Sunday, April 01, 2007

Jane Smiley into the Wild

Based on a conversation that I had with John Mutford (The Book Mine Set) over at the LitMinds site, I'm going to start a book off on what I hope will be a long journey, and a traceable one, from reader to reader. It is much like the Bookcrossing concept, of course, but the book I'm releasing will include more specific instructions and requests in an attempt to track the book as long as possible, hoping that it doesn't disappear forever right of the bat, of course.

John came up with this for the inside of the book's cover (slightly modified by me):
Congratulations! This book is yours to keep...for now. As part of an experiment to see how far and for how long this book travels, please follow these instructions:

1. Read it (and hopefully enjoy it).

2. Visit to tell me where you found it.

3. Sorry, now it's time to give it up. Choose an interesting locale to leave the book and then say goodbye (or hand it off to a friend who loves to read). Email me at and tell me how you passed it forward. Thanks for helping!

So tomorrow I'm going to "release" a copy of what I consider to be Jane Smiley's best book, A Thousand Acres. It's a sturdy, but flexible, deluxe paperback copy of the book that I think should survive for a while, probably even longer than a hardback copy would last. So let the chase begin.

Edit: April 3 -

I left the book on a bench outside the automatic doors to my library branch this afternoon. I went inside to pick up a couple of books that were being held for me and when I left 10 minutes later the book was still there. Let's see what happens.


  1. I like your modifications, think I'll do the same...

  2. John, I only made that change because some folks seem a little reluctant to just walk off and leave a book. I'm a bit tempted to leave the book someplace and watch to see what happens to it...but that would probably disappoint me, so I don't think I'll try that.

    Let's hope both our books (and Praveen's) don't just disappear, never to be heard from again. :)

  3. What fun! I hope the book have many exciting experiences. And I enjoyed your recent interview at LitMinds. Very nice!

  4. It will be interesting to see what path the books travel and for how long we're able to track them. Keep your fingers crossed for us, Stefanie. :)

  5. So far so good on mine, btw. A worker at the hotel where I left it picked it up and emailed me- he's excited about reading it and passing it on. Any news on yours so far?

  6. Afraid not, John. Mine appears to have escaped...I'm still hoping that someone contacts me but I'm starting to wonder.