Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Meetup being planned for SG Bookcrossing in early May 05

About 4 days ago, I shamelessly appointed myself as the Organiser for the Singapore BookCrossing Group. I was pleasantly surprised (i.e. Relieved!) when a few group members emailed/ commented to say they would be interested in reviving the group.

With renewed confidence, I went in to update the group description, which reads as follows:
Hello & Welcome.

What is BookCrossing?
n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise.

Really? Leave a book? What if I don't have, or don't want, to leave a book?
Psst... It's still fine by us. We basically need an excuse (a cool one, at that) for people -- who love books & ideas -- to meet up.

Any weirdos? What if I get stalked?
I don't know about that... I suppose we have to use our common sense when we meet people.

But I have no time to meet up
Suggested "guiding principle" for the group:
"There is no required reading
And no obligation to speak.
You may simply listen if you like.

Let us be introduced to books that we might never have discovered on our own;
To authors we may discover we love;
To people we may otherwise not meet."*
* adapted from Burlington PL Bookgroups

Why am I repeating the welcome message here? Because chances are the meetup group will close down after 15th May '05! I learnt that starting May 1st, is charging a fee for the continued use of the service. Read more here and here.

Frankly, I shouldn't be surprised. Someone's got to pay for the service, and it's only fair that the developers want something in return for providing that service. But why now!? This makes me look real bad. I just joined the group, appointed myself as Organiser, and now I start asking money from group members? No way.

Neither will I fork out the $19/month fee ($9/month if I pay now). For one, my wife would nag me no end: "Whaat! You are willing to fork out USD$9 a month for a group of people whom you've never met, but you won't buy me that diamond ring?!!" So, no way.
[*Smack!* Wife smacks me on the head for using her as an excuse for my stinginess]

Ah, maybe this (the fee thingy) is a good thing. It has given me a little sense of urgency to organise something. I shall make an "official" announcement here:

Singapore Bookcrossing Group plans to meet in May '05.
Venue will be at one of the public library.

If anyone is remotely interested to meet up (you don't have to be a member of the group), please email me at Let me know your preferred date, time, library. Don't worry, I'm not asking for a committment. Just getting feedback and ideas.

I've also gotten permission from one of my director to share this -- NLB would be kicking off a nation-wide reading initiative in late May 05. Official announcement is in late May but when we meetup, I can share with you some advanced info. It's going to be quite exciting.

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