Sunday, February 26, 2012

Book Crossing – Children’s Books


Someone close to my home, whose house is next to a bus-stop, has fixed a book box to the fence. The label says ‘Give a book, take a book or swap a book’. I see they’ve sold the house – I hope the next owners keep the scheme going.





Book Crossing http://www.bookcrossing.com/  costs nothing to join. Members leave books on cafe tables, buses, park benches etcc for anyone to pick up, read and then release somewhere else. For preference a label is stuck inside, saying that the book is free to be picked up and read, and is travelling the world.

Those who register a book on the website, prior to leaving it somewhere, can generate a code for the label so that they and readers can track where it’s been – but no one ever knows the person who gave it or found it.

If you put ‘Book Crossing’ in Google ‘Images’ and do a search, you’ll get an idea of the labels and the places books are left. One picture shows children’s books in plastic bags hanging from a tree, in England, at the perfect height for children to take them. The picture was originally posted by Sally-Jayne Poyton, http://sallypoyton.blogspot.com/ on the SCBWI UK Ning website (which can only be joined by members who live there).

What a great idea!

I think I should start a book tree in the park opposite my house. Sally-Jayne has suggested ‘we should have SCBWI book trees up and down the UK’. Why not Australia and worldwide?

SCBWI stands for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – http://www.scbwi.org/

Let's get children reading in every way we can!

Peter Taylor
http://www.writing-for-children.com/

3 comments:

letterlady said...

I was asked to design a similar thing here, Peter. It's a project that may or may not happen, but this shows me one good way to do it. Thanks!

Ruth McNally Barshaw said...

I love this.

It's been years since I visited bookcrossing's site -- nice to be prompted again.

Peter Taylor - Author and Illustrator said...

Many thanks, Jan and Ruth.

My daughter's boyfriend lives almost opposite the box and says he's seen it in use this week - a man doing a swap.

The tree idea has captured the imagination of SCBWI Queensland ...maybe National, too. I think the Council will have to approve a suburban tree to keep things legal.

I'll keep you posted.