Bookcrossing for LUCIA – result!

As reported in a previous article, I decided to use my hobby of BookCrossing to help raise awareness and (hopefully) funds for LUCIA. I’ve been supporting LUCIA for a few years when I go running, but the number of books I had in the house and the timing of Ethiopian New Year in September suggested this idea to me. I put the idea to my fellow BookCrossers on the site forum in plenty of time – this meant that quite a few of the books were read through the summer, ready for release. I decided on a theme of “Women’s Roles” in the titles of the books (plus the word “Lucia”) as this would hopefully garner some positive and interesting book titles. I wasn’t wrong there! One lovely BookCrosser in the US, Innae, promised to sponsor 10 cents for every book released during the month and challenged us to reach 1,000 books, so I was quite nervous as September came around, hoping I could get enough people on board and not get some tiny target and raise just a few cents. We labelled up the books with LUCIA themed labels, including the web address, and added links to the web address in the online release notes. Hopefully the people who found our books would “catch” them by going online and saying they had them – and follow the links through to these web pages. I needn’t have worried. Once again, my fellow BookCrossers came good. Over the month, 49 BookCrossers from the UK, Europe, Australia, America and Canada put books on official BookCrossing zone shelves, gave boxes of books to friends, gave them away at tabletop sales and left them out in the wild on benches, buses, trains and monuments. And I think we were all thrilled when I totted up the totals at the end (thanks to Innae for data on titles and roles). During the month we released 1,126 books. Of those, 79 have been caught on the web page so far, with more trickling in every day (we often hear back from books YEARS after they were first released, so this one could run and run!). There were approximately 880 different book titles released, the most popular being “Memoirs of a Geisha”, although “Lucia, Lucia”, “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” and “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” were also released in multiple copies. Unsurprisingly, the most popular women’s role in the title were “girl(s)” and “woman/women”, but “daughters”, “wives”, “bridesmaids” and “queens” were also up there at the top of the list. More unusual women’s roles in the book titles included a single “bachelorette”, a “hag” and a “hussy”. And by sponsoring our own and others’ releases and catches, we have made over £200 for LUCIA via our JustGiving page. We had some lovely responses to our campaign. One person who found a book on a bench contacted LUCIA to say she worked in Ethiopian charities herself and offered assistance. One person (so far) who picked up a couple of books went onto the Justgiving site and made a donation when she saw the labels. And one participant, a BookCrosser for several years already, found her first book “in the wild” herself, only to discover it had been released as part of the project! (see all about it at here). I really enjoyed taking part in this project and seeing other people enjoying doing it, plus we have raised awareness and money for LUCIA. Thanks to all the participants and sponsors! People are already asking whether we’re going to do it next year…Note from the LUCIA Trustees: We would like to thank each and every one of the bookcrossers who participated in this fantastic challenge. It’s been very successful at spreading the word about LUCIA and also a lot of fun!

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