Books, Bookcrossing, and Meetup

Lower Mainland Bookcrossing It's ironic that reading is a highly solitary activity because if you're like me you love talking about a book after you've finished it! There are few better conversations than comparing story notes with someone who loved a book as much as I did, and the opportunity doesn't come up as often as it should. Fortunately, Vancouver's Lower Mainland Bookcrossing Meetup Group is dedicated to exactly this activity with an added bonus: You can get new books to read and give away books you don't want to keep!

The Lower Mainland Bookcrossing Meetup Group is the fusion of two great ideas. The first is bookcrossing, which is "the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise"1. The second is a meeting of book lovers. Put them together and you have twice monthly meetings where people bring books they want to leave for others to enjoy, perhaps find one or two or five books to enjoy themselves, and have an evening of sometimes sedate, sometimes raucous conversation. Any books unclaimed at the end of the meeting are left for others to discover.

Lower Mainland Bookcrossing

Bookcrossing has been popularized by the website BookCrossing.com. BookCrossing.com adds a whole new dimension to the experience. By registering books at BookCrossing.com, you can track them (providing the people finding them are nice enough to update the website) and find out what others have thought about them. Books have been know to travel across oceans. But don't worry, you don't have to join the BookCrossing website to participate in the book exchange or come to the meetup.

Lower Mainland Bookcrossing

Occasionally the meetup crew gets into other trouble. During the Olympics there was a day trip to Granville Island. More recently, a group meet up for the Vancouver Public Library's Spring 2010 Book Sale.

Is the bookcrossing meetup for you? If you like reading, people who read, and chance encounters with books you hadn't thought of reading, it probably is. As with most groups, the degree of fun is connected with how well you click with the members. There's a hard core group of regulars ranging in ages from just out of university to retired, and a larger circle of casual people who come semi-regularly. Reflective of the reading public there's more women than men.

Conversation is free flowing and depends on the mix. Though it usually comes back to books it could be on almost anything. There's an amazing diversity and depth of knowledge from genealogy to knitting to computing to the middle ages to bedouin tents to local Vancouver history. And at most meetings it's impossible to get through the introductions before someone has made an interesting comment or cracked a joke, taking the group entirely off topic. We tend to like it that way. Like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, you're never quite sure what you're going to get.

Lower Mainland Bookcrossing

Does any of this sound interesting? Check the group out at The Lower Mainland Bookcrossing Meetup Group. Books don't have to be a solitary experience!

Photo Credits: Marina Antunes (themarina)

1: Why yes, it's "bookcrossing", not "book crossing". The Concise Oxford English Dictionary recognizes it as a word: http://www.askoxford.com/pressroom/archive/coed11new/

2 comments

Marina wrote 9 years 10 weeks ago

Love!

Share the book love! Great write up on Bookcrossing Dale! Maybe we'll even get some new faces out at the meetings!

dale wrote 9 years 10 weeks ago

Thanks

Thanks, Marina!

Yes, new faces are always good.

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