Knihobežník international project supports interest in books

THERE are several ways to boost interest in books, and one of them involves travelling and taking books to read on trips.

THERE are several ways to boost interest in books, and one of them involves travelling and taking books to read on trips.

The non-profit project Knihobežník (Book-Circular) is a game that combines these two activities. The main idea is to “read me and send me further”, based on the idea of geo-caching.

“Anyone can become a ‘knihobežník’ and look for books hidden literally everywhere: on a bench in a park, at bus stops, or in publicly accessible buildings,” project coordinator Anna Porubcová told the TASR newswire. “After having read the book, people should release it and send it further, to be found by the next reader and circulated.”

Since the project’s start, it took less than four years before the first million kilometres travelled was surpassed. The meter reacting to the setting of books’ coordinates showed this distance on May 13, 2014 as total data for all books taken together.

The biggest distance (42 909,22 kilometres) was made by a detective story, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, which went to Melborune and Rio de Janeiro. The second “best traveller” is the novel Dusk by Stephanie Meyer (31 849,236 km), which went all the way to Sydney, while the third was Partitura pro Srdce by Czech author Zdeněk Haňek (travelling 29 636,85 km) which was also read by the most people - 31 “knihobežníks”. This book, though mostly read in the Czech and Slovak Republics, also travelled to Spain, Hollywood and the Grand Canyon. Almost 6,000 people have registered with the project, most of them from the Czech and Slovak Republics, but also from the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Canada, Australia, Switzerland and other countries, offering more than 5,000 books.

These numbers are further proof that the public is still interested in reading books, and that a project based on trust in others can run successfully.

“Knihobežník is not only about searching for books or adding them,” Porubcová said. “The project strives to make literature available to the public over the long term, in an innovative way, also through many events, meetings or readings of the works of Slovak authors. Some knihobežníks even found ways to meet each other, and keep meeting, and thus create their own community of book lovers.”

More detailed information can be found at knihobzenik.sk.

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