Book hunting

Ola @ Olareads sent me a message a while ago about a new phenomenon in Belgium. Now there’s not only Pokémon hunting but also book hunting. This was the first time I’ve heard of it but it got my interest of course and I did some researching.

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Belgians are hunting for books instead of Pokemon (Reuters)

Inspired by the success of Pokemon Go, a Belgian primary school headmaster has developed an online game for people to search for books instead of cartoon monsters, attracting tens of thousands of players in weeks.

While with Pokemon Go, players use a mobile device’s GPS and camera to track virtual creatures around town, Aveline Gregoire’s version is played through a Facebook group called “Chasseurs de livres” (“Book hunters”).

Players post pictures and hints about where they have hidden a book and others go to hunt them down. Once someone has finished reading a book, they “release” it back into the wild.

“While I was arranging my library, I realized I didn’t have enough space for all my books. Having played Pokemon Go with my kids, I had the idea of releasing the books into nature,” Gregoire told Reuters.

Though it was only set up a few weeks ago, more than 40,000 people are already signed up to Gregoire’s Facebook group.

The hidden tomes range from books for toddlers through to Stephen King horrors, placed around Belgian towns and countryside, often wrapped in clear plastic to keep off the rain.

The Detournay family from the town of Baudour in southern Belgium said the game was now part of their morning walks. They found one book and left four others for people to find.

“My daughter said it’s like hunting for easter eggs, only with books,” Jessica Detournay said.

So in the mean time there are already two Facebook groups : De Boekenjagers and Chasseurs de livres

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I really like the idea but the whole concept is just a little bit chaotic because you have to scroll through lots of different posts and read them all to see where the books are dropped or you have to search manually. If you find one you can post something to inform the owner but not everyone has Facebook either.

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So even though I really like the idea, I love bookcrossing much more. You should definitely check it out. You can simply insert the country and cities where you are interested in and when a book is placed there, you get an alert by mail. Simple as that. It’s also a lot easier to follow a book you placed from person to person because there really is a registration system here.

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31 thoughts on “Book hunting

  1. I love Bookcrossing and the idea of it :). I’m just having issues with letting go of a book myself. I printed out some tags last year for leaving some books on the train, but I physically wasn’t able to part with my books :’). HELP!

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  2. I love the creativity – seems like the idea became more successful than they expected so they hadn’t really thought through the best way to document the released books. I’m a new recruit to book crossing by the way….

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  3. The idea is awesome, especially to remind kids and young people that pokemon are not the only fun thing to look for! I guess they were a bit victim of their success! 🙂 I did not know Bookcrossing, it sounds good!

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  4. At “De boekenjagers” you don’t have to scroll your way down, there’s a magnifying glass on the right upper corner, where you can enter your city et voilà.. No registration needed of ISBN-numbers.. Easy peasy! 🙂
    What makes it more fun than Bookcrossing is that there is an actual hunt: you see photos or a cryptic description of the location and start hunting. Seeing pictures of people happy with the book they found is so much more rewarding than a notification. 😀
    People told me that the amount of books on Bookcrossing in Belgium is pretty limited too; at De Boekenjagers we have days that about 20 books are being set free.
    Plus: we’re an actual community talking about books and our love for books in between hunting which is also great. 🙂

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    • Thank you Veerle for stopping by! I only found out recently that there’s a possibility to search by entering a city in the search field of your group. Let’s just say they both have their perks and I agree that the best thing about The Boekenjagers is the community. It’s never boring to hear members talking about books, seeing what books are out there and what other members are reading!

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    • It is fun to find a book like this! I already left a book (a Cecilia Ahern novel) via Bookcrossing.. someone took it but there’s been no report of it on the site unfortunately :-(. I would have liked to see where it went though… I also left one with a little paper of the Facebook group Boekenjagers but no message there either. I haven’t found a novel yet close to where I live or work but would love to find a ‘book treasure’!

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