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I have been defacing Road Books.....

Travel Forums General Talk I have been defacing Road Books.....

1. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 7y

I've been meaning to confess this here for a year...But I always forget. I do not desire absolution. I quest only for the cleansing knowledge that I have revealed my sin.

I deface novels on the road.

My good friend from Canada is aghast that I do this. The son of a Librarian, it hurts his soul to hear it. This is even worse, to him, than to know that I am one who dog ears pages, rather than using a bookmark. This is only slightly more heinous than the fact that I crack the spine of every book I read rather than treating it like a donor heart on it's way to a grateful recipient.

Over the years I have read a thousand paperbacks on the road. Traded in hostals, found in the street, hidden in the very back of the stacks in some Spanish book seller. I have always been fascinated on how they ended up where I found them. How did Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas end up in Skopje Macedonia? The original seventies paperback edition? Where did that sweet book of naval knots come from? The one found in landlocked Czech Republic? I really wish I knew. The story of how these things travel has got to be fascinating. How many packs have they been in? Who carried them and why?

So I started writing my name in them. Where I started the book, and where I finished it. It doesn't help me, but at least the next guy down the road knows where the book came from. I think these things may end up with a more fascinating road pedigree than most folks, so, to me it's worth it.

I'm unrepentant. It's a road book. I'm gonna keep defacing 'em. So next time you find one, take a look in some of the pages at the front....Maybe you'll see my name.

D

2. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 7y

I think it's an interesting idea and I have done a similar thing. I left NZ in April '06 and my friend lent me a book - she was Scottish and had bought it in England, so as it had already been in 3 different countries we thought we would record its travels in the front cover. We also wrote that the next person to pick the book up should do the same. So it then travelled with me to Malaysia via a stopver in KL, Thailand and finally Laos, where I finished reading it. Quite an impressive list of countries for this little book! I left it on a swap shelf in a guesthouse in Laos- I sometimes wonder where it is now.

I love books and at home would never write in them or even dog ear the pages, but it's different on the road, perhaps because the books don't belong to anyone as such.

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 7y

Quoting Piecar

Over the years I have read a thousand paperbacks on the road. Traded in hostals, found in the street, hidden in the very back of the stacks in some Spanish book seller. I have always been fascinated on how they ended up where I found them. How did Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas end up in Skopje Macedonia? The original seventies paperback edition? Where did that sweet book of naval knots come from? The one found in landlocked Czech Republic? I really wish I knew. The story of how these things travel has got to be fascinating. How many packs have they been in? Who carried them and why?

I'm surprised you haven't come across bookcrossing before. This is basically a website which does "writing your name in books" in an organized manner. You can register books with them, print out little flyers to put into a book, and then "release them into the wild", and anyone who finds them can use the unique number found in the flyer on the website to tell about where and when they came across the books, and then set them free again for the next person to find. (There's also "controlled releases" where members of the bookcrossing community pass on books to each other.)
Some of those books really have made pretty amazing journeys across the world.

4. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 7y

Hey Sander. I appreciate the information. That said; I have to say I am bummed by this news.

We trade ideas here. We trade info, and lore and advice. I don't mind that. This kind of thing is akin to a central tree, with flyers on it. (Not a Thorn Tree...oh no)

But I started to travel because of the irregularity of it. I was doing my thing. My path crossed another, and we may have altered both of our paths to spend time together, but we didn't decide we were going to form a clan. I'm not looking to join a club. I want to be Jeremiah Johnson, not Rupert Murdoch. I want to be a traveller.

That's what this kind of thing is: A road idea. An idea for wanderers and drifters to send sign to one another.

It irks me that these things now turn into some organized group wank. I Filed This Book! Hoozah!

I'm against it. I don't want this shit to be organized, I just wanted to get the word out. I wanted people to have it in their head, and maybe do it because they thought it was a neat idea. Not because they got a membership.

Now I'm sad I mentioned it at all.

[ Edit: Edited on 01-Sep-2009, at 15:03 by Piecar ]