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BookCrossing tips

From: Josh K.
Sent on: Friday, January 30, 2009 8:42 AM
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.com.

BookCrossing sells BCID labels and other gear at:

http://secure.boo...­

. . . 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:

http://bookcrossi...­
http://bookcrossi...­

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 
available books.

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.

Josh

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