Bookcrossers cross books at bookcrossing.com

Wow, I think I should blog about Joachim Loew smoking more often. I’ve had more hits tody than ever before (ok, I’ve only been blogging here for a week, but still…) The stats now say:

does joachim loew smoke? – 3
joachim löw smoking – 2
+ “joachim löw” + cigarette – 2
joachim löw cigarette – 1
joachim loew cigarette – 1
loew smoking – 1
“loew smoking” – 1
joachim loew+smoking – 1
joachim loew+cigarette – 1
joachim cigarette germany – 1

The numbers are how many people have searched for that phrase. Anyway, Mr. Loew isn’t what I want to talk about now. Instead I want to advertise one of my favourite websites, http://www.bookcrossing.com

Bookcrossing is brilliant, especially if you’re a book lover like me, and I think everyone should join. Basically it’s like a giant book club. The idea is you sign up for free, register any books you don’t want any more and they give you a number for them, called a Bookcrossing ID. You write the ID on the book, along with a note explaining that it’s a book crossing book (there are even special labels with a message already on them, all you have to do is fill in the BC ID). Then you can either leave the book somewhere (called wild releasing) or pass it on to someone else in person. If the boom is left in the wild, bookcrossers can find the book, go to the website and enter the number and you get an email telling you where the book is now. One book I left in Newcastle was taken by someone from Innsbruck! You then get to go looking for books that other people have “released”. You can set up your bookcrossing account so that you get an email every time someone releases a book in a town of your choice, so that you can go out and try to track it down.

There are also official book crossing zones, known as OBCZs in bookcrossing slang. These are public places, usually cafés, where one or two bookcrossing members have set up a bookshelf specially for bookcrossing books. Members can leave their books there instead of releasing them somewhere random. Other members can then come to that place and be guaranteed to find books. Another good thing about OBCZs is that they are set up by someone who lives in that town, and you can usually assume that they will pick somewhere good. Every time I go on holiday I check whether there’s a bookcrossing zone in that town. Not only can I gather new reading material, but at the same time I’m guaranteed to find at least one good place for a coffee while I’m on holiday.

I love the concept of bookcrossing. If more people got involved in this, less books would get thrown away. No book should ever be thrown away, unless it’s missing pages or disintegrated after being dropped in the bath. If you don’t want your books give them to bookcrossing! It’s not like it costs you anything…

For more information, and to register, check out http://www.bookcrossing.com

Oh, and I have to admit, I didn’t dream up the title of this blog – I’m not that creative! I actually stole it from the title of a group on Studivz (the German version of Facebook). Credit where credit’s due and all that…