52 towns in 52 weeks challenge 2013

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There are so many places you can discover. Surprises wait behind every corner.
Go find them. Bring books for the next visitors to find.

The small village besides the highway might keep some hidden gems of architecture, the minor road over the hills you always thought would just be a waste of time might show you a magnificient view you'll never see from the motorway. There's a train in the opposite direction as well, you know, and there are people living around that station with the funny name. There's that cycle trail around the corner - ever seen the castle it leads to? Well, you won't see it if you don't go looking.

The aim of this challenge is to go out, discover new places and - of course - spread the word.

To fulfil the challenge, you should try to release books in at least 52 different towns over the year (see next post about some guidelines what to call a town). This is one town per week in average, but doesn't need to be one each week. You're welcome to join also if you're sure you won't make the 52 - just try and make it as many as possible.

Some rules...

* The challenge runs all of 2013. Local time applies.
* You can join the challenge at any time, and also count books you released before joining as long as they were released in 2013.
* Wild, OBCZ and geocache releases count.
* Controlled releases and meetups do NOT count.
* Public transport vehicles can't usually be assigned to one town because the vehicle will leave the city limits. They don't count, then. Just release another book at the station and you're fine ;)
* You need to release the books yourself at the place in question. You cannot release a book "to" some place, but only "at" some place. It's always the place where the book leaves YOUR hand which counts. In case you used a generic zone or misplaced it in the release note, it's still the place where you actually left it.
* Geocaches count for the town where the box lies, also if the listing coordinates are somewhere else.
* Please include at least the following in your posts: Sequential number, country, state/province/region and name of the town, and a link to the books journal.
* Please post only one release for each town. If you release more than one book, choose one freely.
* Report as many releases as available in one posting, but don't add new towns by editing old postings because people won't notice there's something new then.
* If you like, you may also track catches.
* You're welcome to explore the release spot surroundings and report about your adventures along with the release.


What's a town? Which town does a point belong to?

Now this is a difficult question since it depends on the local administrational structure and there simply is no universally useful definition. Learn about how the country is organized, and use your common sense.

Most countries have some kind of small(est) independent administrational unit, whatever it is called: municipality, commune, civil parish, township... there may be lots of names for lots of similar units and lots of places where they just depict something else. One of these will do. In many countries BCers before you have already chosen an administrational level to call a "city" in the BC database, and in most well-maintained countries these usually represent municipalities or similiar structure which are entirely legitimate to be called "towns" for this challenge.

However, there may be reasons why the "cities" in the BC database are not cities, towns or whatever you might call it, so better don't stick to them if they sound unreasonable. One example is that large cities like Paris, Wien, Berlin or London are often split into districts in the BC database which doesn't make the districts cities in real life. In many other countries the term "well-maintained" simply doesn't apply, because there is no region manager cleaning up the database regularily according to local conventions.

In some countries not every square metre of ground is assigned to a town. If you release in such an unincorporated area, you may assign them to nearby towns by some reasonable rule you'll have to find yourself, like going by the postcodes or simply using the closest one.

Map services

You also might need to find a map service which includes the borders between towns to find where a place belongs to. If you know a reliable service for a region, you're welcome to tell us.

I'll collect the links here:

Germany - http://www.stadtplandienst.de
Switzerland - http://www.stadtplandienst.ch
Austria - http://www.stadtplandienst.at
Three sections of the same commercial map service (but simple lookups are free of charge). They show municipality borders as various violet lines (they may be dotted) in the lowest three scales. Quite reliable and precise. Where borders changed during the past few years, often outdated, though.

Globally but incomplete - http://www.openstreetmap.org
Given the very nature of OSM, they show borders exactly where and like some volunteer added them. In some areas they could import government data. Quality ranges from "missing entirely" over "rough guess" to "perfectly to the point". Use your common sense to determine whether the lines you find are useful. Feel free to contribute yourself.

A final note...

This challenge is not a competition. We do count, we do set a goal, but we don't judge anyone by the numbers reached or not. Letting it discourage you if someone elses count is far above yours is just as wrong as feeling superior if yours is the larger one. No winner will be appointed on terms of numbers.

"Towns" vary heavily in size between regions. Visiting 52 of them may be a daytrip for some people but a lifetime challenge for others. It's not your fault if you are one of the latter because your municipalities are so large that there are only a few in reach. If you don't think you can visit so many towns, you are still welcome to just try and release in as many towns as possible. If you reach the 52 during the year, you are still welcome to continue and raise your own number to astronomical heights.

Now go and explore. A whole world of wonders and surprises is waiting for you, and your books will be some of them.


...in January instead of March *should* help - I would hope...


#1. Studio City, CA. USA
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/3351721/ Caught and a new member!

#2. Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

#3. Van Nuys, CA

#4. Sherman Oaks, CA


I am not sure I will be able to make 52 , however , I will give it my best try! This sounds like alot of fun. It seems like I am going to be a busygirl this New Year!
Looking Forward To Alot Of Fun!


mngirl 6 yrs ago
I'm in
Hopefully my health will be better in 2013 than it was this year and I'll get out to release more than I was able to in 2012.


Went to the mall to do grocery shopping, after being on holiday. Then to watch "The Hobbit", in 3D, at Hoyts.
(I made it to 28 towns, last year)


Your link is to the zone rather than the book. Not sure if that was your intention but congratulations on posting the first release of this challenge.


I also get the 31st Dec, first.


katrinat 6 yrs ago
I'm in
hoping to make my first release later on today - if the rain stops!


Looks like a lot of fun. I'll try to release in 52 towns.


and as I released a book today I'm having that as my first town so

Town #1 Burbage



wingbookstogivewing 6 yrs ago
I'm in
thanks for doing it again


1. Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland - my home town. Released on the covered bench at the end of my street on the way to the beach for a walk:



I probably won't get too many done until we go on holidays but since we usually take a long road trip it gives me lots of opportunities to leave books all over.


and hopefully I make it this year => only 28 towns in 2012.


I haven't done any yet, but I am in for it again this year! Last year took me on some unexpected travels, and I got to do my first two US releases! I did 52 towns and haven't had many catches at all :( but I am still hopeful! And I am eager to participate again in 2013 and see where life takes me (and my books)!


Looks like fun

Went to Brightlingsea today for a bracing New Years Day walk. I released three books there and selected one for this challenge.

Town #1 Brightlingsea, Essex, UK



for the third year running. Fortunately, my sister gave me a lot of books to wild release last year which will come handy this year.


wingekorrenwing 6 yrs ago
Town #1
I'm starting with my home town this time. My first book was released about 20 minutes after midnight on Jan 1st, on the way back from the viewpoint where we watched the new year's midnight fireworks. The title of the book: "The end is my beginning".

1. http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11573874 Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany


What a great title for that release! Love it!


1. Genève, Genève, Switzerland:


Rather pleased that all of the villages I released in today were 'bookcrossing virgins' - two rural former mining villages near my partner's mother's house, and a rather nice looking pub in a small village on the way there.

2. Failford, Ayrshire, Scotland http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11493809/
3. Mauchline, Ayrshire, Scotland http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11493418/
4. Auchinleck, Ayrshire, Scotland http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11501771/


I always get a thrill when it's the first release in a town. Odd isn't it?


there was some discussion in the car about whether the books stood any chance of a 'catch' - dark & wet nights in deepest Ayrshire aren't promising territory - but we will wait and see!!


I have had catches from Arthurs' Pass and Mt Hutt ski field in Canterbury, New Zealand.
This one, I left on a seat, in the container mall, in what is left of Christchurchs' cbd.


Not strange to me-- I do too!


I do too - adds a little spice to the release for me!


Town #1-Springville, TN, USA

Town #2-Buchanan, TN, USA


My definition of a town in Australia will be local government areas. Just about everywhere in Australia will come under the jurisdiction of a local council and in large cities such as Sydney and Melbourne there are several local government areas. Some of these, by virtue of their size and population, have been proclaimed cities in their own right.

Example: http://en.wikipedia.org/---/Local_government_areas_of_New_South_Wales



I enjoyed myself immensely last year!



LiniP 6 yrs ago
Releases #1-4
1. Haan, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11617420/
2. Leverkusen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11617414/
3. Ransbach-Baumbach, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11617409/
4. Lorsch, Hessen, Germany: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11617399/



mngirl 6 yrs ago


1 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11608453/ Townsville, Queensland, Australia
2 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11620415/ Camperdown, NSW, Australia (City of Sydney)


Hi all, Tried last year but only got in later in the year. Fresh start this time, wish me luck. Greetings from Canada :)


Wishes for luck from a fellow Canuck! Welcome! Hi from Cambridge, ON.


#1 Birds Hill, MB, Canada

Yay, I'm off. I got inspired to release a book because I got a JE for a book I released in 2009 for the Canada Day and the 52 Towns challenges. It was journalled a few 100 kms away from where I left it but the journaller didn't mention if they had found it at its original release spot or somewhere else.


Starting out with my hometown again this year... This time I left Charlotte's Web at a movie theatre while I was there to see a showing of Charlotte's Web (the version where Dakota Fanning plays Fern).



I left Lives of the Saints in Godfather's Pizza while picking up some food for our rescheduled family Christmas.



We went grocery shopping, near the grandparents @ Rolleston.



Nice chanllenge, which I have not dared to try so far. But always been watching.
I'd be pleased if I manage half, but a challenge must be a challenge, so, I will have a go!



Hope that means good things for this year.


Mine was too! Could be a very BookCrossy Year!


katrinat 6 yrs ago
No. 1 and 2
St Antonin Noble Val, France http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11264669?... a picture of this release is here: http://www.flickr.com/---/photostream

Rodez Airport, France: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9681183?...


I started during our travel into the ski holidays =>

town # 1 : France, Benfeld: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11451321

town # 2 : Switzerland, Lully: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11451431


I fell down on the job last year. Thanks for hosting.


Yea!! Besides, it's not about the numbers, it's about the towns! Great you're joining up again.


BF and I took a shopping trip to Chinatown, and left a book in a shopping centre while we were there. It's written by a Chinese-Canadian, and is about a young woman who was born in China and adopted by a Canadian family when she was a baby.



LiniP 6 yrs ago
#5: Obersontheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11472413/


wingekorrenwing 6 yrs ago
Towns #2-23
My traditional trip to Heidelberg in early January brought 22 towns this time. However, this number is significantly lower than it could have been - a few things went not quite as planned.

This time all places are in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. No state or country borders were violated.

2. http://bookcrossing.com/---/10402005 Horb
3. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11590965 Eutingen im Gäu
4. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11256848 Schopfloch bei Freudenstadt
5. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11177782 Karlsruhe
6. http://bookcrossing.com/---/10401864 Bruchsal
7. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11296021 Nußloch
8. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11380693 Heidelberg
9. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11477758 Neckargemünd
10. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11110200 Bammental
11. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11573871 Wiesenbach
12. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11110208 Dielheim
13. http://bookcrossing.com/---/9885280 Wiesloch
14. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11556441 Leimen
15. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11010736 Rauenberg
16. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11617760 Malsch bei Wiesloch
17. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11617682 Walldorf
18. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11617670 St. Leon-Rot
19. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11617586 Bretten
20. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11617631 Mühlacker
21. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11617621 Freiberg am Neckar
22. http://bookcrossing.com/---/11316510 Bietigheim-Bissingen
23. http://bookcrossing.com/---/10395989 Stuttgart





Paris, Tennessee, USA
Rouge Warrier-http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11027766



1. Traverse City, Michigan http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11306256


Oh, I love Northern Michigan (in the summer ;-) Went there a few years ago with my parents who grew up near Detroit - stayed in Petoskey, visited Mackinac Island, Charlevoix, Harbor Springs (fantastic bookstore there complete with awesome bookstore dog, Bunter)



katrinat 6 yrs ago
Release 3
Greater London, UK:
Photos of the 20th Century: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11635435
Left outside Madame Tassauds with 2 other books, each featured handmade labels for another challenge as can be seen in the journal entry.



town # 3: France, Saint Francois-Longchamps: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10315625/

town # 4: France, Sainte Marie de Cuines: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11363326

town # 5: Switzerland, Nyon: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11479657

town # 6: Germany, Kehl: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11456803


wingMissHappy71wing 6 yrs ago
town # 7

Town # 7: Germany, Aschaffenburg: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9943379/


town # 8: Germany, Rodgau: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11488006/

town # 9: France, Strasbourg: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11136302/


town # 10: France, Seltz: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11488053/

town # 11: Germany, Offenburg: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11451165


town # 12: Germany, Frankfurt: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11706157/

town # 13: Germany, Seligenstadt: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11134096/


town # 14: Germany, Berghaupten: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11704554/

town # 15: Germany, Pfungstadt: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10368603/

town # 16: Germany, Sulzbach (Taunus): http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11809785/


mngirl 6 yrs ago
2) North St. Paul, MN USA http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11586110

1) St. Paul, MN USA http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10212706?...


tomato68 6 yrs ago
#1 and #2


1 - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11612045/ The Cul-de-Sac Kids # 19: Piggy Party



I had hoped to get out and release in another town this weekend but we had a major snowstorm on Friday night and travel plans were cancelled. So I released a book at work and covered my home town, Winnipeg.

#2 Winnipeg, MB, Canada



tomato68 6 yrs ago
#3 Release
#3 Huntington Beach, CA USA http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11606626/


birdvet 6 yrs ago
Release #1
Release #1 - Hilden, Nova Scotia, Canada http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11333051



tomato68 6 yrs ago
Release #4


mngirl 6 yrs ago
town #3-4
3) New Brighton, MN USA http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/2386506?...
4) Mpls, MN USA http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11586125

1) St. Paul, MN USA http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10212706?...
2) North St. Paul, MN USA http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11586110


7. Oudleusen, Netherlands: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10430504/


pam99 6 yrs ago
#5 - 7
Not making great progress with this challenge, I don't think January's a great month for getting out and about!

5. Glasgow http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11433667
6. Barassie, Ayrshire http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11528357
7. Irvine, Ayrshire http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11433685


katrinat 6 yrs ago
RE: #5 - 7
You're progress is still ahead of the target, but I know what you mean the grey clouds and wind/sleet put me off from venturing out today.


LiniP 6 yrs ago
#6: Bad Boll, Baden-Württemberg, Germany: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11445398/



3 - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10459730/ Little Book of Nursery Tales


Despite the cold temperatures hubby and I ventured out into the country and stopped in Oakbank, MB. Therefore this is my third town for the challenge:
#3 Oakbank, MB, Canada


mngirl 6 yrs ago
town #5


#10 Inver Grove Heights Mn http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11653231
#11 Dodge Center Mn http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11647112/
#12 Austin Mn http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11654865
#13 Le Roy Mn http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11653087/
#14 Adams Mn http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11647239
#15 Brownsdale Mn http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11653084/

Sometimes when it's below 0 (F), you have to get outside. I see mngirl hit a bunch of towns today also.


I see mngirl hit a bunch of towns today also.

Only 1 town today (#5). I just copied and paste my previous post and then added todays on top. Which number(s) I'm one will be posted in the title. However of the 5 I have so far, 4 were in the last week! ;-)





tomato68 6 yrs ago
Release #5



A surprise bookcrossing experience courtesy of Scotrail - the trains were off due to a fire, with a bus replacement from Kilwinning. However when I got there, the queue was already a couple of hundred long, and the replacement buses are clapped out old things that are crammed to the brim, don't have proper heating etc. So instead, I walked into the town, bookcrossed, and got on a scheduled bus - nice and warm, with wifi.

Between the weather and the fire (it seems to have been quite a major incident in a recycling plant, although thankfully no injuries) I may have a few more adventures to come...



LiniP 6 yrs ago
#7: Backnang, Baden-Württemberg, Germany: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11445399/


mngirl 6 yrs ago
Town 6


winggoldenwattlewing 6 yrs ago
Town 1
1. Bungendore, NSW
Cold Granite (Logan McRae, Book 1), by Stuart MacBride.


8. Amersfoort, Netherlands: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11662098/


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