Why don't my controlled releases ever get journaled?

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Any tips on how to get your friends to journal a book? I release books to friends a lot. We live in Switzerland, where English books are expensive. So I give away most of my books rather than wild releasing them. I try to explain BC without preaching, and they all seem to think it is a cool idea, but hardly anyone actually journals. Not even the ones who are members and love BC. I don't even care if they want to keep it, or never read it, I just wish they would journal to say so! Do you guys have any tips to help friends take the time to journal?


Proseknitic 6 yrs ago
No clue
I have had the same experience. I have one person to whom I pass books who journals 50% of the time. Her face lit up when I mentioned that she could just post she had received the book rather than waiting till it was read. That problem solved.

Others promise and never do journal. Written language could be an issue - I read multiple languages but don't journal in anything other than my native English since it is too much work - avoiding sounding like an idiot or a three year old. Might remind your friends that posting in German/French/Italian is just fine even if the book is English language.

I just did that on two books one woman brought to our Strikktreff. The last entry had been 2006 and it wasn't her. No clue how long they have been on her shelf, but I am hoping the original Bookcrosser will be glad to see these two books resurface.

I don't know why, but I thing we all take the "friends don't journal" personally while if we get even 1-2% return on wild releases we are thrilled. In the best case, people are busy. In the worst, they don't care.


Might remind your friends that posting in German/French/Italian is just fine even if the book is English language.

This is good advice. Always consider the effort: most people do not usually write even a sentence or two about a book they read or even movie they watched. I think random strangers might write something for the excitement, while family might be intimidated by the thought of their "review" having to be well thought out.


I have lots of family and friends who love books and are ardent techies - but who seldom if ever journal the books I give them. Some have said that they'd want to write a proper book review if they journaled at all, and it would take too much time; others just don't have any interest in the track-the-book-online bit. It was a bit disappointing at first, but I've become used to it, and so I continue to give them books I think they'll like, but I don't expect any JEs from them. [If they tell me what they thought of the books I may edit my own last entry to add that information - "My sister really enjoyed this one," etc. - but that's as far as I go.] In some cases I've mentioned OBCZs or Little Free Libraries that are close to them, suggesting that if they are finished with the books and don't want to keep them they could release them there, but I don't insist.

Basically, I'd say keep giving them books if they seem to enjoy and appreciate them, but don't insist on JEs - if they feel pressured it isn't likely to make them think fondly of BC. I'd definitely advise wild-releasing as well - and if your friends *don't* seem to appreciate the books you give them (that is, if they don't ask for them or never tell you whether they enjoyed them), feel free to stop giving them so many. [If you do get any lovely JEs from wild releases, you could send a link to your friends by way of celebration - again, not with any nagging about JEs from them, just to show them how entertaining BC can be.]

You could offer books in the BC forums, either as giveaways, trades, or bookrings, in hopes of more JEs from other BCers; that's not a 100% guarantee either, but it's better odds than the friends-who-don't journal!


I have the same problem and all I can tell you is my friends and relatives love books and love to read, but journaling books just doesn't interest them. I have no suggestions on how to change that.

I register them anyway. Some day someone else in the future may get the book and journal it. I live in hope.

I tell myself it's just a matter of what interests us. If my brother said I'll give you this book but I really want you to play a round of golf, I wouldn't. Golf doesn't interest me. Even if he tells me all the reasons why I should (fresh air, good exercise) it still doesn't interest me (even though I acknowledge those are good reasons why it should) and I'm not going to try golf even though I know it would make him happy because he enjoys it so much. And he feels the same way about journaling.

All I can say is if you can "free" your books, let go and see what happens, fine. But if it annoys you too much and you are getting an ulcer over it, find a good place to release or donate the books instead. Maybe find or start an OBCZ.

And if your friends say, Oh, you gave that book away? I was really hoping you'd give it to me when you were done reading it, you could say, I would have but I really wanted to have a chance to get a journal entry on that one.


Maybe find or start an OBCZ.

Gory, you hit the nail on its head! No one (not one person!) in my family will journal the books I give them.

My solution was to have my husband build me a Little free Library. e didn't have to make any journal entries to do this. :)

Be aware that Little Free Libraries have a very poor "catch" rate. I took matters into my own hands, though. I did not want to make my LFL into an OBCZ, but it has kind of evolved into a BookCrossing zone anyhow (by itself - really!). I can't resist registering donated books. That's not all, though....

I made a Facebook page for my Little Free Library. There I get to talk about BookCrossing alI I want. Well...it's *my* Little Free Library and *my* Facebook page. Ha!

I often talk about BookCrossing (but not always - so others don't get overwhelmed with it or scared by it) on my LFL FB page. When I get an interesting "catch", I always post it there. I sometimes (but not too often) link to BookCrossing.

Surprisingly, this is what happened.
1. A BookCrosser I've never heard of before used my Little Free Library as a release zone.
2. Other BookCrossers whom I do know use my LFL as a release zone.
3. Neighbors who use my Little Free Library have joined BookCrossing!!! This was most surprising.

Bottom line...Now I frequently get "catches" from books released at my Little Free Library.

Here's the last LFL "catch"...
Here's the LFL FB page...

What's funny about this one was that the book did not move in my own LFL so I moved it to another nearby LFL where the book was picked up by a long-time Bookcrosser and taken out of state! I just happened to meet Derwoodsman for the very first time this year (at a book festival!).

Anyway...you get my drift. :D


Your LFL matches your house!


wingMrsPeelwing 6 yrs ago
I was the most disappointed with my bookcrossing family members, so I cut them off. Besides, they have easy access to other free and cheap books to read. I do poke around their bookshelves to see if they still have any of them, but gave up nagging.

My fellow expat friends haven't discussed any of the books they get. However they seemed really happy last time I brought some (it had been a while), and we had a nice chat about sharing books and the fun of finding treasures when reading random free/cheap books.

I wouldn't mind starting an OBCZ. Maybe if I find a good place for one I will. A problem is that we have a few expat club English libraries, I would have to be very careful not to step on toes.

Thanks for your answers, I feel much better if you guys have the same problem!


I finally got my daughter to choose an BC name and log a few! But, daughters expect you to nag!


I was very disappointed for a few years that friends/family don't journal. I wouldn't nag, just mention whenever I passed them a book that it would be great if... But nothing. And then it hit me; I am over the moon that total strangers journal 9% of my books, why was I fussing to myself over people I know and like not journalling, and who also told me how much they enjoyed the book. Now I'm absolutely okay with a terrible controlled journal rate from non-bookcrossers. They liked the book, they passed it on.


Probably hundreds of books have gone out of my hands in this way. And I can count on one hand the number of journal entries I know have come from those books. Can't figure it out.


I live in Switzerland, too! If you'd like, we could swap books! I'm also on Bookmooch.com. Message me if you're interested!


Hi Mankyi, nice to meet another Bookcrosser in Switzerland! I'll send you a PM :)


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