Bookcrossing and A November Walk

By | 19 November 2021

Today I went for a slight variant and came across a book dating back to 1930 so of course I picked it up. I like the look and feel of old books. I also like that they carry history. The book is 91, almost 92 years old and it has been passed on from generation to generation for almost six generations. I looked in the book and at first I just ignored the scribbles at the front of the book, not thinking much of it. Now that I looked closer I noticed the BCID so I looked up and logged that I found the book.

Now that I know about this project I feel that I should add books that I own to that database, for people to find and share them. One book has 601 hops, and the next only 198. That is how many times books have been passed on from person to person.

I see that the project is still new but it will soon reach two million members (bookcrossers) and approaching 14 million books. It is present in 132 countries, and what is impressive is that this is only since April 2021, so the site is still new. Registering a book is quick and easy. Note the ISBN, Double check the info, write a comment, create the book, and then add the BCID to the inner cover and a new book is logged. It takes seconds.

I believe that this is a great project because if you think that the use case for cars, is bad, due to how much time they spend sitting around, then imagine how bad it is for books. They spend years, even decades on shelves collecting dust, without being read more than once. With a website like Bookcrossing those dormant books are given the opportunity to travel, to be read, to be discussed and to be shared, over and over again. A book is no longer read by one person but dozens, or even hundreds. It works like a library, but the library is the world, and everyone can be a curator.

I could now create an entry for The Unbearable Lightness of Being and other favourite books of mine, and over time I could follow as they are shared, commented on, and as their locations move either west or east, south, or north. It would show how interconnected the world is.

I will participate in this project. I like the opportunities that I think it opens up.

2 thoughts on “Bookcrossing and A November Walk

  1. Leslie

    I haven’t heard of this version, but there was a similar project to Bookcrossing started maybe 10-12 years ago that I participated in heavily at the start, because I loved he idea. The book was logged on a website and you left the info in the book when you passed it on or left it in a free library or book-exchange space. Alas, though I logged all my books and tried my hardest to make it all go, it fizzled. Maybe it was just too much work for people to volunteer their time to do? Dunno. Here’s to hoping this version takes off!

    1. richard Post author

      With the right people designing the interface it should be simpler to do things sustainably today. I think that a QR code that we can print out and add to a book with the same sticky things as for photo albums might be the best solution. A QR code takes seconds to scan and add a comment to. I should suggest that to them. I should study how to implement it.


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