I am a voracious and insatiable reader. Yesterday alone I devoured two books, and I always have a big stack of them in my to-be-read pile (and in my queue on Kindle for iPhone!). I have a hard time going to the library because I'd rather own books than rent them! Sometimes, however, I buy a book that doesn't turn out to be everything I'd hoped for. Or occasionally I'll find that a book I enjoyed a few years ago doesn't offer much to me anymore. So what's a bibliophile to do?
You can sell them to a used book store, or give them to a friend, or donate them to a library. But there's another option that many people have never heard of: you can set them free to wander the world, and then follow their adventures as other people enjoy them!
I first found out about Book Crossing when I found a manga lying in a hotel lobby on one of my trips. I was about to take it up to the counter and report it lost when I saw a sticker inside the front cover. It said something to the effect of "I'm not lost; I'm on a journey." It exhorted me to take it home, and to register my acquisition on Book Crossing's website using the book ID number written on the sticker.
I've now released about five or six books, although I've never had the luck to catch another one. There is something magical about the idea of setting a book free for someone lucky to find. The way it works on a releaser's end is very simple. Get a kit from Book Crossing, put the sticker in it, register the book to get its ID (and print it on the sticker), register where/when you'll be releasing it, and then set it free in the wild! I've left books at cafés, airports, hotel lobbies, and even a bookstore. Some people hang them from trees, hide them in rocks, or put them on cars. As people find your book, they can go to the website to register it and put their comments, so you can see the journey it's taking.
Next time you have a book you no longer want, mix it up and consider releasing it into the world! You may just find its new story even more compelling.(As always, I'm not affiliated with any websites or programs I write about!)