Futurists had their loved “words in freedom”. The new century, despite the advent of e-books and e-book readers, finds its form of editorial freedom in bookcrossing. Initiative launched in 2001, which consists essentially in distributing free books identified by a code to follow their path. The distribution takes place through dedicated and unpaid initiatives during which volumes are scattered around among city and nature. Every place is a good place as long as the books are available so that they can continue their journey from hand to hand.
Literature let us fly and travel but with BookCrossing the movement becomes real and adds a “social” dimension to the literary genre that is more intimate and solitary, because the initiatives include the participation of members and volunteers of various associations and with the unique identifier which allows those who found it to give information about it to relate the temporary owners and readers.
The philosophy behind it is simple and poetic, it is the will (dream or attempt are variants as well accepted) to “make the whole world a library” and of course the desire to distribute culture, knowledge, literature. And if on the one hand there are “official” sites, meetings and initiatives (to make a book free you need to register on the site and have the identifier), on the other hand, these activities have triggered a series of collateral literary actions that follow the same principles, disseminating books around the city and creating collection and exchange points, but without being, so to speak, certified, as the initiative Libera libri, which is a variant, with more direct contact between people.
Circles and book-sharing sites exist all over the world, and Italy does its part (the official website of Italian bookcrossing is www.bookcrossing-italy.com with information about meetings, volumes and how to participate) with recognized international initiatives related to the circuit and with different events. Registered, identified, marked, it is important that the volumes travel around, even for kilometers, passing from hand to hand and helping to move on culture and knowledge.
If exchanging books among friends is not enough anymore just try to look carefully in the streets of your town, maybe you could stumble into a free volume.