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December 7, 2010

Notes from Idaho...

It's that time of year again here in Idaho.  The snow is falling, and the local ski mountain is about to open.  The US holiday of Thanksgiving has come and gone. In reflection, we are thankful for so many BookCrossing-related things: We feel a sense of joy when we see the new BookCrossing site translated into 5 languages (with more translations on the way); our hearts skip a beat as we take note of the many generous volunteers around the world help ing behind the scenes; we smile ear to ear amazed at the commitment and dedication of our staff (some of whom work around the clock smoothing out the birthing glitches and wrinkles that come with a new site launch); and, we spill over with gratitude for you, our loyal BookCrossing members, for you have stood by us this past year with patience and encouragement. We can't thank you enough.

In a show of appreciation for you, and in an effort to migrate toward local distribution, we're having a mass
blow-out sale in our Supply Store. We almost have the necessary elements to bring shipping centers to your corner of the world (translate: cheaper shipping costs, faster delivery). Please help us clear our shelves by making a purchase at the Supply Store and grabbing some BookCrossing vintage loot, labels and leftovers while they last.

Please remember to be kind to a book today; give it a BCID.

In gratitude,


Qué bueno! A BookCrossing Milestone
Over 30,000 Books Released in Spain

On November 14, 2010, more than 30,000 books were released in the capital city of Madrid, Spain, making for the largest single mass release in BookCrossing history. "I am honored to have been a part of this fantastic initiative spearheaded by the Town Hall of Madrid and Mahou," beams Juan Pablo Colás, Lead Coordinator of the ambitious project. The program was presented at the Palais des Telecommunications by the Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon; the Mayor explained that the inspiring effort, requiring the collaboration of more than 5,000 citizens and volunteers, was about bringing the people of Madrid together and emphasizing the importance of volunteering. 

This mass release involved a well-organized team of 600 volunteers using 30 vans to disseminate the literature in strategic places around the city.  The effort has attracted the tremendous support of popular singers, actors, models, journalists, humorists, writers, judges and sportsmen - all of whom have dedicated their favorite book to the cause. And the giving doesn't end there: For every book registered and released before April 24, 2011, Mahou and the Madrid Town Hall will generously donate 3 euros to a reinsertion program to help young people at risk of social exclusion.

Due to mass media coverage and the ensuing awareness of BookCrossing in Spain, the country's BookCrossing membership stats have experienced a significant uptick. You can read more about the event here, and can track progress hereGo Spain!

Steals & Deals
The Biggest Store Sale in the History of BookCrossing

Black Friday is a tradition known in the United States as the day after Thanksgiving and officially marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. It's no surprise that it's also the biggest shopping day of the year. Droves of families arise early to hit the malls and department stores to take advantage of discount prices. The origin of the term is debatable; whether it's the excessive black ink accountants use because of increased sales, the idea that stores finally operate in the black (profit) versus in the red (loss), the multitudes of shoppers that blacken pedestrian crosswalks, or the blackout headaches employees endure from the day's chaos, one thing is certain: people go bonkers on Black Friday. We hope you'll go bonkers and gasp at our shocking Supply Store Sale!  Even though Black Friday has come and gone, we're still offering deals of the season.

Pick up a pack of bookplates for as little as $3.95, or fill your shopping cart with Bally's Black Friday/Cyber Monday Bundles (4 packs of labels) or a few Starter Kits for only $14.95! Whatever you do, avoid the long lines and chaos that holiday shopping brings! It's a great way to support BookCrossing and stock up on supplies and other goodies - all from the convenience of your computer!

BookCrossing: Coming Soon to a
Language Near You

Our latest project is focused on creating a truly global initiative.  Sure, we have members all over the world - but our official site was previously available only in English.  With the help of our fabulous mirror sites and amazing volunteer translators, we're proud to offer BookCrossing translated into German, Spanish and Dutch. It won't belong before we launch BookCrossing in Afrikaans, Simplified & Traditional Chinese, Finnish, French, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Persian (Farsi), Polish, Portuguese and Ukranian. When we say global, we mean it!  If you don't see your country's language listed and are interested in helping, please email  Let's ring in the New Year, and show the world the joy of BookCrossing in every language.


What We Learned at Word on the Street
Increasing Wild Find JE's
by Bookgirrl

Quality over Quantity
Releasing for Pleasure, not Punishment
by chubsiewhubsie

How I Came to Write Crossing Paths
The BookCrossing Novel
by lakelady2282

Silence the Skeptics: Show the World the
Power of BookCrossing

by kimsue


Wild books released by our members are being caught every day all over the world! Our Site Watch forum is where members post news of great wild book catches. Here are some of the best threads from the last few days:
A nice journal entry
Released over two years ago, now je and a new member!
Book found by a Book lover
Celibacy is no longer an option
First release/catch for the Sydney Unconvention release walk
AF writes a nice entry
Great catch for Pinkoeria
"Donuts with the dead"...
The six sacred stones
Spfldjohn works a miracle
Two great (related) Halloween catches!
This would be one of the best journal entries that I have received.

Exciting BBC Opportunity

We know there are countless stories of BookCrossing serendipity out there, and now you have an opportunity to share your tales of friendship with the world! We are thrilled to announce we've been contacted by the BBC for an upcoming documentary. Here is the direct request from BBC 'Inside Out South' Researcher, Aisha Mirza:

"Anyone from the South of England who feels they have an interesting BookCrossing related story to tell should be encouraged to get in touch! We really need human stories though - friendships, marriages, people who have a special relationship with BookCrossing!"

If you're a BookCrosser from the region South of England (or have had a unique BookCrossing experience related to the South of England), we'd like to hear from you. Tell your story by emailing Aisha directly at, and copy us at . It doesn't have to be long or elaborate. In fact, your story can even be uncommonly common! Simply send her the gist, and she'll do the rest.  Let's help Aisha produce a great documentary; we need your BookCrossing tales from the heart!

Ways to Help BookCrossing
Without Sending Us a Euro or a Dime

You may have noticed that there are ads again visible on the site. (Members with Wings see continue to see the site free of outside advertisement as one of the perks of the program.) We thought we'd run a quick review for you of what those ads and affiliate/partners mean in terms of revenue. We use several sources for our advertisements, and are in the process of seeking out ads that reflect the language which the site is viewed, so that if you view the site in German, or Spanish or Dutch, the ads will hopefully appear in those languages, eventually. Some of our ad placement services give credit for impressions (i.e. just for hosting the ad), others give credit for click-through to their site from ours only and still others for a mix of impressions and clicks. The partners and affiliates listed here generally only give BookCrossing credit for purchases clicked through from the BookCrossing site to their site, and it can be as high as 10% of your purchase there. If you're thinking of making a purchase from, Barnes & Noble, Powells Books, BetterWorld, AbeBooks, or Chapters , please consider using one of the links directly from this page and to give 5-10% back to BookCrossing. As always, thank you so much for your support.


(Umm, well, almost free...)

In case you
missed the article, we're having an absolutely ridiculous Supply Store SALE. Everything is on sale in preparation for product localization and the new year.  Stock up on labels priced as low as $3.95. Take advantage of Bally's Black Friday/Cyber Monday Bundles of four (yes, four!) packs of labels for a measley $14.95, or snag a few packs of bookmarks at $6.95 each.

Thank you to o0o-aRIMa-o0o!
It's official!

Contrats go out to oOo-aRIMa-oOo for submitting the entry 'Beyond the Books' to win our Name Our Newsletter contest. Wings and goodies are on the way, oOo-aRIMa-oOo! Thanks  to all members who particpated. 

Look out, Hollywood!
Move aside, Bollywood!
Make room for Bally wood!

BookCrossing's 1st Video Contest

Can you create a compelling video to cause curious book lovers to stop, drop, and join BookCrossing? We know how difficult it is to describe BookCrossing: the registering, releasing, and catching of wild books; the hunting, forum posting and serendipitous community; the love, generosity and sheer magic of it all. It’s a detailed process, and it can be a lot to absorb. When you visualize BookCrossing, what do you see?

We’re looking for a 2 minute video that captures the brand, essence, and  act of BookCrossing - but the challenge is to c
reate it without using words.  Details, guidelines & prizes found
here .

Bookplate of the Month

We don't know about you, but our Bookplate Gallery has provided us with yet another wonderful work distraction.  Shuffling through your creations is not only entertaining, but with our Spanish, Dutch, German, Finnish and Portuguese templates now available, it's educational too (who knew 'gelesen' means 'read' in German!?)

Your masterpieces have inspired us, and each month we'll choose one bookplate from the public gallery to feature on our sidebar.  It doesn't have to be fancy. Like Ray Charles says, "You've got the right one baby, Uh-huh!"

Pausenbrot's Bookplate This month, BookCrosser Pausenbrot, whose label titled 'Freis Buch' (translated: 'Free Book') caught our eye.  Maybe it's the childlike wonder depicted by the silhouette of the young boy pointing at the shimmering seam, or maybe we just like bright lights.  Whatever it is, it's terrific and we love it! Thanks for sharing, Pausenbrot!

OBCZ of the Month

'Pilkku' is the name lovingly bestowed upon the miniature Official BookCrossing Zone located in an old mailbox in the residential area in Helsinki, Finland. "For quite some time I dreamed of creating an OBCZ that would be close enough to maintain on my daily drive to work. Finally, I had an opportunity to make it happen," says oofiri, the Zone Manager."I named it 'Pilkku', meaning 'spot' or 'comma' in Finnish,  because the zone is intended to be like a comma between two readers in a long list. Also, you have to  admit," she smiles, "the zone is very small like a spot."   Local BookCrossers have welcomed the zone with many releases and encour aging words. In addition to books, items such as apples, plums, plant starts, and in-season garden surplus have been released at the site for others to enjoy.

If you have an OBCZ  you would like to see featured in our Newsletter, email your story and photo to:
with subject line "OBCZ of the Month."

Heather's Wonderin'...

"Why did the book cross the road?"

"Because the author wrote it to get a point across."  

"Because somebody paged it."

"Because it was a free-range book."
- ResQgeek

"Because it wanted to tell the other side of the story." 

"Because it was stapled to the chicken."


Look for Heather's posts in the Chit-Chat Forum.  Each month, she'll pose a question and we'll publish our favorite answers.

Please know every puchase you make in our Supply Store helps to keep BookCrossing free and directly supports our cause to make the world a library!

Have an idea for the Newsletter? 
Email with feature ideas, thoughts or suggestions. 
Don't forget to submit member articles

Copyright (C) 2010 BOOKCROSSING All rights reserved.

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