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  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, 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 –

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

Peter Taylor


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.