A Lighthouse Book Goes Wild
I first heard about Bookcrossing.com from my Scottish reading friend, Allison M. Allison has a terrific blog about the author Mary Stewart. In her post, Allison relates the adventures of three Mary Stewart books she released "into the wild" on her holiday to Poland recently.
I had never heard of Bookcrossing before, but love the way Allison describes it. It seems like such a fun way to share books and follow the path they take.
I learned that Bookcrossing allows readers to register a book and then leave it on a park bench, a café table, or any other place where a book can be found and appreciated by a new reader.
I wanted to try sharing a book myself after seeing Allison's blog. I selected a lighthouse theme for my first try at Bookcrossing. The book is by one of my favorite authors, Elinor DeWire: The Lightkeepers' Menagerie: Stories of Animals at Lighthouses.
I picked the beautiful Zuanich Point Park as the location. Overlooking the San Juan Islands, it seemed like the perfect place for a lighthouse book to go wild. Next, I found a bench overlooking the water.
Here's the view the book had while waiting for someone to find it:
A sharp, gusting wind almost tore the camera out of my hands while I took the pictures (above). There's often a first-class wind at Zuanich Park for flying kites, and it also provided a great time for this kiteboarder who zipped by right in front of the bench while I left the book:
I braved the wind and took a walk while I waited to see if someone would discover the book. I took in the sights as I walked along the waterfront for another hour or so. Loving lighthouses the way I do, I'm always on the lookout for their distinctive shape. I sometimes find them in surprising places.
Below is a picture of a lighthouse replica I admired before doubling back. Providing an inspiring view of Bellingham Bay, guests can stay in this tower as part of the Hotel Bellwether:
Since it resembles the lighthouse on the cover of The Lightkeepers' Menagerie, it fit right in with the theme of the day.
I stay on the lookout for lighthouses of all kinds since they have a special allure for me. They represent stories of faraway history we can still see and touch. That's why I enjoyed setting my story, Mystery Shores, on a lighthouse island along the Pacific Northwest coast. It gave me a wonderful excuse to delve into the romance and history of lighthouses as the mystery unfolds.
When my characters take a steamboat heading to the wild Washington coast, Christie and Melina actually pass by the area where I released The Lightkeeper's Menagerie.
After I headed back and drew closer to the bench, I wondered if The Lightkeepers' Menagerie would still be there. There were less people around than usual because of the high wind.
I found the bench standing empty. Yes! Someone had picked up the book. This wayfaring lighthouse book had now started out on a new adventure.
All in all, any day that combines books, lighthouses, and a long walk by the San Juan Islands can be summed up this way:
More to Explore
I'll keep following the journey of The Lightkeepers' Menagerie—I hope those who "catch" the book will leave a note in the travel journal at Bookcrossing.com. If so, I'll update this blog and also let you know in my newsletter.