When I am releasing a book, I have to choose one of the following categories. What do they mean; what effect do they have? Which should I choose? To be read: ??? by whom? Available: well, I assume it IS available if Im sending it out Permanent collection: whose? Reserved: why, if I'm sending it out? Travelling ??? Sorry, I'm lost. I expect this is all obvious to all you experienced chaps, but please be patient with us newbies! Can anyone kindly define each category please?
This bit's in the FAQ too, but just to highlight it: when you let a book go, you can make release notes to indicate where and when you've released it. If you're giving or mailing the book to a specific person, the "controlled release" option applies; it means the book is not out in the wild where anybody who passes by can find it. If you're leaving the book somewhere and you don't know who will pick it up, use the "wild release" option, and enter as much detail as you choose to about the location and time of your release. (I like to add details - the weather, why I'm visiting a particular place, why I matched a book with a certain sculpture or hiking trail - and photos of the release spots, but you don't have to go to that much detail if you don't want to.) Either type of release note will, as Moem said, set the status to "traveling" automatically.
If you don't want to make release notes, or if you're having trouble with them for some reason, you can just make a journal entry and explain the release info in the text: "Gave this to my cousin in Toledo", "Left this on a bus in London", etc. In that case you should set the status to "traveling", which means "the book is no longer in my possession".
For some examples of how all this works, you may want to browse the "Site Watch" forum; people post interesting releases and catches there, and the types of journal entries and release notes may give you some ideas for your own releases.