Free books!

During my recent housecleaning I started a much-needed book purge, ending up with a pile of 24 books I can unload. I’ve tried selling books on Ebay in the past but it’s really not worth the time and hassle, considering how little you’re going to get for them (the main exceptions being technical books and textbooks). After giving up on this a long time ago I started just taking them to Goodwill, and then donating them to the Prison Book Project once I became aware of it. This time around I’m trying out BookCrossing.

You may have heard of BookCrossing before, or something like it. You register books on their web site and put stickers inside the covers with the registration number, then leave the book lying around in public somewhere. People will find the books and (theoretically) look up the numbers on the BookCrossing site and add their own notes about where they found it, how they liked it, and when and where they’re releasing it again. Sounds like fun, but I have to wonder how many books actually get more than a single person doing this, if even one.

No harm in trying though, so I happily spent a tedious hour or so registering the ISBNs of all 24 books in the pile. This only registers the book though; I guess I’m now supposed to write “release notes” about where and when I’m releasing it. It seems I can’t do this in bulk and it’s a five or six step form to fill out for each book, so I gave up after one. But trust me, they’re all out there.

The full list can be found on my BookCrossing profile1,2. I’ll be releasing a handful at a time on my way to work in the mornings, mostly on BART. I started today.

1. I would like to mention that the Carly Fiorina memoir was given to Sarai. Neither of us have read it and we certainly didn’t buy it.

2. The Douglas Adams books are only on this list because they’re being replaced with nice hardbound collections.


Jillian Kay says:

Hey, hope you don’t mind, but I found your blog through my web stats. :)

This is an AWESOME idea. i mean, i’m sure a lot of books are eventually just tossed, and I hope they don’t end up as litter. But how cool would it be to just find a book….and then be able to find out who left it and what they thought about it? Random networking….

Kenn Christ says:

Hi Jillian, good to see (err, read) you.

It is a neat idea. I’ve never found a book from a project like this but I’ll check up on mine from time to time. I’m all for putting books to good use, especially at the rate we go through them.

Mot says:

Hey Kenn,
If you don’t mind, could you send me the “Custom cars of the 1950′s”? I’ll pay for the shipping and such thru Paypal. If not, no worries.


Kenn Christ says:

Oops, I left that one on the train yesterday. Sorry about that, I probably should have posted the list here first.

scott says:

Great site and thought I might see one on BART today:)
nice to have you as part of the family,

CEO BookCrossing