Bookleggers: First Visit

A few months back, another BookCrosser released a book at a place called Lester’s, for a Bookleggers event. The journal prompted me to immediately find out more about Bookleggers. The name is ingenious for this little sleathy pop-up library. Visitors get a free book, or more if they bring some to trade or pay $2 per book. My first reaction was, this is such a cool idea! And, being a BookCrosser, my second thought was naturally that this would be a great place to release some books.

It is a bit tricky trying to find Bookleggers, as they are “a library on the run.” Their website doesn’t post a schedule, though they announce their upcoming events on twitter.

As their last two events happened on the last Thursday of the month at Lester’s, I presumed it would be their schedule, until by chance I checked my tweets and found that they would pop up the third Thursday of October at a bar called Blackbird Ordinary. Now, my clubbing and pubbing days were long behind since I got married, and it is hard to imagine a library inside a bar. Low lights, loud music, smoke, drinks… with some trepidation I ventured out anyway with a bunch of BookCrossing books.

Despite the fact that I downplayed the bar part, and up-played the books and library (spells BORING) part, my hubby must have sniffed something amiss as he offered to go with me rather than staying home after dinner. “Hmmm… they have bouncer? What kind of place is this library thing at? It looks seedy…” commented my hubby as we passed by the place, searching for parking spot. “Well, that’s a security guard… Library has security guards too… don’t they?” Thursday night at Brickell seems to be a busy night (so I told you we haven’t gone out in a long while…) and it was hard to find parking on the street, and flat evening rates in lots were too pricey for our purpose. Turns out a blessing that my hubby came along, so he could occupy an empty space under a No Parking sign while I went into Blackbird Ordinary.

It was easy enough to spot the impressive line of shelves, filled with books.

This is an official photo posted by Bookleggers, as mine come nowhere as nice.

There was a line of little candles, which I hold up to read the book spines.

The collection is very high quality, few romances or thrillers, but more on the literary, classics, and the like. They even sort them by fiction on top and non fiction below. A lot of great books! I was determined not to take home more books than I took out, and barely keep that resolution. I was hoping to find the BC books that was released a month or two back, but I forgot the title, and it felt a bit like cheating to hunt for it. One of the organizer did remember about some BookCrossing books being dropped off in the past.

Look at the nice stuff I got:

A few of them are wishlist books for my BookCrossing friends. There is a beautiful book on wine tasting, and a book about Natural History Museum. Can’t say it’s a wishlist book as I never knew it exists, but I enjoy visiting Natural History Museum wherever I go, so this book is my great find of the night! The Qadi book is a fiction based in Beuirot and came highly recommended by one of the organizers.

When I checked out at the library, (yes this is a library… no card to fill but you don’t just walk out with an armful of books) I was kindly reminded again that I could have taken more books and I had to politely but steadfastly decline. They stamped each book with a nice Bookleggers stamp.

I had so much fun, I am already starting to save up books for my next round of Bookleggers visit! Huge kudos to the guys who started this. A total labor of love – and serious labor too, with hundreds of books to tote around, set up and take down. Seriously, if you are in South Florida, check it out and give them some support!

Published in: on October 20, 2012 at 10:27 am  Leave a Comment  

World Book Night 2012

I’m a bit late but here’s a recap for my World Book Night books giveaway.

The book I gave away is one of my favorite read from last year, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. I picked up my book from Barnes & Noble, though next year I probably would get it from the local bookstore instead, even if it means driving further and paying for parking. They hosted a WBN party, not to mention that they likely have a better idea what WBN is.

The Barnes & Nobles staff was totally clueless. First person thought I ordered a book but of course couldn’t find my order. I explained to the next person I was here to pick up books for WBN. She totally didn’t understand what WBN is. “Is that a school project?”

Third person, who took 15 min to appear, said yes he knows about WBN. Then he gave me a bookmark and said, yes, WBN, it’s next week, you come and we give away free books. I was like, umm, I don’t believe that’s how it works… I am supposed to be the one giving the books away! When I explained that I received an email to pick up a box of books, the response was: “oh, the books are here already? I thought it’s next week?” “Yes, I need them this week so I can give them out next week!”

Anyway, I got the books. I made some BookCrossing labels to put in the books.

When the day of the event arrived, I and a friend went out to give away our books. We went to Starbucks, Cold Stone Creamery, Pei Wei, and a few other locations. Mostly the response is enthusiastic, although a few are quite adamant that they do NOT read books. There were several groups of college students at Starbucks, I thought they may like the books. Apparently I oversaw the fact that they were knee deep in a pile of books already, working on projects or cramming for exams, and the last thing they ever want was another book.

I was also surprised at how incredulous people felt when I told them the books were free. Free? Really free? No string attached? No donation taken? Come to think of it, I guess I am just spoiled by BookCrossing. What with the book buffet at conventions, the OBCZs, and the generous RABCKs given by other BookCrossers, I’ve taken free books as a fact of life.

Anyway, here are some pictures I’ve taken.

Published in: on May 20, 2012 at 12:44 am  Leave a Comment  

A Very Yellow Release

Bally decides to stay home today and read some books.  He comes across this very yellow-looking book.


It’s a cookbook, and Bally starts drooling as he flips the pages.  He comes across this recipe for hamburgers and starts craving for one.


So Bally starts making his burger.  Alas, the onion is making him cry!!Image

And he makes a bloody mess of the tomatoes!


Then he burns his beef patty.Image

The still hungry Bally decides to go hunt for food instead.

Look, what’s this Yellow Submarine?Image

It’s a food truck!  Hmmm… they have yellow hamburger and yellow dog!  (Here’s a link to the menu)Image

Bally decides to order a yellow dog.Image

The hot dog is topped with crushed pineapple and potato chips.  It’s delicious!!Image

Now with a full stomach of yellow dog and fries, Bally is feeling happy again.  He reaches the conclusion, like many guys do, that life is quite enjoyable without the need to cook.  However, while an average dude may just trash a cookbook, Bally being Bally, he decides to release it at the back of the truck for a lucky reader.Image

If this release looks very yellow to you, that’s because it was originally scripted for the Yellow release in the BC Monopoly game.  Unfortunately, torrential rain and rambling truck made me unable to do the release as planned.  So here it goes, an “underwater” release for the last round of BookCrossing Monopoly.

Published in: on November 23, 2011 at 11:13 pm  Comments (2)  

How To Make A Bally Roll

In the BookCrossing Monopoly game, this round we landed on “restaurant”. Looks like it’s time to take Bally to wine and dine. Turns out Bally likes sushi. In fact, he likes it so much he’s turned into one!

First, we have to decide what book to release. As the organizer of the Yummy Yummy Bookbox, I have no shortage of food-themed titles. I settle on this one, In The Miso Soup. It’s a thriller with quite a bit of gore.

I get a sheet of yellow foam (from Michael’s) to cover the book.

Now on to make a Bally Roll. I need a white towel, and a strip of black paper.

Bally is ready to roam!

Tada!! Bally Roll!!

Now Bally is ready to strike. I take him to this merry-go-round sushi place, or in Japanese, kaiten zushi. I love kaiten zushi since I was in high school, because it doesn’t feel awkward to eat alone, it is fun to watch the sushi parading by, and I can just eat enough to fit my student budget.

Look! There is some tamago sushi! Hmmm, they look kinda like Bally Roll, don’t they?

Bally decides to fill to his belly first – with a banana nutella roll, which he enjoys very much.

Well, it’s time! Bally hops onto the sushi boat, and float gently down the stream. Merrily merrily merrily, there a book goes free!

Published in: on August 27, 2011 at 11:34 pm  Comments (1)  

BC Monopoly Release

In the BookCrossing Monopoly Game, our team landed on the square “Playground”, so we have to scout around for the perfect spot to do our release.

I found it in Aventura Mall, where they have built a super-kawaii is an indoor playground in front of Sears.

First I spot the rainbow. In the last round we have planned to use the book Wizard of Oz, but so happens my team mate fell ill and was not able to do the release. I thought, it would be perfect to just place Wizard of Oz over the rainbow. Then I looked again at the picture. What is that? A giant white… tadpole? Is it just me? Could I be the first person to notice that it looks like a …. very adorable giant sperm?

Now I found the perfect location I need the perfect book to go with it. As there isn’t time to shop online, I visited the local used book store, Book Barn. Not only did I find the perfect title, So That’s How I Was Born, I also caught a wild BC book! I was digging through the bins and noticed a Bally label on the spine. Turns out this book has been in the wild for almost 7 years!!

Anyway, we believe that fun and education should go together, so what’s more appropriate than releasing this title by the giant “tadpole”?

We hope that by leaving this book at this playground, when a little boy asks his daddy, “Daddy, what is this?”

“Er, it’s a wisp of cloud… a water sprout.. an eel… No actually I think it’s a tadpole..”

“A tadpole?”

“No, Bobby dear… I think it’s time you know. It’s a sperm.”

“What is a sperm? Do I have a sperm?”

Daddy can then confidently read from this book, “Well, only a daddy has a sperm and only a mommy has an egg. A sperm looks like a little fish or tadpole… it goes inside a mommy’s body, it swims to meet the mommy’s egg. When they join together, a baby starts to grow inside the mommy.”

I went to the mall on a weekday morning. There was an attendant so I was a bit worried that I may not be let in, but I guess I look harmless enough.

So tell me, what does it look like to you? My husband said it looks like a marshmallow, stubbornly refused to acknowledge that marshmallows don’t usually have tails… Hmm, is it just lack of imagination? Something more Freudian?

Soon after I released the book, a little boy discovered it.

But then the little boy walked away, and the attendant noticed the book on the floor. So I had to make a hurried exit in case she came after me. XD I am definitely not the wild release type of BCer!!

Published in: on July 31, 2011 at 2:42 am  Comments (1)