October 15, 2010
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Notes from Idaho

Label it Your Way

In April, 2002, we released BookCrossing's first newsletter. There were 482 bookcrossed books in the United States, 7 in the United Kingdom, 4 in Canada and 1 lonesome book in Hong Kong. Now, with 6,611,991 bookcrossed books travelling throughout 132 countries, we're still here.

It is with great enthusiasm that we deliver the first newsletter of BookCrossing 2.0! Our look has changed, but our mission remains the same: to connect people through books. We express our sincere gratitude to users who have provided us with feedback - we've taken it all into consideration and are grateful for the constructive input. You are our users, and it's you whom we aim to please.

Our latest push marked the first release of our Bookplate Creator. You now have the ability to use your own images, captions and choice of layout to make labels as unique as the books you read. This version has templates in German, Dutch, and Spanish with more languages soon to follow. My favorite part of the application is the capability to mix and match. For instance, if you order X number of bookplates, you can use X number of different images (Yes, 25 labels can be 25 different layouts, captions or images!). It's totally customizable, and we are thrilled about this latest addition. We hope you love it as much as we do (which you can show by purchasing some of your own at mybookplates.)

On another note, we've added talent to our team. Frank (aka "Ardik") is with us in Sandpoint, Idaho all the way from Hannover, Germany to help code, refine and bug fix. Frank has been the wind beneath our BookCrossing wings, and, as a die-hard BookCrosser and brilliant coder, his insight and skill set have proved to be just what we needed. We cannot thank him enough for his service, passion for BookCrossing and generous donation of talent! Also, as BookCrossing segues into a larger presence in social media, we'd like to welcome Megan Goldner (goldmeg89) as our social media advisor. As an avid Bookcrosser who's organized creative releases surrounding some very worthy causes over the pat five years, Megan will monitor and assist with the gradual expansion of BookCrossing into various aspects of the social web.

And lastly, we say "Move on over!" to our Newsletter Editor of 8 years, "bookczuk", as she seeks to spend more time with her family. As an irreplaceable necessity to our editorial team, she's kept us in line, dotted our i's and crossed our t's, and we'll continue to appreciate her humor and daily interaction while she shifts roles to help with other, less labor-intensive, aspects of BookCrossing. Although the Newsletter will no longer be her baby, her sensibility, care and expertise in this area is highly valued; we promise to do our best to continue a tradition of excellence in the content and delivery of this integral piece of BookCrossing.

Thank you to all our members who've stayed with us through out the course of this changeover. We are so very grateful for your loyalty.

Blue skies ahead,
Bruce Pedersen
BookCrossing Co-founder/CEO


Celebrate Banned Books Week in Style

Banned Books Week (September 25 - October 2 in the U.S.) was started in 1982 to celebrate our freedom to read, or rather what the organizers refer to as freadom to read. Thousands of books have been banned or challenged in the last few years and include titles ranging from classics such as Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye and Morrison's Beloved as well as children's books such as Sendak's In the Night Kitchen and the Harry Potter series. What can you do to join the cause? Check out bannedbooksweek.org to locate an event near you, plan your own banned bookdrop, or check out NMReader's Book Challenge found here. Even if you're not in the U.S., celebrate with us to recognize the importance of freedom to read (or check out local dates by searching for Banned Books Week in your country). Finally, be sure to visit our partner Out of Print and find your favorite banned book t-shirt, so you can celebrate in style.

The (Almost) Complete and (Entirely) Entertaining Story of America by mental_floss

Yeah, sure, Mental Floss is a BookCrossing partner, but even if they weren't, we'd still be singing the praises of The Mental Floss History of the United States: The (Almost) Complete and (Entirely) Entertaining Story of America. If you're looking for a read that's smarter than your old history teacher, funnier than the Founding Fathers and more American than Betty Crocker cradling an Apple Pie, you might want to check it out.

In trademark smart-aleck style, this is history according to mental_floss. A collection of insightfully accurate and incisively humorous explorations of little-known truths and widely believed falsehoods, this book simultaneously exposes some of America's oddest moments, strangest citizens, most egregious frauds and much more.

Ten meaty chapters, peppered with fun trivia, entertainingly cover the essential timeline of the social, political and cultural happenings of American history and mythbust all the lies teachers told us along the way. Was Abraham Lincoln really a heroic defender of liberty and freedom? Were the Sixties actually a groovy time of peace and love? Has the U.S. always been dependent on foreign oil? mental_floss sets the record straight and shares the fascinating stories behind political intrigue, serial killers, potato chips, the original Swine Flu, mobsters, rum, beaver wars and everything else made in the U.S.A.

If you can't wait for October 5th, check out the details on how to pre-order a copy and get 3 free issues of mental_floss magazine here.

The Girl Who Played with BookCrossing

How's this for hot stuff? In conjunction with the theatre release of The Girl Who Played With Fire, (the second movie installment of the popular series by Stieg Larsson), Metro Online paired up with BookCrossing to release copies of the novel in hidden locations around the UK and Eire. All sixty books are registered on BookCrossing. Visit the TGWPWF bookshelf to see where all the books were released and how many were caught. You can read more about it over at Metro.co.uk. Though this release event was geared toward the UK, the movie is out now in many countries and well worth seeing, wherever you are.

Please God, I Want to Win the Lottery -- But you had to be at Waterloo Station

Over 1,000 copies of the book Please God, I Want to Win the Lottery were handed out directly to London commuters from Waterloo Station on 21st June 2010. U.K. publisher and author, Angus Kennedy, chose BookCrossing.com to assist with this exciting free book project. Kennedy added. "It's great to be giving a free book. BookCrossing's unique concept of providing people with free literature and sharing what they enjoy is a perfect fit for us. This book was always meant to be a gift, and we look forward to tracking the results online!" Just goes to prove that sometimes you can catch more than trains at a station. Did anyone in the area get a free copy? Submit a member article; we would love to hear from you!

Changes to the Newsletter Team

For 6 years, 125 newsletters, 1500 member articles, and 500 news stories, there's been a great volunteer who has helped to bring the BookCrossing news to you. But now she's czuking in her editor's pen, reporter's cap, and printer's press and stepping down from the Newsletter Team. BookCrossing says sad but fond farewell and huge thank you to a volunteer who has been a Newsletter Team mainstay. Back in 2004, bookczuk started out as Ron's assistant on the Newsletter, but soon moved into heading the team of volunteers who created our semi-regular publication. She's been a vital part of the team, sometimes reporting, copy-editing, fact-checking, even encouraging members to submit their stories for publishing consideration. She'll still be around to help with projects, but now our czukie is editing herself off the team so she can spend more time with the joys in her life: her family, music, writing and artwork, of course, reading and releasing via BookCrossing. Laura111, a staffer in the Sandpoint office, will be picking up the pen and managing the Newsletter team, crossing the t's, adding the html to get all the news out to you. Thank you, bookczuk and welcome Laura111!

Pictured left: Bookczuk at Berlin's Bücherwald, an outdoor bookshelf made from tree trunks.


A write-up from the UK Unconvention
by gingergeoff

The 2010 Swindon (UK) Unconvention began on Friday, October 1st, with the registrations at the Jury's Inn Hotel. It was a nice, gentle start to the weekend with the giving out of goody bags, polo shirts and money off vouchers (for food at the hotel) - at least it was a gentle start for some. The Irish contingent made their presence known at the bar...

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/3376]

When my day job collides with my passion for books.
by Jayebirck

Everyone at work knows about my passion for books and reading. Since I work at a school, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Teachers, administration and students all know that I spend the year working towards my goal of at least 100 books read. "What book are you on now Mrs. B?" ...

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/3367]

Adventures in BookCrossing Event Planning
by melydia

One of my unofficial duties in BC in DC (the BookCrossers of greater Washington, DC, USA) is to plan the monthly meeting for the group. I'm not sure how this happened, but I can't say I mind. After all, I absolutely adore hanging out with other BookCrossers. ...

[read it all at http://www.bookcrossing.com/articles/3366]


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 330,726 (39%)
UNITED KINGDOM 93,090 (11%)
GERMANY 61,938 (7%)
CANADA 49,207 (6%)
SPAIN 40,603 (5%)
AUSTRALIA 36,562 (4%)
ITALY 26,024 (3%)
NETHERLANDS 18,793 (2%)
FRANCE 18,238 (2%)
PORTUGAL 12,432 (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...

Amazing AF journal for ApoloniaX from a themed release
This journal entry brought a smile to my face, and also the AF and her flatmates!
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8337986 by Deltic

Heres to the next generation of readers/bookcrossers!
A nice one from a four year old anonymous finder;
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8178420 by jessibud

Now if only I'd bought that lottery ticket
A catch from the You're Such an Animal Release Challenge that I left out in front of a Carrboro OBCZ when we were in NC last weekend. (picture included)

The finder's lucky day was mine as well, to get such a pleased JE. http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8307751 by bookczuk

Tree-mendous! First "tree-release" gets a hit...
http://bookcrossing.com/---/8070727 by JamesUK

this well travelled bookring has found a new reader in the wild
I was very excited to get this journal - this book has been almost all the way around the world now.
by meganh

Disney release caught by Princesses - on the sidebar right now!
So excited to see a Disney release of mine caught on the sidebar as I am on the site making release notes for all my Disney books!

Luckily I already made release notes for this one!

I left this Cinderella book at Cinderella's castle, and it sounds like it was found by the cast members who play Princesses at the park! It's kinda cool to have "Cinderella" caught by Cinderella herself. ;)

Release photo included. :)
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8160809 by slb453

"Hope it's not cranky"
...a great new member.
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8275228 by CountofMonte

Book survives volcano and travels far :-D
This book statred it's journey in London, survived the VoulcanoConvention in Amsterdam, traveled to Germany and was handed to me.

i took it with me to Manchester and Scotland and released it next to a salmon ladder at Shin Falls.

Please read here what happened next:
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/7655273 by olagoria

Double Wild Release; Double Wild Catch
This seems really amazing. A book I wild released this summer has been journaled twice. This has never happened to me.
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8061359 by cordelia-anne

Book "...spoke to me and yelled 'Pick me up!'"
Gotta love a catch like this one:

The book got to Nevada, too!
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/4297037 by GoryDetails

Total: 888,690
Last Week: 1,216

Total: 6,612,522
Last Week: 17,928

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