If you want an exciting way to interest your students in reading, then try encouraging them to give books a ‘wild’ adventure with BookCrossing. Over 700,000 people in 130 different countries have helped to create this ‘travelling library’, where you can tag and release books or go hunting for them around the world. Over 5,000,000 books have been registerd so far, and 300 new members are added each day!
How does it work?
Set up an account at http://www.bookcrossing.com/, register each book to create a unique BookCrossing ID number for it, enter details about where you plan to release it, add some stickers, then let it go!! Hopefully someone will pick up the book, read it, add a comment to the web journal, then release it again back into ‘the wild’. You will receive an email to alert you whenever someone adds a journal comment to one of your books, and in this way you can track where your books have travelled around the world.
At Redlands College I ask anyone travelling overseas or interstate if they would like to take a book and release it somewhere. So far this year we have released over 40 books around the world, and they have been picked up in London, Glasgow, Barcelona, Ontario, British Columbia and Bribie Island.
A BookCrossing account is free, and if you are a teacher or librarian you can even get a free starter kit. If you would like to set your library or classroom up as a Crossing Zone, take a look at this link: http://www.bookcrossing.com/files/BookCrossing-and-Libraries.pdf
I go to Scholastic warehouse sales and buy boxes of books for $1/book, and I let the students select which book they would like to take and release. I buy stickers, bookplates and release bags from the BookCrossing Store: https://secure.bookcrossing.com/store/prodtypelist.asp, and I also glue labels onto the books which other BookCrossers have made up. (http://www.bookcrossing.com/labels , also try typing ‘BookCrossing labels’ into Google)
One of these books is off to Germany
From the BookCrossing website: “BookCrossers give life to books. A book registered on BookCrossing is ready for adventure. Leave it on a park bench, a coffee shop, at a hotel on vacation. Share it with a friend or tuck it onto a bookshelf at the gym — anywhere it might find a new reader! What happens next is up to fate, and we never know where our books might travel. Track the book’s journey around the world as it is passed on from person to person.”
Below are some of the comments that people have left on Redlands College book journals:
“I was waiting for my flight back to Canada and found the book in Barcelona Airport Terminal B, June 28, 2008. I thought someone had forgotten it but when I moved it to another seat I turned it over and the bag said free book so with some hesitation and doubt I opened the bag and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not a hoax and hence brought the book home to London Ontario. I have now read the book and enjoyed it very much.”
“Caught the book in a bar in Glasgow. Traveled across Europe with me and back home to New York!”
“My parents discovered this book during the London leg of their trip to Germany. We were all impressed and amazed at where it was found as my sister and I are ex-Redlands College students. Its amazing the things you find when you leave home!”
“I found this book at the Vancouver International Airport. I was on my way home to Prince Rupert, BC (from Prince George, BC) and was waiting for my flight. I have never heard of this so I was interested…. I think this is a wonderful idea and am a life-time book lover myself. What a great adventure for both the child and the book!”
Some of our books that have been released
Here’s a link to someone’s BookShelf that was posted on a forum. As you can see, he is a serious BookCrosser!! https://secure.bookcrossing.com/mybookshelf/GoryDetails