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About BookCrossingWhat is BookCrossing?It's the World's Library. It's a smart social networking site. It's a celebration of literature and a place where books get new life. BookCrossing is the act of giving a book a unique identity so, as the book is passed from reader to reader, it can be tracked and thus connecting its readers. There are currently 1,738,629 BookCrossers and 9,595,489 books travelling throughout 132 countries. Our community is changing the world and touching lives one book at a time.What's our mission?Very simply, we aim to connect people through books.How do we do it?Label. Share. Follow. Breath new life into books instead of letting your old favorites collect dust - pass them along to another reader. Our online archival and tracking system allows members to connect with other readers, journal and review literature and trade and follow their books as lives are changed through “reading and releasing”. Users are able to tag and track their individual books by marking them with BCIDs (BookCrossing Identity Numbers). Each BCID is unique to each book – once it’s registered on our site, the book can then be followed and journaled forever. BookCrossing is free to join and free to play. So don't be 'shelf'ish with your books - read and release!When and how did it start?Although there were websites tracking things such as dollar bills and pictures, business partner Ron Hornbaker noted that nothing existed for tracking books. After all, books were more than just tangible objects, rather they possessed elements of emotional attachment and strong opinion; books were not only items collected and revered, but were intrinsically shared. This was the nidus that began our journey. With the help of Ron's wife, Kaori, and cofounders Bruce & Heather Pedersen, the site was launched on April 21, 2001. The site remains a fun way to track and share books while connecting people at deeper levels using books as the architecture and glue to facilitate the Great Conversation.Who are we?The team that continues to make all of this happen is based in Sandpoint, Idaho. However, the site could not function without the generous BookCrossing volunteers from around the world who help with various projects, spread the movement, and handle support questions.Who are BookCrossers?BookCrossers love their books and love to read them. They tend to be the most generous, innovative, earth-friendly, good-hearted, whimsical, fun and educated people on the face of the planet.Where in the world is BookCrossing:Here are the top 10 BookCrossing countries: USA 29% Germany 16% United Kingdom 13% Netherlands 11% Finland 10% Canada 8% Australia 5% France 4% Portugal 3% Spain 1% Is there more to BookCrossing?“So I can follow my books checked into the World’s Library. That’s cool, but is there more?"You bet! You can...Join the World's LibraryManage your bookshelf (both on and offline)Create customized bookplates for all your booksHunt for books in your neighborhood or around the world using the “Go Hunting” pagesChat in the forums about books, authors or anything elseStart an Official BookCrossing Zone (OBCZ) in your library, classroom, office or coffee shopConnect with Members around the world (on and offline)Travel to BookCrossing Conventions (currently held on 5 continents)Review Journal Entries to determine reading preferences and find great booksBuy books at a discountShare books with other BookCrossersCheck out the Mapping Feature to see where your books have beenParticipate in a Random Act of BookCrossing Kindness (RABCK)Mentor a BookCrossing NewbieRead our Newsletter for the latest and greatest in the book worldFollow us on MySpace, Twitter, Snaptell and FacebookSend virtual gifts to your BookCrossing friends and familyEnter contests and win cool prizesInvolve yourself in a themed releasesGet published by sending in your article & photo for our newsletterStep 1. Label Register your book for FREE, and get a unique BookCrossing ID. This BCID allows you to follow your specific book wherever it goes. Think of it as a passport enabling your book to travel the world without getting lost! There are several ways you can label your book: Download free BookCrossing labels and print them from your computer onto label stock. Order labels from our bookplate collections (such as this one from our Artist Series). Create custom labels with our Bookplate Creator using your own image and message (even in your own language!). Step 2. Share Now it’s time to pass it on! You’ve labeled your book, and it’s ready to travel the world. There are a few different ways you can share your book: Give it away. Pass your book on to a friend, a stranger, a strange friend, or a friendly stranger! You can find someone in the BookCrossing community who's looking for your book and make their day by sending it to them. These particular methods are referred to as “controlled releases", because you know the destination of your book’s next stop. Release it into the wild. Referred to as the "wild release" (and loved by so many BookCrossers), this type of sharing is a bit like nudging a baby bird out of the nest or sending your kid off to college. Your book doesn’t want to spend its life on your shelf gathering dust; it wants to get out there and touch lives! So leave your labeled book on a park bench on a summer day, in a train station, on the table in your favorite coffee shop -- anywhere it’s likely to be caught by another delighted reader. Then come back and read about your book’s new adventures! Be creative! BookCrossers find a myriad of creative ways to exchange books and make new connections! They might establish an "Official BookCrossing Zone" (known as an OBCZ); a physical location where books are regularly caught and/or released. They may start a "bookring", "bookray", or "bookbox", all of which are controlled ways of passing books throughout a set group of members. Many create "wishlists" to solicit books they'd like to read. We suggest you join now, release a book, and dive into the wonderful world of BookCrossing! Step 3. Follow See where in the world your book goes, and who reads it! Once you’ve labeled and shared it, follow your book’s adventures. When another reader finds your book, they can enter the BCID on BookCrossing.com and report that it’s been caught. Journal entries about your book allow you to see where your book is, who's reading it now, and follow where it goes next. Some books tend to stay in one region while others really move! Your book may touch the life of a reader you never would've met, or it may just circulate among your friends.At the time of this writing, over 850,000 active BookCrossers have collectively registered almost seven million books which are traveling around 130 countries! Imagine the world of opportunities for your book once you've labeled and shared it. Get started today!
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