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.
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.
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.
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.