Book Crossing

Let me introduce you to a Guest Post from @nneerraakk

Enjoy reading? Like random reading? Book club not for you?

How about a book club where there’s no set book? No feeling that you should have a definite opinion on a book? One where it’s possible to “like”a book or “not like” it? No pressure to “discuss” the book? Sound appealing?

Not only appealing but already happening….

Bookcrossing is a scheme started in the US around 10 years ago whereby each book is registered on and given a unique number. Currently it has around 800,000 members all happily passing their books around – free. They simply leave books lying around for someone else to find and read, keep, pass on or they go to a meetup wherever there are and meet some like-minded souls and swap books around. The website costs nothing to join and there are no spam emails as a result of joining. A computer is not necessary to join in as the concept is sharing above any other and the book will always (eventually) turn up again at some stage.

Bookcrossers in Colchester meet up every month at the Fox Pub in Layer de la Haye on the 3rd Thursday at around 7pm. There are a few faces that show regularly and a lot that show sometimes.

Everyone brings what they’ve read or have spare and puts the books on the table and then whoever fancies a book or 6 simply takes them home. With any book on the table at least one person will have an opinion on it. Some will be elaborate opinions, some not so elaborate. It’s a cheap, friendly way of expanding your reading involving no more cost than your drink(s) since all the books are free. Conversation never stays on subject so this is not a long drawn out literary evening!

We also have book release walks where we wander around town interspersed with pubs and leave books on bank machines, benches, pub tables etc.

As an international organisation there are meetings all over the world and wherever a person travels they are always able to contact someone on the website and see if they fancy meeting up while they’re in the area or simply to ask where the local stash of books is.

In Colchester we have had visitors at the meetings from further afield in Essex, Suffolk, Derbyshire and Holland and in other instances some of us have acted as guides in Colchester to Bookcrossers from Finland, the States and Holland simply because the people have looked on Bookcrossing, got in touch and asked us to.

If anyone wants to become a part of Bookcrossing without attending a meeting they are very welcome on this basis. There are shelves of books in the Purple Dog, Eld Lane, Slack Space Queen Street, Hospital Arms Crouch Street, Jardine Bistro Wivenhoe and Fox Pub Layer de la Haye. Please do stop for a coffee or more if frequenting a pub or cafe.

As an experiment we decided to have a stall at Colchester Free Festival. It turned into a rather larger than expected experiment with people donating to us around 2,000 books to give away. Please do come along and help yourself.

Any questions eg is there Bookcrossing where you are, where’s your local meeting, can you get a lift to a meeting or simply to have a chat about how it works please call Karen on 01206 729238 or twitter @nneerraakk