Most of you have probably heard of, the site that allows you to release a book back into the world by leaving it somewhere, then trace it’s onward journey via the internet. So far they have nearly two million books registered and a quick look at my local area shows that a book was released just 9 minutes ago a a nearby train station!

Well on the same theme of books I found (online) an interesting store in Baltimore called ‘The Book Thing’. started some six years ago by a guy called Russell Wattenberg, the book thing is a giant store that gives away books to anyone for free!

Wattenberg motivation is simple “What I try to do is take the books from people who don’t want them and give them to people who do want them. There is some selfishness involved, because I figure that if everyone reads a lot there’ll be more people to have intelligent conversations with.” He says.”I hate seeing good books that people can use in boxes in people’s basements or collecting dust on shelves; especially when there are people who don’t have the money to buy a new book or ready access to used books.”

‘The Book Thing’ was started when Wattenberg was managing a local Baltimore Pub. He started by giving away some old books to a group of school teachers who used to visit his bar for Happy Hour on Fridays. pretty soon word spread a people were soon donating books at his bar saying “This is for your book thing.” Hence, The Book Thing of Baltimore, Inc.

I really like both those ideas, and both are very similar to ideas I had when dreaming about starting my own little coffee house called ‘PoshCoffee’. Maybe one day I’ll do that.
The Book Thing (Baltimore)
Wahington Post article about ‘The Book Thing’