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BookCrossing tips

From: Josh K.
Sent on: Monday, May 26, 2008 12:17 PM
Looking forward to tomorrow's BookCrossing Meetup!

Here are some tips on how to make the most of BookCrossing, which is a 
great way not only to get and give books, but to keep track of them 
after you've released them.

If you're not on already, you can sign up (it's free) 
there. Once you do that, you can start "registering" books (entering 
their ISBN number to get a BookCrossing ID, a "BCID," to write in the 
book) and "releasing" them (sharing them at Meetups, scattering them in 
the city as several of did after July's Meetup, or getting involved in 
postal-mail exchanges/sharing like "Bookrings" or "Bookrays.")

Everyone does it their own way. Personally, I never do the Bookrings or 
Bookrays because, but some specialize in those because there's a greater 
chance of getting not only a feedback e-mail, but exactly the book you 
want, even just as a loan. I love "wild releases," leaving my registered 
books for strangers to find on the subway or in cafes or free-literature 
kiosks.  Hopefully, people will give feedback, after they find them, by 
typing the BCID into

BookCrossing sells BCID labels and other gear at:


. . . which is how it covers its expenses. It seems to have stopped 
offering free PDFs of labels that you can print on your own.  Nut Mary 
T. and I have uploaded those to:


They're designed for purchased blank adhesive labels, but I just print 
them up on plain paper, slice 'em up, and use tape.  I'll bring some to 
our Meetup tomorrow night.

Wish lists are a little complicated, but a good way for any individual 
BookCrossing user to show what books they want, rather than just what 
they have. The site:


is where you can maintain your wish list, and it shows how to embed your 
wish lists into your BookCrossing home page "bookshelf."

Some people will only trade books, especially by mail. When you register 
books on your BookCrossing home-page "bookshelf," you can say whether 
each one is "traveling" (no longer in your possession), "available" 
(kept for others to ask for), part of your "permanent collection" (I do 
keep the ones I like best), and so on.

If you register a stack of books as "available," then when you search 
other BookCrossers' pages for THEIR available books, and find one you 
like, you can write them and ask if they'd like to trade for one of YOUR 
available books. And if they have a wish list too, then you already know 
what they want, which you might already have.

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