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Book Crossing

Updated on February 20, 2018
Zodiacimmortal profile image

I was previously a writer on Squidoo 2008- folded. I write about entertainment, crafts, writing, beauty and anything else that inspires me

What do you do when you are finished with a Book?

Do you sell it, Donate it, pass it on to a friend? Especially those books you KNOW you will not read again?

This site is a fun way to run a book club, or just to keep track of your own library to read and have read.

On Bookcrossing you register for free membership, then you are ready to Read register (a book) & Release.

You can also check out what books have been released and go hunt them down.

Its sort of like a Give a Penny take a penny bin.

If you Like my Lens, & are going to facebook like me, then please use the Thumbs up one too


for Updates on this & any of my other lenses

Disclaimer: This lens has been written with the experience I have in using BallyCumber (the stamp in the introduction picture) is a trademark of I have no claim on it, other than to use it as a member of the site. The Brochure pictures, are fro a FREE document I got from the site, and including some of the info9rmation from the 'Bookcrossers guide to the galaxy as I have purchased it, and am only using the info to help you on a large basis (as well as I no longer see the 'Guide to the galaxy' in the store on the site anymore)

Follow bookcrossing on Twitter

Book Crossing by Kim Marie Ostrowski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

What is Book Crossing?

A history

Bookcrossing is a virtual bookshelf, social networking and if you will, a treasure hunt for bookworms. You can use it as a personal library system if a lot of your friends (or book club) borrows from you via controlled release. You can also release the book into the wild so someone can pick it up and you may be surprised at how far some go. A friend mine found a Bookcrossing book at a rest stop, she's from Wisconsin when she was on a road trip and she sent it my way.

April 21st, 2001 was launched & today they have 1,962,401 members known as "BookCrossers" and 9,800,189 books traveling throughout 132 countries. Each year the site has its own convention & 2011 it was taken to Washington D.C.

The team that helps keep bookcrossing going is based in Idaho

For more information here's their about us page

BookCrossing n.

the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up & read by others who can do likewise

Bookcrossing Brochure - page 1

Book Labels

Sadly I was not able to find Official BookCrossing labels on Amazon

but here are some books plates that should work out if only to write the BCID code with a message in it.

Also one I think is really cute... maybe you can even include a library style checkout card, for people to sign & date as it travels.

you can go on the BookCrossing supply store if you'd like to order The bookplates, bookmarks, bags, there is even starter kits.

But you do not need this stuff (though it does help)

Great for Releases

Knock Knock Personal Library Kit (15000)
Knock Knock Personal Library Kit (15000)

I love using these to lend out books as well as when I've 'freed a book'

You can include the BCID code on it so the others can enter it in the site when they find it as well as write their name. If you want you can even make 'review cards' to slip in with the 'check out' card so others can read a quick summary of what You thought of it as well as anyone else who finds it


Bookcrossing Brochure - page 2

Crossing Guard - How to release a book

  1. Register the book

    Under HOME tab, click on REGISTER A BOOK

  2. Next is a double 'Threat' you will

    A. see a Drop down menu to include the type of location of where you are for Amazon, Or Google if you are where Amazon is not available.

    B. see 'SEARCH TERM' This is where you enter the book's ISBN number (where the SCANNER bar is) always better this way as its more direct, then including the title & author.)

    if there are 2 ISBN numbers, try one, if it doesn't come up right try the other.)

  3. After putting that information in the cover of your book should be shown & you can click on the SELECT button.
  4. Here you enter specific Details...

    But most Author, Title, & The ISBN number will already be noted.

    Select a CATEGORY - What type of book does it say on the spine? if it doesn't note romance horror etc. Then what do you think is the best way to describe it?

    STATUS- please note if you still need to read it, if it is available, has it already been released then it should be under traveling.

    RATE- How good or bad it was or that you haven't read it yet.

    and Last of all COMMENTS.. basically you can write your review in here. after including this, click REGISTER BOOK


    afterward, you will see a 3 digit followed by an 8 digit number.

    be sure to PRINT this exactly as it looks on your label (some free labels are included in the links section), or book etc.

    (you can also print out pre-numbered labels, then you (or the person that finds the book) can include the information)

  6. RELEASE & share the experience
  7. FOLLOW watch via your bookshelf (& email alerts) where your books travel

    Good luck

    & Happy BookCrossing

FREE BOOKS - Crossing Zone Flyers

"He who destroys a good book kills reason itself."

— ~John Milton

Book hunt

my poll pic
my poll pic

What's your favorite way to receive a book?

I love any possible way really if it's purchased, a gift, trade, or a freebie.

I Love it more when someone recommends something I don't normally read & end up liking the book.


What is your favorite way to acquire a book?

See results

A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you.

When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold"

-Henry Miller

Favorite Way to read a book

Do you prefer to read at the library, on vacation, in a chair or in bed before sleep, upside down while studying? I'd love to hear it.

as for myself... Whatever wherever I can get comfortable. Usually laying down in bed while watching TV between commercials or something that's tuned out as to not be so interesting.

Although I do prefer to read outside during the summer in my beach lounge chair.

Book Crossing

Bookcrossers Guide

(I'll re-type a mini guide they once sold in the supply store. to help you get more of an idea)

That's the official word, but BookCrossing is much more than that. its become a way of life, a passion and a global phenomenon. It's seriendipity, good karma and random acts of kindness rolled into one. book Corrsing has transformed lives through simple sharing of books. A Vibrant international community has formed around this common causem focused on a love of literature.

Book Crossing was conceived on the principlethat two things can change people's lives: the books they read and the people they meet.

WHY BookCross?

We know the concept is a bit foreign: "Wait you want me to give away my book? For free? To Strangers? What's in it for me? The answer it quite simple. Besides the general feeling of elation one gets after doing a selfless, random act of kindness, you'll become part of the world's largest library. books are stepping stones in life, charting here you have been and the interests you have explored. A true book-lover can hardly resist looking at another's bookshelves just for the sheer joy of finding an old friend tucked away there or for discovering a new author of interest.

But a time comes when even the oldest of friends must move on. SO it was for a worm but wel-loved book sitting on the bookshelf. It had been regularly dusted off & read, but over the eyars, the time between reads grew longer & longer. Its owner felt guilty seeing it sit unread upon the shelf. Then BookCrossing came to mind~ here was the perfect way to help this book find a new reader and be more than shelf decoration. Registering the book and labeling the inside front cover with its BCID and the BookCrossingf website address was easy. The book went on a journey to a local coffee shop, where it was placed on a table waiting to be found. Some passed by and ignored it, some looked it over but didn't pick it up. And then the magic happened. Someone picked up the book, smiled brightly and took it home. The miracle ofmaking the whole world a library, one book ata time, had just been repeated.

HOW to get Started

READ a book (ok well you don't have to you can pick one up at the good will or a yard salewll do The point it to find a book & set it free.

READY the book. go to enter tin the information (usually you just need the ISBN number & most of the information comes up. Include what type with the drop down menu and the site will generate the BCID number (Book Crossing ID number) allowing you to track it, think of it as the book's social security number. If the book is already registered on the site, (if there's already a number on the inside front cover) then there' sno need to re-register it, just type the number in the BCID box to let the previous readers know where it is by making a journal entry on the book this can include where you found it, where you are (if different) and what your first impressions are of the book. (Then you can go back later and add a review did yo like, love it wish you had the time back? ) if you had to register it, write the BCID number on the Inside front cover of the book with the link then...

RELEASE the book thisis the best part (& fun) Release it somewhere practical- a coffee shop, park bench, the train/bus station or airport, the common room on a college campus, waiting room or you can get creative! Place it in the crook of a tree or under the arm of a statue. (tho' the way some people are it may take a lot longer to find) you can also mail it to a friend or family member & ask them to leave it somewhere. Release a book about extreme hiking at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro! Treasure Island, leave it at the pool or at the beach on your Caribbean vacation. Then sit back, have fun and watch it travel (also if you have the time to sit around & watch the reactions when people find the FREE book) You'll get an email every time your book's been found and journalled. Track it as it travels the world changing hands and lives.

REPEAT with enthusiasm

Give. Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. ad make the whole world a library. BOOK CROSS


go to the BookCrossing Link below this box and create a username (which will be visible to all users so don't embarrass yourself)

and Remember the 'R's READ. READY. RELEASE. REPEAT

Glossary of Terms

  1. Anonymous Finder (AF) ~ someone who has not joined BookCrossing may make an anonymous journal entry on a book as Anonymous Finder
  2. Ballycumber ~ "ballycumber C. BookCrossing" is the official name of the little yellow running book logo Douglas Adams, author of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, used the term "ballycumber' to refer to any one of the six half-read books lying somewhere in one's bed.
  3. BCID ~ BookCrossing Identification (BCID) number is generated by the website for each book registered There is a unique BCID fr each individual book on the site.
  4. Bookring and Book Ray ~ two methods for sharing a single copy of a book with interested readers, usually via the mail. Each participant agrees to read and journal the book, then send it on to the next member on the ring/ray list. The book travels until; the end of the list is reached, and then is returned to the original sender
  5. OBCZ (Official BookCrossing Zone) Many of the members have made arrangements with local businesses to set up and maintain a sport where BookCrossing books can be found. There is a list of many of the OBCZs world-wide on
  6. OCZ Official Crossing Zone describes any place a book is left in the wild
  7. Private Message (PM) PMs give members a secure private way to communicate with each other. No email addresses are ever revealed; only screennames are used. You have the option to turn off PMs should you not wish to receive communications from other members.
  8. RABCK (Random Act of BookCrossing Kindness) A RABCK is the act of doing something nice for someone - perhaps sending a wished for a book without asking for a trade or postage, a birthday greeting or gift members Plus. hundreds of RABCK occur regularly on BookCrossing and are often done anonymously.
  9. Release Zone Anywhere a book is left in the wild
  10. TBR The designation on book Crossing shelves for books "To be read"
  11. Themed Release often bookCrossers will release a book at a location that coincides with the Title or some other element of the book. a couple of examples would be a copy of Lost In Yonkers, would be left in Yonkers, NY. Leaving a copy of 'The Truth about Cats and Dogs at a veterinary clinic or on the steps of a local animal shelter.

Read & Release Successfully - tips to increase your "catch' rate

If you are still unclear about bookCrossing or have more questions about how it works visit the online forums to get answers and info from Experienced BookCrossers or use the Contact & Support link on the bottom of each page to reach the support team

  1. Release your book in a public, well-trafficked spot where books are naturally found, such as a coffee shop or waiting room and places where people might have time to read (ex: park bench, bus stop, or hotel lobby) and, while hiding books under rocks or in dresser draws at the furniture store can be fun, its best to refrain from releasing them in secluded or private places
  2. Add a sticky note to the outside of the cover that reads "I'm Free! Read & Release me. See inside cover for more details!" This action lets folks know the book is not lost, but theirs to take, read & enjoy
  3. Properly label your book clearly on the inside, or add a sticker and other information about bookcrossing on the cover or inside the book. you can also add a bookmark which tells about bookcrossing (or a me for the brochure) )
  4. Protect your book from the elements by putting it in clear plastic bag before releasing it in the hot sun or drenching rains. bags are also great for hanging books on fence posts or tree limbs
  5. Its best not to place a book in a situation where leaving it unattended might cause alarm or security concerns (such as at airport gates or government facilities)

  1. This one is my favorite, but its usually in Yellow (or at least the ones I purchased from their store)
  2. For the last page

"I like a thin book because it will steady a table, a leather volume because it will strop a razor,

and a heavy book because it can be thrown at a cat."~ Mark Twain

(I don't like that cat part.. more a person for me there)

The Bookcrossing Novel

Crossing Paths : the BookCrossing Novel
Crossing Paths : the BookCrossing Novel

I will admit, I have yet to read this. I have it on my kindle ready to read and is currently FREE for Kindles!


Make your own Labels

Here's the wording you need to include

I should be on a 2x4" size label.

This is a Traveling Book

I've registered this book at so I can track its journey through the world.

Please go to and enter the BCID to let me know you have found it.

Then read it and/or pass it along for someone else to enjoy.

Thank you!

Enter the BCID at

to see where it's been, then follow where it goes after you.

Read & Release it!


Released by_____________________________

(your user name)



Find me on twitter @

Bookcrossing Contact Information

291 Syringa Heights

Sandpoint, Idaho 83864 USA

Phone: (208)550-3113

I Love feedback & hope you will check out the bookcrossing site, as its one of my favorite sites (besides Squidoo) to use.

Crossing Paths

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    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 3 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      local group 'here'? Where would that be in Ontario? sadly I'm not far from NYC so most likely unless they are 'old' I don't think many people even read a book except for maybe school and well not even sure about that anymore!

    • Seasons Greetings profile image

      Laura Brown 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'm with BookCrossing but the local group here is mostly senior citizens who seldom agree on meeting times and dates. I had a great time when I lived in the city and met with the bigger group there.

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 4 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      @lesliesinclair: GLad you found it. What kind of books & where are you?

      maybe we can do a swap or 2?

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      I'm paring down my library and this is a fine example of a valuable way to do it.

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 4 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      @anitabreeze: It's all over the world.. check out the links there's an 'about us' section and I think I have another in there. It should show you some of the top populus & participation of some of the countries USA was #1 then Germany as far as I can remember but it's for anywhere.

    • profile image

      anitabreeze 4 years ago

      Very cool idea! Is this only in the US?

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 5 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      @Jerzimom: I'm Kym094 on Bookcrossing. Heck if you want we could also swap books by mail so they can get around more. (I hope) some of my books have been picked up other people don't seem to note they've found it though so no idea what happened.

    • Jerzimom profile image

      Cheryl Fay Mikesell 5 years ago from Ladysmith, WI

      I really like this. I don't think I've heard of it before. I will save the link to join. I use to work in a library for 5 years.

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 6 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      @yourselfempowered: Thank you for the squid blessing. I also love the Bookcrossing thing as its so great to find a SURPRISE. Also that besides the actual library where else can you get a free book! (& that's not always free! Gas for the car or public transportation & if they are late....

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 6 years ago from Gloucester

      What a brilliant idea! I love this! I've enjoyed the "random acts of kindness" activity of leaving an inspiring book in a public place for someone to find - but what I really like about this method, Book Crossing, is that it encourages the "finder" to continue paying the book forward. Thoroughly blessed by a Squid Angel! :)

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 6 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      @TolovajWordsmith: I think there's another site like it unless its ugh I forget the name of it. But like a Geo tracking site. There's one (check my pen pal ettiquitte guide lens) 'Letterboxing' is what I was thinking of. But that I think is just a blank book you hide for poele to find & stamp it.

      I want to get the word out about Bookcrossing, as I send out more books than I find! a friend in Wisconsin found one on the thruway and sent it to me, and I have a friend in finland that we swamp books every so often. If you want contact me and I'll send ya one of the books I have let me know what type of books or I'll try listing what I have to do a 'wild' release.

    • WaynesWorld LM profile image

      WaynesWorld LM 6 years ago

      I have a small collection of books, mainly on marketing and selling I recently started giving them away. I loaned a book called "Beach Money" by Jordan Adler to a guy I worked with. Jordan is the top distributor in a network marketing business I joined. Anyway it turns out the guy I loaned it to lent it to his brother who actually new Jordan from a previous business he was in 13 years earlier. The brothers joined the network marketing business I am in and that resulted in $140.00 of income just for being nice and loaning a book. (I need to loan that book more often... hehe) Not to promote it too hard but if you would like to send someone you love a free card (on me) visit my site at There is a short video and a link to "send a card", the only information I receive is your email address and I don't spam anyone, in fact I really stink at followup.

      Nice lens.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      Never heard of bookcrossing site, but we had a site where anybody could publish hints where he has hidden book he already read and he does not need it anymore. Who found it, could took it. Book must circulate... Thanks for your lens:)

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 6 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      @WaynesWorld LM: Thank you for the compliment on the lens, but I don't get how your story is in the spirit of Bookcrossing. You LOANed it out NOT 'Released' it.

      Did I not explain this right? 1 person thinks it's a book that comes back to you (only if you make it a controlled release) this is not LOANING a book out. Think of the books you no longer want or that someone gave you & are just not interested in, You register them, add the BCID number to it & leave it out in the 'wild' where you noted in the release notes. you just get alerts as to where it was and maybe a review of it.

      The only way it can be a 'LOANER' would be a 'controlled' release where you would get it back like a book club type thing. Also you are not supose to make money off the releases. (the books are not supposed to be left where other books are sold. (unless its outside the store/library) Did you use Bookcrossing when you gave it to your friend?

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 6 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      @canoz: Well some of those book that come in, throw a BCID on them, & what where they travel.

      You can either just write it in the inside cover or look through the links for free labels. (if you want contact me with your email & I'll send you the documents I have in attachments)

      The only way the book COMES BACK to you is if you use a controlled release (which is good for when you loan out a book. Sort of your own private library.)

      Otherwise you set it for a wild release & it won't come back

    • canoz profile image

      Heather Bradford 6 years ago from Canada

      @Zodiacimmortal: I loved your concept of a creepy book that keeps coming back. I often worry my books won't when I lend them out! I have donated to the library in the past. They put some into circulation and the rest go to a big annual book sale here in Brisbane. I've actually never been but hear it's amazing! I think the sharing comes naturally amongst mums.... I've received several boxes of kids books from different people (and it's time I let some go I think!!!) and my husband brings home books people leave in the lunchroom at work.... my favourite from this lot was a book called The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert. I don't think computers (or kindle type devices) will ever replace the pleasure of a real book!!

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 6 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      @canoz: canoz... Do yu guys ever buy books at the library sales? ir tag sales? Once you are done readin gthem if you do not want to save for a later time to reread.. Then that's what this is great for. Read & could be fun for the kids. You could maybe talk to someone at the library if you can set a crossing zone up there &have a box of used books that people can put in & you can bring them home & put the BCID number on them & then back in the box (or maybe you can get a few mothers & kids in on it. as a book 'club' or swap ring. I've never come across a book I usually leave them. But a friend in Wisconsin found one on her way somewhere on the thruway at a rest stop & sent it to me. actuallY i may have that book still. But I send it to this person & that. it was a creepy book having a hard time letting go

    • canoz profile image

      Heather Bradford 6 years ago from Canada

      What a fun idea! I can see me doing it at some stage in life. At the moment I'm in love with our local libraries.... where else can you take the kids and say "Yes!!" to everything they want?!! Book, games, dvds. It's awesome! Thanks for your lens! Very interesting.

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 6 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      @Nancy S Oram: Thanks Nancy if you need to ask anythig or have an idea of anything else to add. I'd appreciate it.

    • Nancy S Oram profile image

      Nancy Oram 6 years ago

      Great idea!


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