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 BookCrossing.com already, you can sign up there (it's
free). 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 this month'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 they're a lot of work, 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 as just a loan. I love "wild
releases," leaving my registered books for strangers to find on the
subway or in cafes or free-literature kiosks. With luck, 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 no longer offers free PDFs
of labels that you can print on your own. But we've 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. You can also buy or
make BookCrossing inked stamps.
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
Finally, our organizer and I are now looking for bars or cafes where we
can not only meet, but also maintain a free bookshelf, an official
BookCrossing Zone (http://www.bookcr...).
Suggestions welcome. Please also remember the voluntary donation of $1
at each event to go toward meetup.com fees. The organizer pays $12-$19
a month to Meetup to run this group.