Catching up and catches

I’ve been back from Wellington for three days, and so far I’ve failed miserably with my attempts to catch up with sleep, reading friends’ diaries, and writing my own. Maybe at the weekend…

I have managed (just!) to finish making release notes on all the books I released in Wellington though. A long slow process made worse by the fact that Wellington starts with W. That probably doesn’t make much sense unless you’re a bookcrosser (and a pretty prolific one at that), so maybe some explanation is in order: When you release a book, you first (after entering the BCID) have to select or enter the country, then the state or province, then the city, then the actual release location, and finally the date and time of the release. Each of the location selections opens a new page, so it can be a slow process, made even worse when the bookcrossing site is busy and pages are slow to load. To make the process quicker, there’s a nice drop-down list of shortcuts to places you’ve previously released books, which takes you straight to the last step.

A very clever solution, except that when they set up the site, nobody imagined just how much releasing some of us would be doing, so the shortcuts list is restricted to 250 entries. And there’s no way of editing them – you just get the first 250 entries on your list. And the list is in alphabetical order by city. Can you see now why releasing in Wellington could be a problem?

Currently my list only goes down as far as the Ds (about half way through the Dunedin entries), so to release in any city further down the alphabet I’ve got to go through all those steps of choosing the location. Every single time. And I released a lot of books in Wellington.

So no wonder it took me two whole days to do all the release notes. And no wonder one of the highlights of the convention for me was Skyring‘s announcement that the problem is one of the first things the site’s new programmer will be working on!


The convention was wonderful though, even if I haven’t had time yet to tell you just how wonderful. It was fantastic to see so many old friends again, and to make some new ones. And the secret projects went down very well 🙂

One thing a convention does is re-inspire you to get back into releasing books. So last night on my way to my ESOL class I released Colour the Sky Red by Annabel Murray at the bus stop, and today I released King’s Close by Christine Marion Fraser and The Goodbye Summer by Patricia Gaffney at the university (term starts on Monday, so there’s loads of new students wandering around trying to get enrolled this week).


I came home to quite a few catches. There were all the “tame” catches from other bookcrossers at the convention, of course, plus three wild catches from books I’d released around Wellington (Puff the Blue Kitten by Pierre Probst, Born Indian by WP Kinsella, and The Spark by Raymond Bowers), a sort-of catch from the Christmas book-tree (Christmas Gift by Barbara Hannay – which gwilk‘s neighbour caught, but didn’t make a journal entry on themself), a catch from that time-warp cafe in Waimate (The Tomb of Reeds by Sarah Baylis), and perhaps most exciting, aleonblue found Personal Velocity by Rebecca Miller, which I released at the Brisbane convention back in 2005, in a second-hand bookshop!

No matter how many catches I get, they’re always exciting 🙂


And now I really must try that catching up on sleep thing…

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