It seems so long ago now that we were on the move again, back in September. This is a post I started back then and kept trying to finish, but never quite got a round to, but it’s still something that I want to share.

This last move wasn’t quite so far, or so stressful. Having taken some time to settle back into a reasonably familiar area, we were ready to go back to a more rural setting. It wasn’t that we were living in a city, or anything, but living in Cornwall for so long changed our perspective so much.

Unlike the move from Cornwall we gave ourselves a bit more time and were able to think and plan a little more carefully about where we wanted to go and what we wanted take with us.

We have a LOT of books, including boxes of books we had previously stockpiled for carboot sales! We didn’t want to move them all again, so they were one of the easier things for us to try and cut back on.

We didn’t have time to try and sell them, most of them had writing or things on them that would probably get them chucked out if donated to charity shop, so I decided that this was a great excuse opportunity to look into

I’m not sure when I first came across the website, but I loved the idea straight away. The basic premise is that books have a life of their own: you read a book and then you pass it on. But even better than that, you can follow the life of a book!

Every book is given a unique identifier (a BookCrossing ID or BCID) which you write or stick somewhere inside the front cover. Then you pass it on to someone, or you leave it in one of those little libraries in phone boxes or the like, or perhaps you just leave it in a public place for someone to find. The general idea is that whoever finds it then looks for it online and updates the book’s story. You can find out more on the About BookCrossing page over on their site.

Back before we moved I paid for a months membership, got some pre-numbered labels printed and set about labelling, registering and releasing the books. At first I tried releasing in public places, but it scared me a bit that the book would never be found and read (none of the books I released have had updates, anyway). So I then stuck with releasing in a couple of established book sharing locations.

So far I’ve registered 65 books and released 47 of them, 43 of those were released “into the wild” as it’s called on BookCrossing. If you’re interested, you can follow my books on my bookshelf.

In the end I only managed to mostly do those books that had been stockpiled in the garage. We still need to go through the rest on the shelves, so I’ll hopefully be labelling and releasing some more soon, as we get ourselves more settled.

We’ve got a phonebox library in the next village over and I’d also love to have one of those little library boxes in our front garden or something, but we’ll have to see about that in the future.

I could have just taken the books to the same places and left them just as easily, without labelling and registering them, but I’m so interested to see what happens to them! Where could they go? So far I’ve only had one update on one book, but there’s still plenty of time. If I get any interesting stories on any of my books, I’ll be sure to share them here too!

So if you ever see any books with a BCID in the front (it’s usually 3 numbers follwed by 8, like 111-12345678): get online and update the story. You’ll make someone’s day!

Photo credit: RLHyde on VisualHunt / CC BY-SA