Book Crossing in Singapore

I found a Book Crossing book! There were lots more at The Cafe Cartel; Apparently it’s an official hotspot, as Singapore has its own Book Crossing thing going on, called BookCross@SG. Apparently, they are partnered with the main Book Crossing movement. It’s curious how they don’t link back to the main Book Crossing site somewhere prominent, however.

I realize having official hotspots is more “organized” and will prevent books from getting destroyed (i.e., rain) and that’s a good thing — no use sending off a book only to have it rendered unreadable. But somehow, I really like the randomness of the original Book Crossing, and it makes the novelty of finding one so much more meaningful, I think.

Take for instance when I saw a book over at Cafe Cartel with the running book logo and I felt like I’d found a treasure (much to the confusion of my friends, I’ll bet…) and grabbed it up immediately. And then right under it, there was another book with the same logo, and then I started to feel a bit confused. I noticed suddenly that the URL was different from what I knew the URL to be, but I surmised it was a local chapter. I did take the first one anyway since it felt like finding a completely random book is the whole point.

So tonight I finally went to check the website out. Apparently, this local movement is managed by the National Library Board here, and there are official hotspots or venue sponsors for the books: SMRT taxis, and Cafe Cartel and Cafe Galilee outlets. Also, one cannot simply release a book into the wild; according to the FAQ:

I have a personal English Fiction book that I’d like to donate to BCSG. Can I leave it at any hotspot?

Not at the moment. It is highly recommended that donation of books for BCSG must be passed to the Customer Service Counter at any of the 23 public libraries.

Uhm, okay. That’s quite different from the original stance on released books:

Where should I release books? Are there places where I should not release books?

The list where books can be left or released is really limitless. You can release them at cafes, restaurants, coffee houses, those newspaper boxes for free papers, a bus, hospitals, doctor’s offices, anywhere people have to wait, on top of ATM’s…

The latter definitely sounds more fun and dynamic, and personally makes finding one quite a gem; after all, since I know I can get books in the hotspots, it’s just like going to the library and picking something up.

Anyway, the book I have with me is Linda Howard’s Open Season. The sticker covered the whole title. :P It’s a crime thriller sort of thing, so it might prove a good read.