And so mentioned Mr Scott Sorochak, President & CEO of BookCrossing.com, at the launch and MoU signing of BookCross@SG at the Plaza of the National Library this afternoon.
More details of how BookCross@SG works, at http://bookcross.sg
Apparently, "more than 2000 official hotspots have been selected to allow Singaporeans to exchange books".
The hotspots are not WIFI hotspots but BookCross@SG hotspots. Technically, you can leave books anywhere to be "crossed". But having a designated hotspot works just as well, particularly for those not familiar with the idea of random crossing a book (besides, having hotspots reduce the risk of a book being taken away by cleaners before they get a chance to be crossed). These hotspots will be given a customised BCSG sticker that will be placed at a prominent area for the exchange to take place.
It gets more interesting -- some of the hotspots are Taxi Cabs!
SMRT Taxis, to be exact. Hats off to my colleagues who pulled this off (and also the support of the SMRT Taxi company too). This was the cab that drove in as part of the launch.
Quick, go buy your 4-D number now! LOL
As part of the launch, the guests were told to reach under their seats. Taped to the bottom of each seat was an envelop containing a BookCross@SG book. Mine turned out to be a brand new Roald Dahl's "Tales of the Unexpected", yay! (Thanks to the kind sponsors who donated the initial lot of books for the launch).
OK, I admit the first thought that popped into my head was to hoard the book. But it just wouldn't be right. After all, Books need to be FREED!
Yes, yes. I promise I will free my book after reading it. Immediately.
Many of the guests gamely went to register the BookCross ID (BCID) of their book on the spot:
Where's the BCID?
You don't have to look for it like that! LOL (thanks to my colleague, Jillian, for posing):
It's usually at the back of the book cover:
And here's my registered entry at the BookCrossing.com site:
Some of my colleagues were already into the advanced stages of negotiations to exchange their books. Hey guys, you're supposed to read the books first!
I understand that a few months ago, my colleagues involved in this project met with some of the management team members of the BookCrossing Singapore (www.bookcrossing.com.sg). I wasn't at the meeting. I'm not sure what were the details of the discussion. But I understand there's some cordial understanding of how both BookCross@SG and BookCrossing Singapore can collaborate together. It'll be nice if the Mainstream Media would give some coverage to the efforts of BookCrossing Singapore too.
BookCrossing Singapore... BookCross@SG... in my opinion, there's never too many groups when it comes to promoting the reading habit. It's definitely a good thing to have both grassroots and national efforts in encouraging Singaporeans to read.
Today's event made me dig up some of my earlier posts, where I'd mentioned BookCrossing:
- 13 Apr 2005: "Meetup being planned for SG Bookcrossing in early May 05" (where I'd shamelessly appointed myself as the Meetup.com Organiser after discovering a Singapore BookCrossing group in Meetup.com; this group closed shortly after Meetup.com started charging for its services)
- 14 Apr 2005: "There's also "BookCrossing - Singapore" at yahoogroups" (where I was pointed to another BookCrossing group in Singapore; this one is still fairly active up till today -- BookCrossing Singapore)
- 19 May 2005: "Meetup is confirmed on Tuesday, 24 May at Toa Payoh Community Library" (an announcement of the meetup back in 2005)
- 27 May 2005: "What happened at the Meetup on 24 May 05" (a post-event reflection piece; that meetup was where I received my first BookCrossed book from Roxanne -- her blog is now gone, what a pity. I'm still in touch with Preetam from that meeting. I wonder how the rest are doing now?)