Recent Book Activity
The Mystical Beast
All the Traps of Earth
The Enemies of Jupiter
The Girl and the Dragon
The Dragons of Kilve
All Flesh is Grass
Die vergessene Insel
Burning Down the Alehouse
Kung Fu Panda 2
The Flanders Panel
The Secret World of Polly Flint
Out of Their Minds
The Guns of Navarone / Force 10 from Navarone / When Eight Bells Toll
Doctor De Soto
Prisoner of Fire
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New in 2017In January this year I got married! This means fitting both our book collections into not many bookcases, which in turn means some more books coming up for release. In addition, TimDevereux moved into an old people's home last October, and my brother and I are slowly clearing his house. This too may mean more books for release, though we have a legal duty to try and sell them. In any case I shall not try and revive his BookCrossing account.
MeI'm not sure what to say about me. I'm a Christian (Church of England) and a Musician (Piano, Bassoon), not necessarily in that order. During the week, I work as an electrical engineer; at weekends, a church organist, although after 12 years playing twice a Sunday I don't want a regular slot again! As hobbies I write music and collect old computers. I still find time to read a lot of books, mainly by dint of having no television set.
I read mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy, but also some historical novels. My favourite authors are Diana Wynne Jones, Georgette Heyer and, more recently, Lois McMaster Bujold. I've also recently discovered Cornelia Funke, and am trying to read her books in the original German.
Apart from fiction, I collect technical books related to electrical engineering (or music or computers). I will often buy and read a textbook on an obscure subject simply because it looks interesting. Finally, in relation to my organist's job, I collect hymn books - full music editions if possible.
As of Autumn 2010 I am studying part-time with the Open Theological College, and hope to finish my degree this summer. Some of the books I have read on this course may find their way out here.
Return from GermanyIn 2012, I returned to England from Germany, where I'd been living for about a year. I hoped to have more books for release here, not least because it takes me many times as long to read a German book as an English one, and to be visiting some of my old favourite zones again, but it's taking me a while to get back into it. Maybe now I no longer have a full-time job...
Message in a BottleOn the way over to Germany, I released Passage by Connie Willis in a bottle in the North Sea. Two weeks later it turned up, also in Germany, as my one hundred and fiftieth catch!
Release project in memoriam Diana Wynne Jones, 1934-2011My favourite author died recently. I first heard of BookCrossing on a mailing list of her fans. In her memory, I tried to release some of her books. These are the ones I managed:
Dark Lord of Derkholm
Crown of Dalemark
Eight Days of Luke
Power of Three
This is no longer a live project, but the list might get added to in future.
Reading StatisticsI'm not going to make you scroll through pages and pages of book lists! Just a brief summary of my reading:
The Books listed on my shelfI intend eventually to list my entire collection here. You will see many books marked as Permanent Collection, but most of these are available for loan. A word of warning, though. Many of my books are quite heavy hardbacks, and if I lend them outside the UK I may ask for something in trade, even if it's only the loan of another book in return.
Any book marked "Available" can be traded, or if you ask nicely enough, given away. Most of these are meant to be released, though.
One Hundred and Seventy-Three Wild Catches!I've been neglecting BookCrossing recently, but I hope to do more again one day. This is now a scrollable list with links to the books. My thanks to Ardik, on whose profile I found the code to do this.
I don't count charity shop releases in this category, though. I've donated over a thousand books with pre-numbered labels, and I've had journal entries for some of them, but a charity shop is too obvious - both as somewhere to give away a book, and somewhere to go looking for one. (That said, I once almost bought one of my own releases. Oops!). I do have a couple of semi-wild catches - books that were in the almost-wild, and got caught:
The Mouse Butcher At the 2010 Unconvention, the hotel had some public bookshelves in the lobby. Becky suggested we fill them, I offered this book, and it has been caught and released again there.
Burke's Connections. Caught by someone after the release walk in Swindon. My name is on the release, although it wasn't one I actually took into town.
Der mit dem Wolf tanzt I have no idea what I did with this book. The number is an early pre-numbered label, but I have no recollection of sticking a label in a German book, and I have no idea how the book got to Berlin. I've not been there since before I was a BookCrosser!
April Fools (I think this was originally a charity shop release, but I'll include it for its two wild catches!)
The Vampire Tapestry (caught by another bookcrosser at the Unconvention)
Treasure Hunting (I left this in a geocache, and it was "found" by the cache's owner)
Dragon on a Pedestal (Release notes for the church book stall, but donated to a school library and journalled by a pupil)
Prime Suspect 2 (In two minds as to whether this release counts as wild. It was at the unconvention, and we (a table of bookcrossers) gave it to our waitress at a restaurant. And now it's turned up in Munich, of all places.)
My Wild FindsWithin a few weeks I have found two wild books, after over two years as a bookcrosser without finding a thing.
The Diary of a Killer Cat (Released in Coalville by a local bookcrosser)
The Inflatable Shop (This was in a geocache, a hidden store where you can drop things off for people to find, with GPS information on the web. I don't have GPS, so finding was a bit harder.)
Release project for 2004I intended to release a book into the wild each day during 2004. Books were to be genuinely in the wild, not aimed at any particular Bookcrosser. Advance releases don't count, but if I missed one (through illness, for example) I had to make it up as soon as possible.
In the end, I released (as near as I can judge) 397 books into the wild during 2004. (I had hoped to make it 400, but...) By the end it was getting to be a bit of a bind, though. I was missing days most weeks, and the release for new year's eve was made in 2005. Three months in Germany - for which I had to buy German books specially - didn't help. I still have a box or so of books for release, so I expect to go on releasing, but not at quite the same rate!
Book Rays I've StartedFor a while I tried to send some of my favourite books and authors on rays, to increase their circulation. All these stalled pretty early on, and I don't intend to revive them.
The Silver Metal Lover is one of my favourite books ever. The ray will never close, so PM me if you'd like to take part.
Power of Three was my favourite book from when I was 10 years old until well into my twenties.
Charmed Life, probably the best-known book by Diana Wynne Jones, and The Lives of Christopher Chant, a prequel, will be travelling together as a single ray.
The Dragon in the Sea is a really good future thriller by Frank Herbert.
Pre-numbered LabelsI used to run a charity book stall from time to time, usually at events connected with my parents' church (in Somerset) or mine (in Leicestershire). Before the recent problems with pre-numbered labels, I put many labels on books offered for sale or leftovers (which went to charity shops)
298969-297068, 497698-497757, 660200-660339, 1139030-1139239 and 1170200-1170599 in 2003; 1189833-1190133, 1206069-1206368, 1284310-1284510 and some random numbers in the range 1347XXX (for which I had difficulty in downloading labels) in 2004.
Vanishing BooksA few of my books I have registered, but haven't appeared on the system. Unfortunately, some I released before I discovered the problem.
So far, vanishing books I've released:
Black Man's Palaver (Isobel Ryan), released in Coalville in early 2004 (I think)
Mysterious Miss Slade (Dick King-Smith), released in Birmingham 17 July 2004
The Silver Madonna, released in Birmingham 17 July 2004
Dream Date, released in Coalville 11 December 2004
Giraffe in a Jam (Lucy Daniels), released for a release challenge
And some I managed to spot before releasing:
Everything You Always Suspected Was True About Advertising
Three Great Historical Romances
Focus on Love (Mandy Anson)
The Works (edited by Paul Cookson)
Short Walks to Country Pubs
Several changes of software later (back at BookCrossing.com) some that I thought had totally vanished are coming back; others that I thought had come back have vanished again. I really have no idea what is happening here!