Half-way through January

Looks like 2009 is going to be another year of great intentions as far as my blog goes. Usual story – too much interesting (and “interesting”) stuff going on in life to spend time sitting at the computer writing about it.

Anyway, what I’ve been doing for the last couple of weeks:

The bookcrossing picnic was a great success. The numbers were low, as predicted, but we did have a new member come along, who was very keen, and has since signed up to come to the convention. And the weather even held out long enough for us to do a bit of a release walk through the gardens (though it was a good thing we had the forethought to put the books in plastic bags, because not long after we left there was the most enormous downpour of rain and hail).

Back at work on the 5th, and back to extreme chaos. The mess that management had created before Christmas hadn’t been sorted out in my absence, of course, so guess whose desk it all landed on when I got back? It’s taken most of the last two weeks of running round frantically to get things reasonably under control.

And this is just the start – there’s more changes planned that will keep things similarly chaotic until at least the middle of the year. Fun fun fun. I’m trying to keep a philosophical attitude to it all…

Christchurch has been the place to be in January, with visiting bookcrossers popping up all over the place. First we had alkaline-kiwi and earok passing through on their way back to Auckland the weekend after New Years, so we had a meetup for them, to which TheLetterB and TheLetterC came too, being up in Christchurch for a few days.

Then last weekend Sherlockfan was down from Wellington to watch her grandchildren’s skating competitions, so we went out to New Brighton for lunch with her and lusks.

Then otakuu came up for a few days, so she was at Tuesday night’s regular meetup (which actually turned into quite a big one, because as well as the regulars, lusks and her friend were there, and otakuu’s cousin came along for a wee while too).

And next week boreal is going to be here, so we’re having another meetup for her.

It’s been great catching up with all these old friends (even if the credit card is looking a little worn after all that eating out!) – makes me look forward even more to April, when I get to see not only these friends again, but even more friends from even further afield.

Lytteltonwitch and I have been having fun doing the weekend challenges that libbybook set up on BCNZ. Last weekend’s theme was mountains, so what more excuse did we need for a day-trip up to Arthur’s Pass so we could release our mountain-themed books (Climbing Olympus by Kevin J Anderson and The Everest Hotel by Alan Sealy) in the mountains?

Of course, we released one or two books along the way too 😉 and even finally got to try the pies at Sheffield (which were definitely worth the hype).

For a change, I remembered to take photos of almost every release, so you can track our travels through the release notes:

West Melton:
On the Lion’s Side by Ann Pilling

Act of Darkness by Simon Shaw
Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

Cyber Quest: Pharaoh’s Tomb by Sigmund Brouwer
Executive by Piers Anthony

Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams
A Crack in Forever by Jeannie Brewer

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Christine by Stephen King

Lake Lyndon:
Slumber Party by Christopher Pike
The Rendezvous by Evelyn Anthony

People Might Hear You by Robin Klein (caught!)
The Night is for Hunting by John Marsden
Angel Baby by Lindsey Dawson

Arthur’s Pass:
The Cabbage Patch Fib by Paul Jennings
Birdy by William Wharton
The Return of Nathan Brazil by Jack L Chalker
A Maiden’s Grave by Jeffrey Deaver
The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin
A World Gone Mad by Clark Darlton
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke
Tron by Brian Daley

Klondyke Corner:
Peeling the Onion by Wendy Orr
Animorphs: The Message by KA Applegate

Cave Stream:
White Jazz by James Elroy
Dinner at Alberta’s by Russell Hoban

Castle Hill:
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
The Yellow Book of Bedtime Stories
Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey

Porter’s Pass:
Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte

Chain Reaction by Elise Title
Dojo Rats: Entering the Way by James Raven

The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted by Harry Harrison

Fighting, Teasing and Bullying by John Pearce
Night Shift by Stephen King

All that releasing had an unexpected effect: I’m now in the top 100 list for the world for number of books released! Number 97, in fact. The stats in that list must include controlled releases (because according to my bookshelf I’m still another 50-odd off rea
ching 3000 wild releases), but still an exciting moment.

Screenshot in case I get bumped back down below 100:

(Of course, we all know statistics aren’t important… but pretty cool, eh?)

And of course lots of releases = lots of catches. A few recent ones:

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett: sometimes a book and a reader were just meant to be together.

The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles: 7 unexplained months between release and catch

The Dragon at Noonday by Edith Pargeter: a second-generation catch. Pity none of the finders have enjoyed it so far, but at least it’s travelling.

Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat: one of the books released at the picnic survived the rain, at least.

The Party Wall by Annabel Dilke: a catch from last year’s Festival of Lights in Lyttelton.

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