n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise. (added to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary in August 2004)
It's 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. Oh, and it's absolutely free and absolutely private, too.
---> all of the above is from the BookCrossing homepage
So, it is not actually a support group for book addicts. It is a website for book lovers, or even book likers, or even just people who have heard of books. Even those of you haven't heard of books can probably find something enjoyable out of it.
The main purpose of BookCrossing is to track your books. You register your books, you marked them up with their BCIDs (BookCrossing IDs), and you release them 'into the wild'. The idea is that the books you've read aren't doing anyone any good by sitting on your shelves collecting dust. By releasing them onto a park bench, or at a gas pump, or anywhere where someone might pick it up, it may find a new reader. The beauty of it is that with the book marked with its BCID, the finder can go to the website and make a journal entry on the book, thereby logging its journey. And you get an email the instant that happens.
There are also forums for people to discuss stuff. Stuff such as books.
This is a global site with, at the time of this sentence being written, 419,096 members and 2,533,443 books registered. Both of those numbers have been steadily increasing since April 17 2001, BookCrossing's birthday.
Click here for the BookCrossing website
There, as I am here, I'm jblueafterglow.
Here's a book whose journey I've had a part in: The Dogs of Babel
And here's my favorite catch: 776 Stupidest Things Ever Said