Blog No. 203
A while ago, no one knows exactly when (unless you were to do a cursory look on line) a principal in Belgium started a facbook group. She had too many books to fit on a shelf, so she hid some around her city and posted hints to the group as to where they could be found. It took off like crazy. There were international news stories about it (which is how I found out about it). The idea isn’t new. Geo cashing has been around for decades, and I’ve even heard about specifically hidden books around cities before. Still, it’s a neat idea, so a couple of writer friends and I stole it.
Over the last week, Jessica Gouin, Christian Laforet, and I put together a facebook group, created a couple of cool images (thanks Jessica) and made a printable form, and so on. With the infrastructure created, on Sunday, we all went out and hid books around the city. Jessica hit the East end and together with Christian, I scattered books from LaSalle, through Sandwich Town, to Down Town, and through Walkerville. In total, we hid twelve books (our own and others we had in our collections). As we were out hiding the books, like a bunny hiding chocolate eggs, we made the group live.
By the time we were done, all our pictures were posted, and our clues added to the group, we had our first couple members. Within twenty-four hours, we had thirty members and four books were found. Thankfully, they all followed the included rules and posted to the group that the books were found. Everything was going the way we hoped. The new members shared the word and even promised to hide more books of their own. Everything is going according to plan. Though I was happy to help get the group started, I don’t have the time or energy to run yet another thing. Seeing everyone take part in both the finding and hiding puts my mind at ease. Plus it was a bunch of fun to hid books, I want to be able to find some too!
For now, things are slowly growing and people are joining every day. I’m not going to lie, I do hope to get a little attention out of this. As an author, we are always on the lookout for ways to spread the word and get a little free publicity. It hasn’t happened yet, and if it doesn’t, that’s fine. It has all been worth while so far (and did I mention fun?). There were a few moment, hiding books with Christian, that I had to verbalize by growing excitement. The fact that I get to write, am considered part of the local writing community, and get invited to events is pretty great. It’s a lot better than watching TV every night (but not the specific night when your favourite show is on). Wandering around the city, finding hiding places, was another cool thing to add to the list.
If you live anywhere in Essex County, you should join the group and take part in the fun! Or use our page as a template to start a group in your own area.