Thursday, January 03, 2008
More than twenty years ago, Sting sang "Free, free, set them free. ... If you love somebody, if you love someone, set them free."
His grammatical error aside (someone ... them), the former teacher offered good advice for lovers everywhere. Now book lovers can follow his advice. Just before Christmas, the New York Times ran a pleasant little article about BookCrossing, which helps people adopt stray books. Perhaps that's overstating things a bit; it seems from the article that these books are neither neglected nor truly abandoned. Indeed, it is as Sting sang: if you love them, set them free.
I've not yet signed up, though it's possible I will. I find myself adopting books often, though I've not left any published works on their own. It goes against my grain to leave a book, but perhaps this site will help me send books that I won't read again to someone who will enjoy them.
Indeed, their hope is to turn the whole world into a library. I like that. To me, the world is a story factory, but that doesn't preclude it from being a library too. I've had several inspirational moments smack me in the head at libraries (a few pretty girls too, but that's a different story).
But it also appears to be a wonderful, inexpensive way for new authors to share their books and perhaps create an audience. I don't know if that has worked yet, but it is something I'd be willing to try once I've gotten my novel (and its successors) published.
So I encourage you to check out BookCrossing. No library card required.