October 30, 2006

How to post a document onto my blog??

I have no idea how to put the article. So here is the photo and an execrpt of the article. Oh yes, and this is the linkage to the whole article: The Savvy Bookworm

Swap it

Once a month, a group of enthusiastic bookworms gather to exchange books.

In September, the group met at a restaurant at Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya. As the members arrived, one by one, the noise level in the restaurant increased as they exchanged greetings and shared stories of what they did since they last met. Soon, a stack of books formed in the middle of the table as food was served.

“It’s not just a book club. We don’t really discuss books,” said Tatyana Amin, nicknamed “Taty” by the group.

The group calls themselves Malaysian Bookcrossers, and they are just one of many Bookcrossing groups formed all over the world via bookcrossing.com, a website created by Ron Hornbaker in Missouri, the United States, in 2001.

Hornbaker got his idea for Bookcrossing.com when he saw websites such as PhotoTag.org which tracks the journey of disposable cameras. He thought: Why not create a site that tracks a book’s journey?

Therefore, since April 17, 2001, books have been let lose “in the wild” all over the world. Bookcrossing members form chapters in their respective countries where they meet and exchange books.

The Malaysian chapter was created in Dec 19, 2003, by a then 16-year-old Andy Lim. There are now 207 members but only a few meet once a month to swap books while others mail books to one another.

However, the idea behind Bookcrossing may be difficult for some Malaysians to swallow, especially since books are so expensive. You see, the whole idea behind Bookcrossing is that you give away your books.

Here is how it works:

First, you register a book at bookcrossing.com, then you stick a special Bookcrossing sticker where you write the number that helps track the book’s movements. For the sake of adventure, leave the book in a public place – say, at a cafe – and then wait for the person who finds it to log on to the website (via the instructions on the sticker) and comment about the book. A book can literally travel all around the world.

Unfortunately, the Malaysian Bookcrossers haven’t had much success with books left in the wild. Most of them lose track of the books – nobody seems interested to read them, let alone comment on what they’ve read. Sometimes, those who find the books see it as an opportunity to earn extra cash.

“I’ve seen some Bookcrossing books at second-hand bookstores,” said Tatyana in disapproval. (Bookcrossing books are distributed free, after all.)

“Malaysians are just not civic-minded,” lamented Ariel Chew.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER: The Malaysian Bookcrossers meet once a month, usually on weekends, to swap books. During Ramadan, they even buka puasa and exchanged books together.

The group members exchange books with one another but this exchange doesn’t happen among them only.

For one, Betty Wong once received boxes of books from a Bookcrosser overseas.

“They’re just very generous,” she explained.

But here’s a question that possessive bookworms will ask: But why give away your books?

Tatyana not only gives away books, sometimes she buys them to give away.

“You just want to share your love for the book with others,” she explained simply.

“Bookcrossing opened up a whole new world to me. I realise that there are more out there than my comfortable nest of authors,” said Chew.

It’s the same for Emily Chiam, one of the earliest members of the group. Her daughter, Puteri Diyana, is also a member who attends the meetings.

“Through Bookcrossing, I joined a group who chats with its panel of resident writers (writers who are invited to join us and we read their latest book and chat with them!). We ‘chat’ with authors such as Harlan Coben, David Morrel on Creepers, and Jesse Kellerman (offspring of Faye and Jonathan Kellerman) on his Sunstroke.

“What brings us together once a month, after three years? Each other’s company, of course! Taty is one with loads of books to recommend and fun to be with, too!” said Chiam.


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