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Bookcrossing in St Albans

Read and release

Bookcrossing is 'the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise' (Concise OED, August '04).

To celebrate the launch of in November 08, we released books all over the city. From April to December 09, we teamed up with Waterstone's on St Peters Street to set up St Albans' first official Bookcrossing Zone. We're now looking for a new official bookcrossing zone - volunteers welcome!

We're inviting you to join the world's biggest free book club. It's simple, fun, free and a great way to share books.

Here's how it works:

  • Register your book at and record the unique Bookcrossing ID (BCID) number that will track it on its travels
  • Write the BCID number and a welcome message in the book
  • Release it. Leave it at the Bookcrossing Zone in Waterstone's, on a park bench, a coffee shop, a pub, anywhere that a new reader might find it
  • When the book is 'caught' and the finder makes a journal entry, you'll receive an email
  • For further information and faqs – read our short guide to using the Bookcrossing Zone (pdf) or visit

Bookcrossing in St Albans

  • Look out for the books we release and make a 'caught' journal entry if you find one
  • Set up a Bookcrossing Zone at your workplace. This is a great way to generate goodwill and to bring in bookcrossers who use the 'go hunting' feature of bookcrossing to find new releases
  • Spread the word to friends and family

Some facts about Bookcrossing

  • Bookcrossing began in 2001 as a small community project
  • Over 700,000 people in more than 130 countries do it


  • The UK is the second largest bookcrossing country
  • More than 5 million books have been registered and set free
  • The Bookcrossing running book mascot is named Ballycumber, after Douglas Adams' definition of a ballycumber (n) as: 'one of the six half-read books lying somewhere in your bed'

Books released at the Bookcrossing Zone


  • Cowboys Are My Weakness by Pam Houston
  • Tractor Trouble by Ronne Randall
  • The Hour I FIrst Believed by Wally Lamb
  • Damage by Josephine Hart
  • Happy Dog, Sad Dog by Sam Lloyd
  • Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler
  • The Whole Day Through by Patrick Gale
  • Dating Big Bird by Laura Zigman
  • A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer
  • Gary Rhodes' Fabulous Food by Gary Rhodes
  • Excession by Iain M. Banks
  • How to be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward
  • The Breaker by Minette Walters
  • Without Mercy by Renate Dorrestein
  • Mystery Man by Colin Bateman
  • Too Close To Home by Linwood Barclay
  • Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson
  • The Tenderness of Wolves by Steph Penney
  • The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas
  • Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory
  • Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks
  • The Sugar Club Cookbook by Peter Gordon
  • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  • England. England by Julian Barnes
  • Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
  • Bill Bryson - The Complete Notes by Bill Bryson
  • Coastliners by Joanne Harris
  • The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
  • The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J K Rowling
  • It Must Have Been Something I Ate by Jeffrey Steingarten
  • The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten
  • Burnt Toast by Terri Hatcher
  • The Granta Book of Reportage by various
  • The Lord of the Rings 3-in-1 by J R R Tolkien
  • The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger
  • The Secret River by Kate Granville
  • The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
  • Veronika Decides To Die by Paul Coehlo
  • The Outcast by Sadie Jones
  • The Family Way by Tony Parsons
  • Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (2 copies)
  • The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld
  • Your Blue-eyed Boy by Helen Dunmore
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  • The Sea House by Esther Freud
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  • Cityboy: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile by Geraint Anderson
  • The Correctionsby Jonathan Franzen
  • What to Expect the First Year by Eisenberg et al
  • Pudding and Pie by Sarah Williams, Ian Beck
  • Ride a Cock Horseby Sarah Williams, Ian Beck
  • Round and Round the Garden by Sarah Williams, Ian Beck
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Planning Your Career in a Week by Wendy Hirsh
  • Heartburn by Nora Ephron
  • The Post-birthday World by Lionel Shriver
  • Dark Fire by C. J. Sansom
  • The Tainted Relic by The Medieval Murderers
  • Shattering the Glass Ceiling: The Woman Manager by Prof Marilyn Davidson
  • Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson
  • Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
  • No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay
  • The Accidental by Ali Smith
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
  • A Vicious Circle by Amanda Craig
  • The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
  • The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
  • On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  • The Woman in the Fifth by Douglas Kennedy
  • Engleby by Sebastian Faulks
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • We All Live in a Perry Groves World by Perry Groves
  • The Chronicles of Clovis by Saki
  • The Distant Echo by Val McDermid
  • London Orbital by Iain Sinclair
  • Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
  • Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction – Sue Townsend
  • For the Relief of Unbearable Urges by Nathan Englander
  • Happy to be Here by Garrison Keillor
  • The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business by Werner Holzwarth
  • The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies
  • Great Meadow: An Evocation by Dirk Bogade
  • Careershift: How to Plan and Develop a Successful Career by Bridget Wright.
  • Transform Your Life: 10 Steps to Real Results by Carole Gaskell

Books released into the wild (44 books so far...)

  • Atonement by Ian McEwan. Left in Costa Coffee, The Maltings.
  • Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle. Left in Café Revive, Marks & Spencer, St Peters Street.
  • Kitty Helps Out by Nicola Edwards and Hippos Go Berserk! by Sandra Boynton. Both left in the Maltings Dental Surgery.
  • Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks. Left in Druckers coffee shop, The Harlequin, Watford.
  • DK Touch and Feel Shapes (no author). Left in the child seat of a trolley in Sainsbury's car park.
  • Devil's Advocate by John Humphrys. Left in Caffe Nero, High Street, Harpenden.
  • Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. Left on a table in Inn on the Park, Verulamium Park.
  • Killing Me Softly by Nicci French. Left in Starbucks, Borders, London Colney Retail Park.
  • Dirt Music by Tim Winton and Not the End of the World by Christopher Brookmyre. Left in Costa Coffee, The Maltings.
  • Brother and Sister by Joanna Trollope. Left in Café Revive, Marks & Spencer, St Peters Street.
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Left in the Steamer Trading Cookshop in The Maltings.
  • The Snapper by Roddy Doyle. Left in a newspaper bin outside The Workstation on St Peters Street.
  • Angel Rock by Darren Williams. Left outside The Alban Arena ticket office.
  • The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood. Left by the notebooks in Paperchase, The Maltings.
  • The Van by Roddy Doyle. Left on a table outside the bread shop in The Maltings.
  • The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. Left in the Tourist Information Office.
  • The Commitments by Roddy Doyle. Left in the Magistrates' Court.
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Left on a chair in Inn on the Park, Verulamium Park.
  • Strange Places, Questionable People by John Simpson. Left outside Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub.
  • Jericho by Dirk Bogarde. Left in the Café at the Abbey.
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Left in the Photo Me booth just outside the main Post Office.
  • Laughable Loves by Milan Kundera. Left in Costa Coffee, The Maltings.
  • The Shakespeare Miscellany by David Crystal and Ben Crystal. Left at the west door entrance to the Abbey.
  • Jupiter's Travels by Ted Simon. Left on top of the display bins at Sainsbury's petrol station forecourt.
  • I Don't Know How She Does it by Allison Pearson. Given to a busy working mum to make her laugh.
  • With Nails by Richard E. Grant. Left on a bench behind the checkout at Waitrose.
  • Doctor Who - Wetworld by Mark Michalowski. Left in Verulamium Park, just before it rained.
  • A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. Left in Café on the Hill, Holywell Hill.
  • The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. Left in Starbucks, Borders, London Colney Retail Park.
  • The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth by Kaz Cooke. Left in an appropriate section of Boots, London Colney Retail Park.
  • Doctor Who - Forever Autumn by Mark Morris. Left in the boys' shoes section of Clarks, St Peters Street.
  • The Island by Victoria Hislop. Left on a table in Starbucks, near the Clock Tower.
  • Shakespeare in a Nutshell: A Rhyming Guide to All the Plays by James Muirden. Left on the spiral staircase just inside the Abbey Gatehouse.
  • On Green Dolphin Street by Sebastian Faulks. Left on a table in the beer garden of The Peahen pub.
  • Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern. Left in the magazine rack at Westfield News, Abbey Avenue.
  • My Booky Wook by Russell Brand. Left at Karla Jordans Hairdressing, Abbey Avenue.
  • Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris, Picture Pairs by Beth Harwood and Peekaboo Baby! by Mandy Ross. Left at St Albans Music School.
  • The Beach by Alex Garland and Dead Air by Iain Banks. Left in the café at Sainsbury's St Albans.
  • The Brethren by John Grisham. Left at Starbucks above Sainsbury's in London Colney Retail Park.

For more information visit If you like reading, check out the words and books section of our website.

Read and release!


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