where the writers are
bookcrossing,..bookrings, RABCK, and beyond

As I often mention here, I have become, in the last year, a bookcrosser.  A bookcrosser is a person who trades books, leaves books randomly in the "wild", and just believes that books have a life of their own (and they want to live it beyond the shelf). The more I get involved, the more I have done in regards to bookcrossing.

One of the fun things that I have encountered with bookcrossing.com is RABCKs, that is Random Acts of BookCrossing Kindnesses. I have met via this site many new friends who all are great readers and enjoy books, too.  I have received and sent cards, small gifts, and yes, even, books to (and from) these new friends.  I've sent cards and books to their friends and family. And all without the expectation of anything in return.  They are truly random acts of kindness.  It is not unusual to be surprised by what arrives in the mail any more.  

I have also started participating in bookrings.  I recently read a book, Unsettled by Graham Walker, as part of a surprise bookring.  Many of the books in these bookrings are known to the different participants prior to the start, but this particular book was to be a surprise to all the readers.  To me, it was  quite enlightening about a different kinds of homelessness. After that experience, I decided to jump in and run a bookring of my own.  I am still gathering names and addresses for a "surprise/alternative" bookring.  So far, I have names and addresses from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, and from several different states here.   As soon as I get a copy of the book I've chosen (since it is to be a surprise to the readers, I don't wish to reveal the name of the book yet and possibly spoil the surprise for the group), I'll start mailing it to these fellow bookcrossers.

In fact, the book I am currently reading, Three Junes by Julia Glass, was given to me by a bookcrosser from the Chicago area.  It was part of a planned RABCK for the holiday season.  Three Junes was the winner of the 2002 National Book of the Year award.  From the outset, it started out as a slow read for me, but as I have gotten more into the story, I have enjoyed reading it and have found it to be very compelling.  It is the story of a family, the McLeods of Scotland, but it could be the story of any family.  Told from the different perspectives of Paul, Fenno, and Fern, the story weaves around several generations of this family and the lives they lead.  I haven't quite finished it, but will probably finish it today...which I should get back to right now!

And then on to another book, The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid, which I received from another bookcrosser who lives in Wein (Vienna), Austria.  Thanks, Mo! for both the book and the beautiful calendar of Austrian scenery!