Saturday, December 29, 2012
A friend of mine (and co-worker at the bookstore where I work) recently asked how Therapist and I met.
"Through Bookcrossing," I told her. I explained how Bookcrossing worked (go to bookcrossing.com to find out more, or http://www.bookcrossing.com/mybookshelf/2of3Rs/ to see my own bookcrossing "bookshelf")
"Some of the Portland area Bookcrossers got together once a month to talk about books and releases and Bookcrossing. I'd been going to these get-togethers for a couple of years, and Therapist came to one of the meetings shortly after she moved to the area. She and I agreed to organize the following month's get-together after Wordstock that year."
I went on to talk about Bookcrossing, how one of the features is to join a Bookcrossing "ring". Someone can start a "ring" by offering to send a book to people who are interested in reading it. Different than a "wild release" where a book is left in a public place for some unknown person to pick up and take home, people sign up to be part of the ring. The first person sends a book to the second person who reads it and then sends it to the third person and so on. The book still travels, and lots of people get to read it.
"Therapist has made the point to me that 'rings' may not be the best for the book industry. She and I, if we hear about a book we're interested in, try to obtain it somehow, quite often by purchasing it. If people just participate in 'rings', then there is less purchasing going on," I told my friend.
"I get that, about how Bookcrossing rings might result in less sales sometimes," she said, "but I think it's always a good thing to have books in the hands of people. To have people reading different things, just reading, that can only be good."
"Well, that's a point," I said. "When I taught third grade, one of my goals every year was to get the kids to read more. We had 20 minutes of reading time in class every day, and I required them to read for an hour every week-end. Some of the kids hated it at first, there was eye rolling and fidgeting, but by the end of the year, even the eye rollers were reading. And liking it."
"I get parents in the store who complain that their child will only read one kind of book, whether it be THE DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, or POKEMON or whatever," she said. "They want to get their kids to branch out, to read other things. I tell them that at least the kids are reading. They are holding books in their hands, and just by doing having books in their hands, they are knowing what it feels like to read. If they keep reading, even if their book selection isn't very broad, if they enjoy it, they'll learn that reading is fun and they'll choose reading as an activity. And they will branch out in their reading choices."
"I agree," I said. "I tell that to parents too. I love it when I hear that kids are reading, and that parents are encouraging them."
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