When we last saw our plucky heroine, Ms. GoodDeedADay, she was slipping a mysterious volume into an untraceable envelope and setting off on a grand adventure….
Okay, that was me and I was packaging up my paperback (Catch Me If You Can) to pass on anonymously as part of an online book-sharing project called BookCrossing (for Part 1, see Day 235: Book Club).
I had planned to drop the book (along with a note asking the finder to log onto the BookCrossing site and note that it had been “found”) in the entryway of a nearby apartment building.
I felt like one of those super-secret spies in The Bourne Identity, with my head down, package tucked tightly under my arm, glancing nervously over my shoulder.
No one appeared to be tailing me, so I walked boldly up to the building, ready to make the drop. Drats. Door locked.
Not having a skeleton key handy, I decided to regroup and target an alternate location — the building across the street. I stealthily approached the entrance and…. drats again. Another locked door. What kind of security-crazed city was I living in, anyways?
I switched gears to Plan C — which, looking back, should’ve been my Plan A all along — and went to building number three, where I successfully left the book in the front entrance. On the envelope, I’d written, “If you love to read, this envelope’s for you.”
Phew, mission accomplished… the spy life can be so exhausting….
Some fascinating BookCrossing facts:
- Canada now has 943 books roaming wild and free.
- At press time, books out “in the wild” included a copy of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis in Lima, Peru; Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities in Milan, Italy; and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment in Brooklyn, New York. [What, no Harold and the Purple Crayon in Wawa?]
- BookCrossing started with Ron Hornbaker, an American web developer suffering from “chronic entrepreneurialosis.” Inspired by phototag.org, a website that tracks disposable cameras circulating in public, Hornbaker launched bookcrossing.com in 2001.
- Bookcrossing.com boasts more than 600,000 members “from Antarctica to Zimbabwe” and more than four million books registered.
The most-travelled book is Der seltsame Bücherfreund/Hoffnung’s Constant Readers (Bookring) by Gerard Hoffnung, which has changed hands 293 times.