Have a look at your bookshelves. Do you have any books there that you are willing to part with for an activity that makes the world a library? Welcome to Books On The Run!


  • Book/s (if you don’t want to give up your own books try asking friends and family if they have unwanted books, check out charity/thrift shops/freecycle/library book sales)
  • Pen/s
  • BookCrossing labels (optional) with tape/gluestick
  • Sticky Notes (optional)
  • Bookmarks (optional)

There is a couple of different ways you can do this activity. Much is the same between the two methods but the second method involves being a member of BookCrossing.

Quick Method

Take a book and write a note inside it. Either on a blank page inside the actual book or on notepaper that you can place within the pages.

You can write whatever you want but if you are stuck you could write something like This book was set free as part of Books On The Run for IGGPPCamp 2018. If you want you could write down the url for IGGPPC and a little bit about it.

If you have a sticky note stick it to the cover and write FREE BOOK.

Then find somewhere to leave it, keeping in mind things like weather and security around unattended items in certain locations. If there is a Little Free Library or book exchange close by you could leave the books there . However you can be really creative with where you leave books – going with a theme (books about animals at the zoo, books about time travel by a clock…) or creative placement (doing a book tree, placing in the arms of a statue, stacking books like dominoes)

BookCrossing logo

image courtesy of BookCrossing

BookCrossing Method

This involves being registered on BookCrossing.com (though you can sign up using Facebook, Twitter or Good Reads if that makes it easier)

I could talk about BookCrossing for hours but here’s a quick explanation. BookCrossing exists to make the world a library. There’s members all over the world who have registered over 12 million books.

When you register a book you are given a unique BookCrossing ID number which you write in the book (or write on a label to stick in the book). From then you can release the book which is where you select where the book was left. The cool thing about doing it this way is you can track the journey of the book if the people that pick it up enter in the BCID. One of the books I released in my hometown of Greymouth, New Zealand ended up in Seoul, South Korea. Another ended up at a campsite in Orkney Islands, Scotland.

Like the quick method the world is your oyster library when it comes to where you can leave your books.

BookCrossing instructions

image courtesy of BookCrossing

Turn The Page!

Sharing books in this way is a great way to do random act of kindness and spread joy. A book that travels has stories beyond what is in its pages.

If you have any questions or thoughts about Books on the Run leave them in the comments or get in touch on Twitter @alkalinekiwi . I will be tweeting about this activity all throughout camp with mini challenges and ideas.