Thursday, August 19, 2010

Books that Travel

I recently found a paperback book in our library donation pile that had a label inside identifying it as a "traveling book". I was curious so I went to the website on the label, entered in the tracking number and found in amazement that the book had been registered and tracked by various readers. The website is Book Crossing, a readers social networking site where users can register books, set them off into the world and track where they end up. Very cool.

In 1997 when I was traveling from London to Wales to catch the ferry to Ireland I was handed a book on the train by a backpacker and told to pass the book on when I was done reading it. The book was Tess of the d'Urbervilles and various travelers had scrawled their name on the inside cover, their location and the date and year. I too read the book while I was traveling but must have tossed it in the bottom of my knapsack because I recently found it in my home. I'm thinking of taking it with me on my trip to France in 3 weeks to leave on a train for another traveler in need of reading material.

Now book tracking websites like Book Crossing are obviously a more high tech and immediate way to find or track a book, but the concept remains the same; sharing a good read.


Jon said...

Great website! Have you written a post on LibraryThing or Goodreads?

Alex said...

I like the old way you mentioned. Every single aspect of every single life doesn't need to be online. Sometimes the simpler way is more elegant, more meaningful.

I hope you do send Tess back into the Great Unknown and that she enjoys a long and exciting voyage.