Nicholas Ning/Shanghai Daily news
Putuo District libraries are preparing to launch a new book-exchange program
next month that makes it easier to find a good read.
The initiative is called
"bookcrossing," and it allows readers to take books home, read them and pass
them on to someone else at a designated spot. It's similar to an informal
program in America, but here there are few more rules.
The Putuo District
Library is asking for donation, which will be put on its shelves and the shelves
of nine community libraries taking part in the program. More than 1,000 books
will be available initially, everything from school texts to novels written in
Chinese, English and other languages.
"We just want to make the books useful
and let people explore the pleasure of reading in a different way," said Putuo
District Library Director Si Ying.
The library gets donations every year.
Many books are hardly used, such as texts and tutorial materials.
not frequently read or borrowed from the library, but they might be of great use
to some students, and perhaps others who don't visit the library often," said
Si, explaining the background for the program.
In the United States,
bookcrossers contribute a book and place it wherever they like.
can track the book's whereabouts by posting a message on a special Website,
explaining where he put the book. Whoever takes it is supposed to share his or
her views about the book online.
In the local program, however, the books are
available only at Putuo Library and nine other community libraries.
don't need a library card to participate, but they are asked to register before
taking a book. After they're finished reading, they must return the book to a
bookcrossing shelf at a designated library or charity supermarket.
local residents, including some expatriates, have already experienced the
More than 200 locals have registered at
bookcrossing.com, a Website based in United States. Anthony Yu, a 25-year-old
doctor, participated in bookcrossing about two years ago.
"I read from the
magazine that many Shanghai residents were taking part in it. I thought it could
be fun and give me a chance to make friends. But when I left an English novel in
public, no one answered my call on the Web, and I have no idea where it is