Saturday, April 18, 2009

Free books for London Commuters

The BBC reports on a great new initiative to encourage reading in London. Stalls outside five London tube stations hand out free books to commuters once a month, and they can be returned via drop boxes the following month.

Choose What You Read was started by Alfie Boyd and his friend Claire Wilson as an alternative to the free newspapers currently given out daily. Each commuter is encouraged to add their name to a list of readers on the inside cover. (BBC video here.)

But why not tap into the already very successful Bookcrossing scheme instead of setting up something new, asks Richard Lea on The Guardian blog.

One blogger goes along to help out.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

No one gives away a good book.

bibliobibuli said...

yes they do. if i like a book i buy more copies to give away and sometimes to strangers.

gnute said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful to see this at KL Sentral? :D

I would happily release some of my books to the spidery network of KL commuters.

bibliobibuli said...

and why can't it? there was the read while waiting project which was supposed to move in this direction, and there is a group of bookcrossers. all it would take it as bit of organisation and a few volunteers!

Michelle said...

I'm gonna attempt to start bookcrossing right here in little Zhangjiagang, China. Just need to find a place with enough foreigners though. That can prove to be a little challenging. Hmmm...maybe I'll release one at the expat bar on Friday night hehehe..it's a fantaxtic idea, I'm loving the thought it more and more.

Anonymous said...

Bib,

You're right, I did that too. I don't think it was very appreciated though. What I mean is, no one gives away a book that I consider good (the first Harry Potter, Pullman's "The Golden Compass"). Besides, you and I are the exceptions. Most people do not give away good books.

Gnute,

I've this strange feeling that you would never see them again. But let us know (via this blog) when you do, that should be an interesing social experiment.

Anonymous said...

To add to the above :

If you want proof that bookcrossing doesn't work, check out the bookcrossing shelf at Raman's. It's almost insulting how there's a "let's throw the crumbs to the dogs" vibe on that shelf.

bibliobibuli said...

anon - mostly those are just books no-one wants. there have been some good books left there though in the past when folks have been cleaning their shelves.

Anonymous said...

That's right, those are the books that no one wants. You'd have to be really lucky to find a good book there.

Damyanti said...

I borrow/lend/exchange books with book-loving friends in KL, but that is the extent I've gone to.

I can't really bear the idea of parting with a book I love. I have this vision of my old, doddering self roaming around my book shelves and picking up previously read books to read again! I guess I'll be a total failure at book-crossing.

bibliobibuli said...

i buy extra copies for book-crossing. i'm loathe to give away books, even those i think i will never want to read again, because i find some time down the line that i need the very copy i've chucked. the funniest occasion that happened was when i gave away a copy of "mr ives christmas" by oscar hijuelos - i enjoyed it but it made me sad. then he came to the first lit fest and i got invited to a tea at carcosa with the author when he would lead a book group discussion on that very title. i had to scramble for a copy!

Anonymous said...

Eh let us know if you're going to be depositing something good, then we'll know when to stake out Raman's lol :)

caving liz said...

Have you used the bookcrossing at 1 Utama?