About BookCrossing

“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
The Books In My Life (1969)

What is BookCrossing?

It's the World's Library. 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 1,974,125 BookCrossers and 14,203,762 books travelling throughout 132 countries. Our community is changing the world and touching lives one book at a time.

What's our mission?

Very simply, we aim to connect people through books.

How do we do it?

Label. Share. Follow. Breath new life into books instead of letting your old favorites collect dust - pass them along to another reader. Our online archival and tracking system allows members to connect with other readers, journal and review literature and trade and follow their books as lives are changed through “reading and releasing”. Users are able to tag and track their individual books by marking them with BCIDs (BookCrossing Identity Numbers). Each BCID is unique to each book – once it’s registered on our site, the book can then be followed and journaled forever. BookCrossing is free to join and free to play. So don't be 'shelf'ish with your books - read and release!

When and how did it start?

Although there were websites tracking things such as dollar bills and pictures, business partner Ron Hornbaker noted that nothing existed for tracking books. After all, books were more than just tangible objects, rather they possessed elements of emotional attachment and strong opinion; books were not only items collected and revered, but were intrinsically shared. This was the nidus that began our journey. With the help of Ron's wife, Kaori, and cofounders Bruce & Heather Pedersen, the site was launched on April 21, 2001. The site remains a fun way to track and share books while connecting people at deeper levels using books as the architecture and glue to facilitate the Great Conversation.

Who are we?

The team that continues to make all of this happen is based in Sandpoint, Idaho. However, the site could not function without the generous BookCrossing volunteers from around the world who help with various projects, spread the movement, and handle support questions.

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.

Where in the world is BookCrossing:

Here are the top 10 BookCrossing countries:

  1. USA 29%
  2. Germany 16%
  3. United Kingdom 13%
  4. Netherlands 11%
  5. Finland 10%
  6. Canada 8%
  7. Australia 5%
  8. France 4%
  9. Portugal 3%
  10. Spain 1%


Is there more to BookCrossing?

“So I can follow my books checked into the World’s Library. That’s cool, but is there more?"

You bet! You can...

Join the World's Library
Manage your bookshelf (both on and offline)
Create customized bookplates for all your books
Hunt for books in your neighborhood or around the world using the “Go Hunting” pages
Chat in the forums about books, authors or anything else
Start an Official BookCrossing Zone (OBCZ) in your library, classroom, office or coffee shop
Connect with Members around the world (on and offline)
Travel to BookCrossing Conventions (currently held on 5 continents)
Review Journal Entries to determine reading preferences and find great books
Buy books at a discount
Share books with other BookCrossers
Check out the Mapping Feature to see where your books have been
Participate in a Random Act of BookCrossing Kindness (RABCK)
Mentor a BookCrossing Newbie
Read our Newsletter for the latest and greatest in the book world
Follow us on MySpace, Twitter, Snaptell and Facebook
Send virtual gifts to your BookCrossing friends and family
Enter contests and win cool prizes
Involve yourself in a themed releases
Get published by sending in your article & photo for our newsletter

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