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Tiago Luz

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Wandering Books

Most of us have a lot of books that spend years on a shelf, don't we? Well', I've come across an idea which I find worth spreading: leaving these books somewhere they're going to be picked up and read by someone else.

I'd like to point out this idea is not mine, it's something that was done by a group of around 10 people, each from a part of Brazil, one of which is a co-worker of mine.

When they bought a book, they would write on one of its first pages something like this: "I'm a wandering book. That means I wasn't born to spend years accumulating dust on a shelf: I'm meant to wander and please as many eyes and minds as possible. Please, after you read me, leave somewhere where I can find a new reader."

I know that some countries have a similar tradition with newspaper, where it's quite common to find papers on bus stops or tram/subway stations. Do you think this idea has any real potential to spread the love for literature?

Topics: Reading sharing

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      Aug 2 2011: Thanks for the welcoming, Kate. I've been a long time lurker in TED, and finally decided I must use my free time to do something more productive than fooling around.

      My picture was taken in the day Natasha, my daughter, was born. She wasn't even an hour old then. :D

      Regarding the idea, this co-worker of mine and her friends do that: they exchange their books on a regular basis, which allows them to read more books spending less money. It is something very good for sharing books between regular readers, but it's not really my main concern here. I'm more interested in a way to provide people who are not readers the kick-off to the wonders of literacy.

      The part of writing your name and city on the book is also a good idea, but I think it doesn't give you an opportunity to see how far the book goes after you read it. It surely would be something fine to get my hands on a book and see that a lot of people with whom I have no contact (and probably never will) are actually linked to me somehow.

      Thanks again for the welcoming, Kate, as well as for your interest on the topic.
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      Aug 3 2011: I worked for a time with a group of trainers who traveled all around the world. There was a 'library' in the office where we would leave mostly paperback books we've read but didn't want to keep in our permanent library. Before the trainer went off on his/her trip, they would go to the library for something to read while they were away for weeks at a time. On their return, they would bring back other books from the training site to add to the library. It was always fun to see what was in the library after they came back.

      I love the idea of sharing books in any way possible. It discourages me that my current workplace has absolutely no interest in doing this.

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