Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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This Book Belonged to...

It's a website/database/sticky label kind of thing.
  [vote for,

In every book you buy you stick a printed label inside the front cover. This has brief instructions, a url and room for you to fill in a reference number and about twenty people's names/user names.

When you have finished reading the book you fill in your user name, enter details on the web site and pass the book on to someone else. They do likewise and after a while you can track the book using the thisbookbelongedto.com website (or possibly something a little snappier).

You can read and write reviews of books, exchange comments with those that have read the same book that you have and gain recommendations either from other readers of the site or algorithmically from those that liked the same books as you.

[a little clarification added after the event] Since some have thought this to be a model for a personal lending library I thought I'd add this note. When I said 'pass the book on to someone else' I intended this to be a permanent transaction. There's no reason why an internet based personal lending library group site might not work but this isn't it. You may withdraw your croissants now. I did nibble one but it still looks presentable.

st3f, Nov 06 2001

Where's George http://www.wheresgeorge.com/
Paper currency tracking web site. [phoenix, Nov 06 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

(?) Cornell University News Release http://www.news.cor...nberg.small.ws.html
Scientific evidence for the '6 degrees of seperation' theory. [DrBob, Nov 06 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

(?) autopond http://www.autopond.com/
Card swapping six degrees of separation type thingy for the palm. [st3f, Nov 06 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

(?) worldlink: Six Degrees of Separation http://backissues.w...250100180310/22.htm
Good overview of Six Degrees (or "Small Worlds") Theory [nhyatt, Jan 14 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Book Trade Vending Machine http://www.halfbake...20Vending_20Machine
[hippo, Jan 14 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Bookcrossing.com http://www.bookcrossing.com
FULLY baked already. [gb2000, May 08 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       I often want to discuss books that I have just finished with other people and usually just force them to borrow it off me and nag them to read it quickly.   

       With regards to passing the book on to someone else, some people seem to act as 'book sinks' so certain books may experience gaps of up to 100 years in their user history when they have been hoarded in someones bookcase.
stupop, Nov 06 2001

       That's a good idea if you do it from when you start collecting books- adding a number to a book as you buy it is easy- but when you decide *at my age* to catalogue your books, it's a much scarier proposition.
angel, Nov 06 2001

       [angel, UnaBubba]: This isn't for creating a catalogue of your books - it's to encourage you to pass books on to other people. The majority of the books on the database I would imagine to be paperback fiction.   

       The idea stemmed from the fact that I've got most of my shelves double-stacked with books that I may or may not read again. I feel that it would be easier to part with them if I could see where some of them got to.
st3f, Nov 06 2001

       Has anyone here seen 'Where's George'? It's a dollar bill tracker. You put the URL on paper money in the hope that whoever receives it will record its location at the web site. When you visit the web site and enter the serial number a marked bill, you can trace its path to you. Definitely a HalfBaked idea. Link above.   

       Consequently, I don't think this would be too difficult to bake - especially if [futurebird] is lurking about.
phoenix, Nov 06 2001

       [waugs]: I'm the same. I'm trying to change.   

       [phoenix]: Cool link. Pity they don't track outside the US as I've got $9 sitting in front of me here.
st3f, Nov 06 2001

       This is an appealing idea. The old public school books used to have those cards inside the front covers with the names of those who had checked the book out in the past. I always liked looking at the history of readership.

I actually have a dollar bill with a www.wheresgeorge.com stamp on it. I kept it rather than returning it to circulation 'cause I'm mean spirited.

I freely loan all books except those that have been signed by the authors or are rare or fragile.
bristolz, Nov 06 2001

       Weird coincidence. I just bought that book (Words into Type) at a used book fair. Maybe it's your old copy.
bristolz, Nov 09 2001

       What's a book?
Mygo, Nov 09 2001

       I've started doing this in a more prosaic way - when I give away a book I write inside   

       This book once belonged to:
13/01/02 Toby Pig, London - one line review
tobythepig, Jan 13 2002

       [This annotation marks the spot where notripe posted his one line movie spoilers.]
st3f, Jan 13 2002

       About the only thing that's given away for free anymore.
thumbwax, Jan 13 2002

       HEEEEEYY! what happened to my one line movie spoilers? I was doing everyone a favour with those. I mean, can you believe someone actually *wrote* that Fight Club plot?
notripe, Jan 13 2002

       At first read this sounds fairly stupid, as of course it would be easy to create a website where you could log everyone who read a certain book and talk with them.   

       On further thought, instead of jumping into some overly sarcastic diatribe I'll attempt to remember that some people actually gain something from social interaction - even indirect forms.   

       So, this is less Amazon reader reviews, and more book-of-the-month clubs that someone might attend. Being able to talk about the book with those who might be somehow connected with you.   

       As with all "degrees-of-separation" ideas the problem is the value of the knowledge once you get beyond 2-3 degrees.. isn't that person in Bloomington, Indiana almost just as random as someone you might see at amazon.com? To make it something people would really use there needs to be some added value to that relationship or to the knowledge of that connection...
nhyatt, Jan 14 2002

       Me and my friends swap books all the time and generally try to write our names and phone numbers in the inside cover so that eventually it gets back to us. Some of them have a further list of names and numbers (some or everyone that's read that one) so that you know who you could call up that's in this impromput book club. We all own a certain number of our own books but freely pass them around so it's a bit difficult to keep track of whose got which book at any one time. We own most of them just for our own benefit and I don't really believe that we could make it work perfect but it would come in handy if I knew that there was one I needed for a piece of work and that it was only a friend of a friend of a friend away. Much better than queuing at the library!
sappho, Jan 14 2002

       <shameless plug>This can be combined with the "Book Trade Vending Machine" which promotes book-swaping transactions. See link.</shameless plug>
hippo, Jan 14 2002

       Good link, gb2000. Just to rub salt in my own wounds I checked the date of the press release that launched bookcrossing.com. They had the idea baked, trialed and launched over six months before I thought of it.
st3f, May 08 2002

       Glad to be of service! :-)   

       Actually, a lot of the ideas I post I actually just want to use myself, so I'm really happy when someone posts a link....
gb2000, May 09 2002

       I've joined. Am looking for a way to get the book labels out in a UK usable format.
st3f, May 09 2002

       How ironic that the founder's name is Horn_baker_.
waugsqueke, May 09 2002

       Hey, I resemble this conversation. :) And I've got nothing better to do this morning than check my referer logs.
ronhornbaker, May 14 2002

       Books are already stamped with the ISBN number, so adding an incremented counter to the end of it as each book comes off the presses shouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility. Much better than having sticky labels or someone's scribbly writing (Toby) all over your nice book.
DrBob, May 14 2002

       For any NPR listeners out there, Weekend Edition with Scott Simon is going to have a segment about BookCrossing.com this weekend (5/17).
mwburden, May 17 2002

       Ironic or coincidental, [waugs]?
bristolz, May 17 2002


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