According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, it is “the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise”.
And how did this term come into existence? Well, it all started when the site called “BookCrossing” became a link between people and books.
Clint Witchalls talks about the craze that this phenomenon has become.
Bookcrossing was developed by a 36-year-old, Kansas-based software developer, Ron Hornbaker. Ron’s idea is to “turn the whole world into a library.” How it works is that you decide on a book you’d like to share with other people, you go to the website and register the book, then you print off a Bookcrossing label (which has a unique tracking number and the website address on it), and finally, you “set your book free.”
Ron’s aim is purely philanthropic. “I’d like to think we’re increasing the world’s tendency to read, share, and connect with others,” he says.
But what do the publishers and authors think about this trend?
Surprisingly, however, both publishers and authors have been very friendly and cooperative – turns out Bookcrossing increases books sales by creating buzz about titles and renewing interest in reading.
Got a book to set free? Or want to embark on a hunt for a book? Now you know where to go.