I like BookCrossing. I love the idea of ‘releasing books into the wild’ for some lucky reader to find, and I love finding books in the same way. It brings me face to face with choices I wouldn’t normally consider when I’m browsing the shelves of my local bookshop, library or charity shop. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at releasing books. If I leave one in a café, an anxious waitress will scurry after me waving my latest offering. Leave them on a park bench, and the heavens open. And so on.
But I do have 3 outlets. The first was McQueen’s coffee shop in Knaresborough. For the first and only time in my history of BookCrossing, I heard from someone who’d found and enjoyed a book I’d left. She was writing to me from France. Result.
The next place is Le Rendezvous in Léran, a village near our house in Laroque. The bar is not an official BookCrossing site, but owners Marek and Shirley encourage people to browse the shelves of the overflowing bookcase and choose a book or two, leave a book or two. It’s a great resource of both English and French reading matter.
My third place is new to me. It’s in the adjacent block of flats to ours in Ripon. Calling on a friend there, I discovered a bookcase in the entrance hall to the block. Unofficial BookCrossing again: the great idea of one of my friend’s neighbours. I met her at his party on Friday and she told me her ideas of encouraging neighbours to share books has become popular, with paperbacks changing on an almost daily basis.
So now I’m deep in a gritty ‘policier’, set in Portsmouth, a town I thought until this weekend that I knew quite well. I’d never heard of Graham Hurley, or of ‘Angels passing’. Glad I have now.