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  • Writer's pictureLinda Borromeo

What Happens When a Lighthouse Book Goes Wild?

After a week of what we call "Junuary" in the Pacific Northwest—a week filled with cloudy gray skies—I woke up to the summer sun streaming through my window.

It was definitely a day to have an outdoor adventure. My mind went back to a blog I'd recently read by my Scottish reading friend, Allison M. She told the story of how she set books free via

Allison hosts a terrific blogsite, Mary Queen of Plots, about author Mary Stewart. In her post, Allison relates the adventures of three books she released "into the wild" on her holiday to Poland.

I had never heard of Bookcrossing before, but loved the way Allison described it. It seemed 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 selected Zuanich Point Park as the location for the book's release. Overlooking the San Juan Islands, it was 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. He 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 enjoyed 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 lighthouse replicas. I sometimes find them in surprising places.

Below is a picture of a "lighthouse" 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 pass by close to the area where I released The Lightkeeper's Menagerie.

Mystery Shores by Linda Borromeo

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:

A watercraft I spotted on my Bookcrossing walk.

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 If so, I'll update this blog and also let you know in my newsletter.

Next Up: What do baby raccoons and J.R.R. Tolkien have in common? Find the answer here:

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