It appears that the idea of books being released into the wild is one that has caught many people's imaginations. A quick google surprised me with how many hits come up for terms such as 'books in the wild' or 'releasing books'. There are sites with photographs of books being read in public, books being read in unusual places, photos of lost books and sites which, similar to this one, 'release' books and then track them. Bang goes my smug pleasure in how original I am! I don't know why I hadn't googled this before, particularly before releasing the first of my books. Rookie mistake. Guess I was too caught up in getting the books out there - into the wild..
I am curious about this personification of books, and that the idea of setting them free is so widespread. On Twitter there are regular comments from authors about 'releasing their books into the world'. I can understand this in regard to authors. Books are their creations. They have caused sleepness nights, headaches, frustrations and joy. They are a product of blood, sweat and tears, and the relationship with the book changes as the process of publication and release for public consumption occurs. I believe many authors feel, once published and loosed on the world, the book doesn't belong to them any more. It seems that the readers then pick up the reins and books develop a life of their own as they are read, discussed and shared.
These 'books in the wild' sites show that the love of the physical book is still very much alive and kicking, not
usurped by electronic formats. Whilst we read a good book we are
engaged and challenged on many different levels. This mental and emotional attachment becomes
personal and we become temporary custodians of something that hopefully has
the power to affect us in a myriad of ways. Maybe this is why books, inanimate objects after all, are given animateness and there are so many blogs devoted to the secret lives of books?
Now, back to worrying about whether I should change the name of this blog or not. 'Books in the Wild'? 'Books on the Loose'? 'Off the Shelf'? Hmm...