Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Make Way for Books Crossing

I first encountered BookCrossing in a post from one of my yahoogroups. The way it works is for you to leave one of your books in a public area with the hope that somebody will pick it up, read it, and then leave it in another public area to be picked up, read, and passed on by another... so on and so forth. My initial reaction was, "what a wonderful idea". I love the notion of strangers being united or connected by something so chancy. I love random, but meaningful encounters. Given my love for books, of course I'd consider finding a book left by a stranger to be read by myself a very special one.:) It's all very "ships that pass in the night" (I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this poem).
As I got myself primed to register in the system, I began to have second thoughts. I love my books to the point of obsession. There was a fire in my sister's room a few years ago, right near her bookshelves and I practically wilted at the possibility that our books had been damaged. We have so many books that we cannot contain them in one place, so we'd split the collection. Most of the priceless (to us, but we do have quite a list of Newbery winners) children's books ended up in Sister's room, while the series, teen, classic, grown-up, and non-fiction ones ended up in mine. Hmm, so this posed a problem. I would love to participate in BookCrossing, but I was not quite willing to release my books. I've lost so many to evil (:-p) borrowers through the years that I've gotten quite bitter about sharing books. So I thought maybe I would share duplicates. Just in case I never get to retrieve a crossing book, I'd have one more copy for our family (please know that even as a young girl, I was already thinking of preserving my books so that they would also be enjoyed by my future children). The first title I could think of was "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". I have two copies, one a paperback and the other, hardbound, which also includes a copy of "Maggie-Now". The natural option was to release the paperback as the other one is my only copy of "Maggie-Now", but every bit of my person balked at the idea. This was going to be harder than I had thought. I know we're not supposed to be too attached to things, but. BUT! They're my BOOKS! Please note the rising hysteria, lol. I couldn't part with the paperback ATGB because it had been my first copy. The very copy that made me fall in love with the story. And we go back a long way. I believe in caring for books up to a certain point, but I'm not averse to leaving chocolate stains, highlighting lines that I like, dog-ear-ing, or even writing phone numbers (I'm notorious for writing down numbers and then not writing down the name, so ten years later, I go "Whose number was this?"). I feel that the book and I are creating our history together, so as long as the book can still be enjoyed by a reader, albeit candy marks and a dog-ear here and there, no problem. When I was a kid and browsing through my Mom's Emilie Lorings, I would always feel a rush of connection to the kid who grew up into my mother. Sometimes I would find gum wrappers from the sixties and the seventies tucked in between the pages and that was always awesome. I'm digressing so much, I'm sure I've lost you, but I get this way when talking about books.
Going back to BookCrossing, I really was about to give it up, but then I remembered that I have Hemingway (of whom I'm not fond) and there's a chance I'd be getting them back anyway. I have two copies of Agatha Christie's Hallowe'en, one a gift, the other a sort-of hand-me-down. I thought I could release the hand-me-down. We have a zillion copies of "A Purpose Driven Life", so haha!, whatever that laugh means. Anyway, I've registered and I'm all set to release books in the following days. I checked and there were six books released in the Philippines, none in Manila though, so I better catch Manila up with Cebu, Negrol Oriental, and Ifugao.:-p


rinna said...

ang bait mo naman!
ako, i'm too selfish with my books. haha!

spinninglovelydays said...

believe me, rinna, it was really hard :)

tin said...

I read about this a couple of years ago in Girltalk, and yeah it's exciting but I don't think I would want to let go of my books.
But I can leave one in Mark's car, then you can leave it there again when you're done, haha!

spinninglovelydays said...

ok, christine, i can just pretend not to know who left it. :) that's funny that it has been discussed in gt and there's still just like a handful of people who took part. hmmm, might be a cultural thing?

Scott said...

LOVED your story...its hard to let those books go, I know...BUT, for some of those that you're glancing at where you roll your eyes, trying to remember if you liked the book, characters, might find ONE:) that you want to "set free" for someone else to pick up...because THEY may just love it. And trust me when I tell you this, as soon as you release it(may I suggest a likely place where it will be found: local coffee house, school grounds, church, local restaurant, pub) and someone picks it up and makes an entry on the website that it was found, you will get notified via email and it will make your day. Some books I've released(at airports) have made it from sunny California all the way to the chillier parts of Russia, over to Japan, Singapore and London. Some I've released in California have stayed in the state for over a year, traveling from city to city...its amazing. But I still understand the hesitation....just find ONE you're willing to part with and let the fun journey begin! You'll be hooked!
My best,
CEO BookCrossing

spinninglovelydays said...

thanks, scott, for dropping by and explaining the concept further. i really love the whole idea. that's what i thought about hemingway anyway. just because i didn't like him doesn't mean others wouldn't either. i'm excited to get started. :)

Andrea said...

Ooooh, I love mi books 2 but there are some that i don't..heheheh..(gaya gaya).. Pano gagawin? may ibang books ako na some people might find interesting. feed me more me sa Sunday okay? thanks! :)

tin said...

scott: thanks for enlightening us here :) hmmm...lemme check if I've already registered for this ;)

ivy: I guess so...perhaps we can revive it at GT?

spinninglovelydays said...

hi, lalab. we can talk about it on sunday, but really, the site can better explain it to you.

sure, christine. perhaps a post in the "let's get literary" section. i'm not all that familiar with the rules of the board, so will have to check first if they'd allow promoting something like bookcrossing.