This blog follows my adventures in BookCrossing--the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise. It is a fascinating exercise in fate, karma, or whatever you want to call the chain of events that can occur between two or more lives and one piece of literature.
It's the day the media has been waiting for breathlessly since the boy who will be King was born: the Royal Wedding of Prince William (the pilot) and Catherine Middleton (his new wife). In hono(u)r of today's festivities, I left Anita Shreve's "The Pilot's Wife" on the window ledge at King's.
"The Great American Road Trip" was the first book to leave my hands at the BookCrossing Convention, liberated by the first BookCrosser I met in real life: discoverylover. Little did I know then that she and Skyring were planning a great American road trip of their own, travelling from coast to coast before heading home to New Zealand and Australia, respectively. I should do that myself someday!
It's funny to get journal alerts for my books from people I actually know now. Having spent a day at Arlington National Cemetery with bronwyna, I was pleased to see that she caught and enjoyed "Suite Francaise" and is showing it around Australia.
authorauthor picked up "The War of the Worlds Murder" at the BC Convention and she's already read and reviewed it! I'm always glad to see books that were given to me by other BookCrossers reach new readers.
It's been awhile since I released a book at the Westmoreland County Courthouse, so I remedied that this afternoon. I left "The Trials of Rumpole," by John Mortimer, on a lamp post flanking the old entrance to the Courthouse around 3 p.m.
Three more convention catches were journalled today: "Rebecca" was chosen from the Wrap-It-Up book buffet by nancynova; MaryZee chose "Getting Rid of Bradley" for one of her OBCZs; and KateKintail found it impossible to resist "LOST: Signs of Life." Enjoy!
Home, sweet home, made even sweeter with two journal alerts waiting in my e-mail inbox. The first for Gregory Maguire's "The Next Queen of Heaven," which JudySlump612 picked up from a book buffet in the last hours of the convention, and the second for "Wonderdog," picked up by an AnonymousFinder several hours after I left it on a fire hydrant this morning.
That's it. That's all she wrote. My first BookCrossing convention is done. At breakfast this morning, we were encouraged to find a book about animals and release it in memoriam of Irish BCer Killimengri, who lost her life in a house fire earlier this year. I chose "Wonderdog," by Inman Majors, and set off for a farewell tour of Crystal City. It's a lovely and rather quiet place on a Sunday morning, boasting lots of green space and benches and picnic tables (many peppered with BC books from an early-morning release walk). I found my perfect spot for Wonderdog just outside the CEA building—a fire hydrant.
Before heading for home, I had some more sightseeing to do. I took the Metro to Arlington National Cemetery and was pleased to meet tobysrus, rahar109, and bronwyna in line for the official tour. It was a beautiful, sunny day—so welcome after yesterday's rain—and tourists (for the most part, well behaved and respectful) were out in full force. The most popular site seemed to be John F. Kennedy's grave, followed closely by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. My favorite part was Robert E. Lee's house—I would live there in a heartbeat. What a gorgeous piece of land overlooking Washington, D.C. It's very easy to imagine how it looked before the Civil War. I will definitely return to Arlington someday and pay proper respects to the men and women who are buried there.
I took the long way around (and through) Washington, D.C., on my way home thanks to assuming I should just follow the opposite of my directions there (note to self: get directions both there AND back next time). I sat in a bit of traffic, but I saw part of the world I haven't seen before, so it all balanced out. Once I got on familiar roads, I stopped at a scenic overlook on I-270 North and left "A Far Country," by Daniel Mason, on a brick wall with a lovely view of rural Maryland.
Mixed in with ten convention catches from the book buffet is an honest-to-goodness catch (#167) from my adventures this afternoon! New member jaymzrstee says: "Found this book on a lamp post where my sister-in-law mentioned what bookcrossing was to me, so I snagged it. Looking forward to reading this and figuring out a clever place to continue its legacy! :D Such a neat idea!" *happydance*
The theme of this year's convention was "Choose Your Own Adventure," so I picked up some books from the Local Interest book buffet, grabbed my umbrella for the delightful rainy weather, jumped on the Metro, and jumped off in D.C.
My first stop was Ford's Theatre. Ford's Theatre and I have a love-hate relationship. I have tried to go there several times on my previous trips to D.C., but it has been closed for renovations of some sort or another every time. I did manage to get inside once, but it was literally seven minutes before it closed for the day, so I still longed to take a proper tour. Once again, I was denied. This time, Ford's Theatre was closed for a performance, and when it would be open for tours again, I'd be about the 2000th person in line behind busloads of teenagers who were already queued. *sigh* Maybe next time.
After lunch, I headed to the Library of Congress Jefferson Building. I passed the U.S. Botanic Garden on my way there, and managed to leave "Forty Signs of Rain," by Kim Stanley Robinson, on one of its outside benches. I wasn't the only BookCrosser who made use of D.C.'s benches: As I made my way to the Library of Congress, I passed a number of benches that were adorned with books in Ballycumber release bags. Not to be outdone, I left Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" on a lamp post outside the Jefferson Building before heading inside. And what an inside! It is breathtaking with all its marble and mosaics and stained glass and air and light, even on a dreary rainy day. I wandered around a bit and then sat on one of the benches lining the walls just taking it all in.
My last stop of the day was the U.S. Capitol Building—a new adventure for me—which is directly across the street from the Library of Congress. There is an underground tunnel connecting the buildings so the members of Congress don't have to expose themselves to D.C.'s weather or traffic, but I decided to take the long way around. The Capitol Building tour was fascinating and so well organized and orchestrated. I wish we had been allowed to linger as long as we liked in the rotunda. There is so much to see and so much history to absorb, I could have spent hours there.
My first convention catches! "The Princess Bride" was picked up from the Wrap-It-Up book buffet (books were gift-wrapped with just the first line written or typed on the outside; I wrapped this one in wedding paper) by mdm139, and "The Swallows of Kabul" was chosen from the BookCrossers Only buffet (for books that should be read and enjoyed by another BookCrosser before being launched into the wild) by MaryZee. Time for bed!
I'm at my first BookCrossing Anniversary Convention! I drove down to Arlington, Va. (lovely traffic, by the way), stopping at Sheetz in Breezewood, Pa., to fill up on gas and release "Midnight for Charlie Bone," by Jenny Nimmo, on top of the gas pump. When I arrived at the hotel, I checked into my room, grabbed a big box of books to add to the plethora of book buffets, and headed down to join the fun.
The welcome reception was already in full swing. There were people everywhere playing games, browsing the buffets, shopping in the convention "store," and having a great time. The very first BookCrosser I met in real life was discoverylover from New Zealand, who helped me find the right buffets for my themed books. Of course, I couldn't help but browse the buffets while I was adding more to them—I had to make room for my books by taking some off the buffet for myself, after all! In total, I added 32 books to the buffet.
Niece No. 1's childhood has slipped away. She turns 22 today and I remember her baby- and toddlerhood so vividly, it seems impossible that that much time has passed. That probably says more about how old *I* am than how old she is. ;) To commemorate her birthday, I left Annie Dillard's "An American Childhood" on a bench outside the Walgreens in Greensburg.
I got roped into watching Nephews No. 2 & 3 while their parents were otherwise occupied. After a marathon session of Monopoly, we headed to Eat 'n Park in Bridgeville, Pa., to recharge our batteries. I left "A Smart Girl's Guide to Sticky Situations: How to Tackle Tricky, Icky Problems and Tough Times," by the American Girl Library, on a brick wall by the door. Luckily, I didn't encounter any tricky, icky problems or tough times with the boys. I might even consider entertaining them again.
My first release of the month is Robert Daley's "The Innocents Within," which I left on top of the USA Today newspaper box on the sidewalk at King's Restaurant on Route 119 South in Greensburg. Will I get a first catch?