Several years ago my husband brought me a book from town. He found it at the train station, as if someone had forgotten it there. Because he knows I love reading, he grabbed the book and gave it to me. On the cover of it there was a small notice telling me that the book was traveling. Hmm… A traveling book found at the train station? Interesting, isn´t it? I have heard that stories have their own lives, but travelling books? I opened the book… and there was a message for me.
The book my husband found was a BookCrossing book. The idea of BookCrossing is to create an international world wide library of free books for everyone. Anyone can become a member for free. I use to buy books and register them at BookCrossing. Then they get their own BookCrossing identification number (BCID). That makes it possible to identify that specific book, when it travels over the world. Then I write a short journal at the webpage, telling everyone where I will drop the book. It might be anywhere; at the train station, in a shop, in someones basket at the market or at a restaurant. Then I register the book as released at the webpage, and I let go of it. Anyone who finds it will find a short note in it, telling them what kind of book it is and to write a short journal at the bookcrossing webpage to let me know where the book was found, and where it is going. The book is traveling all over the world between people. I have dropped books in Sweden that ended up in China. Everyone who had that specific book in their hand can follow it, just reading the journals at the webpage.
I think it is really interesting to follow a book like that. I get to know how different people from different cultures think of the story it´s telling. Some people like the story, some don’t. Some people chose to become members of BookCrossing, some are just happy to leave an anonymous journal. And sometimes a book is gone for years, and then suddenly it turns up in another country and I will never know how it got there.
BookCrossing is connecting people and cultures to each other in a fun and relaxing way, and it´s letting everyone read books for free. I have released over 100 books so far, I have found about 10 I think, and I really enjoy to follow all “my” books when they travel over the world. Most of all, I like the fact that this brings stories into my life that I would never had chosen to read by my own choice. A new world has opened.