Friday, August 10, 2007

Free Books, Crossed Books

Want some good books to read without spending a cent? Why not go to a BookCrossing meet?

What's BookCrossing? Quite simply, it is:
n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise. (added to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary in August 2004)
BookCrossers register themselves and the book they wish to cross on the website, and then the person who receives it leaves a note there to say they have picked it up.

It's extra good if they also say what they thought of it too. They then re-release the book into the wild for some other lucky person to find, and the book continues in this way around the world making lots of people happy.

The trouble is that in the Malaysian context this doesn't seem to work to well, so the local group operates in a slightly different way.

Azwan was kind enough to send me details and invite you guys along too:
There is a local community of bookcrossers here in Malaysia with active members in Klang Valley having a meet-up once a month. Usually we have our meet-ups in Amcorp Mall on a chosen Sunday. (If you are a booklover in Klang Valley, you will understand why at that place, and why on Sunday!). Sometimes one of us will host a meet-up at other places. Last year, we even had a wonderful picnic at the Lake Garden. For this month, I'm hosting the meet-up which will be held at 2.00 pm tomorrow, 11 August 2007, at Bakerzin, Bangsar Village. Please come to check out what this bookcrossing culture is all about. And off course, to bring back home free books!

What?: August Malaysian Bookcrossers Meet-up
When?: Saturday, 11 August 2007, 2.00pm
Where?: Bakerzin @ Bangsar Village
Why?: To meet other bookcrossers for conversation, free books & a bit of madness

(Pre meet-up: 12.00pm banana leaf lunch @ the nearby Sri Nirwana Maju Restaurant, followed by a brief visit to Silverfish Books.
Post meet-up: ???)
What? You want another makan after that??

I joined way back ... long before I knew there was a local group. I released books but no-one ever registered the find on the website, so I was disheartened. In the end I gave them to Raman to put on his freebie shelf in Silverfish.

I decided to leave another bookcrossing book (a spare copy of Roddy Doyle's wonderful The Van) with my friend Abby who would then pass it to the other participants on my first writing course.

At that time Abby, one of the founders of the incredibly successful Delicious restaurant chain, was managing the I Utama branch. She was thoroughly enjoying the novel one day when she got called away by a customer. She put the book down by her coffee cup ... and it walked. She was so sad I had to go and buy her another copy.

The "thief" of course had seen the BookCrossing sticker in the front of the book and assumed the copy was up for grabs.

A month or two later the book was replaced quietly in the restaurant, and on the same table.


synical said...

As a Bookcrosser, I've not much luck wild releasing here either, so I pretty much trade anyway.

I once released a book at Actor's Studio Bangsar, but I never heard from it ever again. :(

Siedne said...

My friends and I tried bookcrossing when we were still in secondary school, form 4 I rmbr. We released The Joy Luck Club as the guinea pig in BSC's Cold Storage. Same outcome: nothing!

Argus Lou said...

Ditto here.
So it sounds like meet-ups for Bookcrossers in the Klang Valley is a solution.