderful hospitality my family and I encountered at the Great Amsterdam Convention, even though I really need a haircut. All of us here at BookCrossing continue to be motivated by your generosity of spirit and your kindness. We hope to continue to facilitate these connections, respond to your requests and expand the possibilities this amazing community presents.

The site will be down completely during the switch to the new site. We'll give you our best estimate of outage time as well. When the site comes up, it will be a brand new BookCrossing in BETA which means that there may be quirks and bugs. But our tech team will be on hand to make needed revisions until all is smooth. We will try and give you as much notice as we can in the BookCrossing Site Announcements forum and via Twitter. Though it's taken us a little longer than anticipated and there's still more work to do, we've kept our sights on the goal of making the world a library and connecting people through books.

If BookCrossing has helped expand horizons for you, if it has brought you new books, new friends, or new ideas, then we have fulfilled a small part of our mission. Our goal is to continue making the world a library, to continue connecting readers in creative & accessible ways - but today, we need your support. Any contribution you make will go directly towards the site, the feature requests in the works, and of course - having BookCrossing available for everyone who stumbles upon a wild release. Click here and know that you have our heartfelt thanks.

We'll see you on the new site,

Bruce Pedersen
BookCrossing Co-founder/CEO


Pardon Me, But Do You Have the Correct Time? Official BookCrossing Time Shifts Time Zones

Since the beginning of BookCrossing time, "BookCrossing Time" has been in the U.S. Central time zone. Back in 2001 the servers and one of the founders were located in there, so it made sense. But with the upcoming new site, BookCrossing Time will officially switch to the same time zone where BookCrossing headquarters are: USA West coast Pacific Time. (It's the same one as San Francisco, for the geographically challenged.) So keep an eye on the clock — the count-down to the launch of the new site is ticking away.

What Will It Be? Members Plus or Wings? Find Out Soon!

Wings or Members Plus? Members Plus or Wings? Since just about the beginning of BookCrossing Time, we've tried to find ways to say 'thank you' to members who helped out in various ways, particularly those who support the site through purchases in the Supply Store. Initially, those folks got little bitty stars around their names, then later the stars were replaced by wings around the name. The program of thanks became called "Wings".

Eventually, it was believed that Wings was a kind of awkward term to explain, and even though it was a part of our BookCrossing vocabulary, it was confusing to many, especially when the symbols that could surround names expanded to include many more than wings. Various names were tossed around, and the one that was chosen was Members Plus.

The new BookCrossing website will be launching soon. Which name will carry forth on the new site? Stay tuned!

OBCZ in the News as a Local Mystery

Seems that a regular release zone and OBCZ, tended to by tuesdayal in Avalon Beach, NSW Australia, piqued the curiosity of someone at The Manly Daily. A photograph of the zone, books cleverly cached in the rocks accompanied the following text:

MYSTERY surrounds the appearance of several books in a niche in the rock face at the southern end of Avalon Beach.

Last week the books were piled neatly in a nearby cave but now they've been moved to a made-to-measure niche and caught the attention of regular walkers and swimmers.

And these books are definitely not airport fiction, with titles such as Carolan's Concerto by Caiseal Mor, The Wit of Rugby by L.H.W.Paine and Lenin by David Shub.

Newspaper readers were invited to help solve the mystery online. No mystery to us. BookCrossing books are intrepid, interesting and mysterious travellers!

Upcoming BookCrossing Events Around the World

It's not only books that travel with BookCrossing; BookCrossers do, too. For those of you who couldn't get to Amsterdam (including some who planned to but were thwarted by the volcano), don't despair. There are plenty of upcoming events happening in many parts of the world for the rest of this year. You can find a full list and links at our Conventions and UnConventions page, but here's a quick overview:

  • 5th Greek Bookcrossing Convention, Thessaloniki, May 21-24
  • North American Unconvention, Boston, August 13-15
  • United Kingdom Unconvention, Swindon, Wiltshire, October 1-3
  • RuhrCrossing2010, Essen, Germany, October 22-24,2010
  • Australian/NZ Unconvention, Sydney, October 22-24

  • The 2011 BookCrossing Anniversary Convention will be April 15-17 in Washington DC.

Young BookCrossers Keep Text In Books, Not Behind The Wheel

In the finals for a $20,000 cash prize, a group of young BookCrossers with team name The Fiscal Jackhammers, has taken a stand against an issue that's under the radar, but is claiming lives at a steep climbing rate.

Texting while driving might seem harmless enough to some, but startling statistics have attested to the dangers of this everyday activity. The Jackhammers are now part of a contest focused on youth teen safe driving projects. Contest winners are determined by total number of votes received over a 12 day period from May 10 to 21st, so the Jackhammers need your support. (If you look at the photo, you may recognize Founder's kids Kipling and Rio who have been to the Amsterdam and Charleston Conventions). Please cast your vote daily over at beginning May 10th to help this dedicated team win against the #2 killer of teens on the road second only to drunk driving.

Check out this essay by BookCrosser and Team Co-leader Elaina to learn more about the issue, the contest and this group of teens who are trying to make a difference.

Help raise awareness of this important issue and and help keep young drivers reading text in books, not in moving vehicles! Put down you book and vote, let's turn the page and keep the next generation of BookCrossers safe.

April News: Amsterdam and Alpha

Despite the ash from Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland, many BookCrossers were able to get to the 2010 Convention in Amsterdam, April 16-18. Check the forum for conversations and comments or see a few pictures here and an article on the convention here.

And many thanks to the grand group of alpha testers, busy helping Matt and his team find and exterminate bugs, refine the system, and make the new site workable and versatile. (It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.) Seriously, the comments and observations that the this chapter of dedicated BookCrossers have contributed has been an enormous help.


An Empty Nest Journey and BookCrossing Adventure
by Faith L. Justice (MarysGirl)

Little did I know, a year ago, as I scanned the Forums, it would lead directly to a three-week adventure across an ocean and 2000 years back in time (metaphorically). Not only a physical trip, but a reading adventure as well. Last spring, I was on a Book box binge and signed up for five in rapid succession—then promptly forgot about them as I went about my life. My daughter agonized over a college decision. My dad struggled with a mysterious ear infection. I was trying to get a book published....

[read it all at]

Oldest (Unofficial) Dutch BookCrosser?
by Aaltsje

Zou die eer naar mijn moeder gaan? Ze wordt zondag 89. Op de terugweg van de meeting in Groningen ging ik nog even bij haar langs. Ik had een 'grote-letter-boek' mee wat ik bij haar achter heb gelaten. Gister vertelde ze me aan de telefoon dat ze niks aan het boek vond maar het ergens achter een gordijn had verstopt. ...

[read it all at]


by bookwormkt

I have been hard at work during the Easter holidays, trying to clear some space in our study, spurred on my Sidetracked Home Executives by Pam Young and Peggy Jones, which I bought after seeing it as a Recently Released book on the BookCrossing sidebar!...

[read it all at]

The Convention That Got Thwarted By A Volcano.
by Phoenix-Flight

April 15, 2010: Two-and-a-half years of preparations. Five women, one man, organising the biggest party for BookCrossing ever. Countless volunteers and donators. Nine sponsors. Three Mystery VIP Guests. Sixteen people who will perform, speech or lead an activity. Two hundred and twenty four confirmed guests. One day to go. One volcanic eruption....

[read it all at]

or How One Person Came to BookCrossing
by minesayn

We share books; that's what BookCrossers do! ...

[read it all at]

Teens Determined to Keep Texting in Books Not While Driving
by FJHammer

The BFG (short for Big Friendly Giant) is a children's book written by Roald Dahl, published in 1982, which has gone on to receive the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 1985. The book is about

[read it all at]

We still have a lot to do but almost every day is dedicated to the convention.
by Salonica2010

1st of May: We welcomed spring with a picnic by the seaside where we had a special workshop for the convention. We created hand-made post cards for a game that is going to begin at the convention and we hope that it will become part of the Greek conventions' heredity. More to tell after the convention, since until now it is a well-kept secret!...

[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:


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AUSTRALIA 35,810 (4%)
ITALY 25,366 (3%)
NETHERLANDS 18,125 (2%)
FRANCE 17,676 (2%)
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SPAIN 12 (1%)


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...

Convention catch!
by mojosmom

A book I didn't care for gives finder hope
I didn't like this book, but wild released it in hopes of it finding a reader who would enjoy it. This: wonderful entry was the result.
by emmejo

From the sidebar - mountain release and catch
AF says: "It was nice surprise to find a book almost at the top of vulcan :)"

A good catch for delfinnetti on Teide, Tenerife, Canary Islands. S/he left this book almost at the mountain summit, which is better than I managed. When we visited Tenerife a few years ago, we could not get a permit to allow us to climb to the summit, due to ice on the mountain! So no Tielde release for me (but I did get to meet the lovely Islandmomma when on the island)
by swan-scot

five years on the shelf, then the right person found it
Here is a translation of the journal entries for those who don't understand French; it ends in a nice coincidence (with incidental comments from me in square brackets)
JE1, frangipane: The (imposing) biography of one of the very great men of the 20th century.
JE2, frangipane: released at St François, somewhere near the church
Release notes: on the church steps
JE3, over-the-moon: I went into the church to pray for my cat who is undergoing an operation on his lungs. I didn't expect to find this big book on the table among the postcards and the visitors' book; the illustrations helped me set my mind aright.
A long time ago, I translated some texts for Edmond Kaiser and Sentinelles [a charitable organization struggling against excision, among other things], but his style sounded horribly tearful en English, and he didn't much like my version [I had toned it down a bit].
I left another book in its place, Fragments of Paradise.

JE4, over-the-moon: This book stayed in my office for ages. As I went book hunting today, I took it with me, and flicked through it while drinking a beer (it is very hot). Edmond Kaiser, founder of Terre des Hommes, is a big-hearted man. I find his style difficult, and the photos are sometimes unbearable, but one can only admire his strength and determination.
I left the book on the café bookshelf; it is quite visible as it is so big.

JE5, olagorie: I found this book in the café Le Grancy in Lausanne, Switzerland, an official bookcrossing zone [note from over-the-moon, I don't think this is true, but we use it a lot as it's quite handy and there's a big bookshelf]
As I had too much luggage already, I left it there. I just wanted to let you know that it is ok.
JE6, intothebluesky: I found this book in the Café de Grancy, and as I worked for Terre des Hommes and now have professional contacts with Sentinelles, I took it home with me. Terre des Hommes has changed a lot in recent years, but getting to know Edmond Kaiser better has helped me understand the roots of this organization. When I have read it, I might put it in Terre des Hommes letterbox, as they have now moved and are just next door to Café de Grancy.

by over-the-moon

An AF with a real sense of humor!
I love AF's release plans...

And may AF live long and prosper.
by nicolesinger

Bald77 gets a catch more than 7 years later:

[I spotted that one in the sidebar because I love the Bernie Rhodenbarr books myself and was hoping it was one of mine {grin}; was glad to see the catch even though it wasn't my copy!]
by GoryDetails

a few Amsterdam releases with photos (I don't know which book it was)
by ApoloniaX

a grand journey

with a story behind all the journal entries really demonstrating the "connecting people through books" theme of BC.

by newk

Impressive release map!

And there's a few controlled releases that never made it onto the map!
by awaywithfairies

Book checks in after 6 years and 51 weeks.
by KiwiinEngland

a very happy finder who loves to read.....
by AllSmiles

Hola soy nueva
soy una chica de Valencia y en breve dejaré un libro que acabo de registrar (La insoportable levedad del ser), aún estoy decidiendo el lugar, es que estoy de exámenes y algo liada, todo sea dicho.
Espero que esta experiencia sea gratificante y mi libro acabe en buenas manos, ya que le tengo bastante aprecio. En unos pocos días espero poder comentar que tal esta primera experiencia.
Un saludo a tod@as
by Lady-Suffering

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