On March 6th two “Travelling Books” arrived at our store. They began their incredible Journey 6 1/2 years ago, in September 2016 in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. When they arrived, we eagerly greeted the duo travellers and invited them in to take a load off. Over the next couple of days, we admired their pages, read their journals online at http://bookcrossing.com and learned all about what BookCrossers are.

What is BookCrossing? Launched on April 21st, 2001, “It’s a smart social networking site. It’s a celebration of literature and a place where books get new life. BookCrossing is the act of giving a book a unique identity so, as the book is passed from reader to reader, it can be tracked and thus connecting its readers.”

“There are currently 1,963,488 BookCrossers and 14,084,246 books travelling throughout 132 countries.” They even have a world map on their site that tracks the books!

Their mission is to connect people through books. A very worthy mission!

Who are BookCrossers? “BookCrossers love their books and love to read them. They tend to be the most generous, innovative, earth-friendly, good-hearted, whimsical, fun and educated people on the face of the planet.” They sounded like such great people that we wanted to become BookCrossers as well!

Travelling in pairs is a smart way to travel, but travelling in groups is even smarter, so the store registered and released 18 books to join the “Travelling Duo”. When we noted on their website that we were releasing these books “into the wild“, a scroll-down bar appeared with a long list of local drop-off locations including the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal, the NSCC Student Lounge, Woodlawn Medical Clinic, Cole Harbour Trails Free Little Library, Woodside Ferry Terminal and the Little Library at Shubie Park, to name a few. We chose to drop the gang off at Shubie Park Little Library since the library could accommodate the whole crew at once. Now we eagerly wait to hear from our BookCrossers, where they went, who read them and what they thought.

March 10th- Shubie Little Library

Another quote from their site: “BookCrossing is free to join and free to play. So don’t be ‘shelf’ish with your books – read and release! #travellingbooks #readandrelease

Update: On March 23rd, 2023 we caught another “Travelling Book”, The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. This one started its journey in Grapeview, Washington, USA on April 13th- 2004. We released it ‘into the wild’ at the Little Free Library at the Cole Harbour Heritage Park and Trails. Since travelling in groups is wiser and more fun, we released 4 more books to join it.

On April 17, Jan L. Coates dropped off a stack of her self-published picture book KARISSA & FELIX for us to donate to our local Little Free Libraries. We are going to take this one step further and register some of them with BookCrossing as travelling books before taking them to our local Little Free Libraries.

KARISSA & FELIX is, at its heart, a book about finding hope after loss, and the idea that the essence of who we are lives on in the hearts and memories of those we love. Karissa and Grandfather Felix love the beach, birds, and sea glass. When Grandfather begins to roam, can’t find his way home, they have to leave the beach. In the city, Karissa becomes friends with a crow she names Felix. Like Grandfather, he has only one leg. When Karissa finds out that forever is a very long time to miss somebody you love, Felix brings her a very special gift, the gift of hope. This is a story that will provide an opening for that difficult, yet necessary conversation about death that all families must have at some time.

Two copies of Jane L. Coates KARISSA & FELIX are all set and ready to be released into the wild as a travelling book with BookCrossing. These are destined for the St. Alban’s Community Mini Library on Pleasant Street and the Cole Harbour Trails Little Free Library.- April 18th