Not So Secret

Gift by project hotsauce on flickr

A traditional part of every Unconvention is the Not So Secret (NSS) gift giving. This works along the lines of a Secret Santa, but it’s Not So Secret because it involves BookCrossing books, thereby allowing the recipient to find out who their parcel was from. The minimum requirement for an NSS parcel is a BookCrossing registered book and an additional gift, but givers can go as wild as they want with their parcels.

This year, pookledo has kindly volunteered to coordinate the NSS on behalf of the committee. Anyone wishing to take part should contact pookledo via PM, letting her know their real name and BC name, the location of their book wishlist (and any other wishlists, such as sweeties and other goodies), whether they are happy to give to a junior partner (as we do have some children attending this year’s event) and any other information that they think their gift-giver should know about them.

Address details are not needed as parcels are either gifted in person or left on the dedicated NSS table at the event. However, this year we will also be opening up the gift giving for non-attendees to the event, who will have their own separate postal event to coincide with the Uncon weekend. If you wish to take part in this, please contact pookledo with the details above, making it clear that you are NOT attending the event and including a postal address for your sender to use.

Look out for more NSS information from pookledo on the BookCrossing forums, the attendees subscriber list and the BCUK Yahoo group.

All About pingucb

Me & my girls in 2010

My name is Claire and I joined BookCrossing in February 2009 after reading about it by chance on a review website. I was fascinated by the idea of being able to share my love of reading with other people and the possibility to make someone else’s day by leaving them a little booky surprise.

Within my first week of BookCrossing I’d been sent books by complete strangers and left several of my own books out ‘in the wild’, a number of which had been picked up and journalled by others. Needless to say I was hooked and over the last two years I’ve tried my hands at many BookCrossing activities including meetups, random acts of BookCrossing kindness (RABCK), bookboxes, bookrays and my first Unconvention in Swindon in 2010. My favourite thing about BookCrossing is watching the journeys as my books make their way around the world.

Travelling in 2007

This year I’m the Chair of the Uncon committee and am really enjoying working with the team to create a marvellous event for everyone. I can’t wait for the Unconvention weekend in Nottingham so that we can see all our hard work come together. We’ve got loads of fun activities and events in the pipeline so it should be an action-packed and entertaining weekend.

When I’m not BookCrossing, I’m generally kept busy by my two young daughters (not to mention my husband!) but when I do have free time I enjoy reading (obviously!), travelling, catching up with friends, playing games, watching films, sewing and walking.

All About BookCrossers!

Who Am I? by Marco Bellucci on flickr

Over the next few weeks, you will start to see something new on the website (and arriving in your email Inbox if you’re subscribed to email updates). We will be beginning a series of posts introducing you to some of the committee members as well as other BookCrossers who will be attending the Unconvention.

We’d be happy to hear from anyone who is attending the event, so if you think you’d like to tell us all a bit more about yourself please contact me (pingucb) and I can send you some guidelines on what to include.

We hope that these posts will help to break the ice on the weekend itself as well as providing some interesting reading in the run-up to the event.

Hats Off to BookCrossing!

Hats by Dave-F on flickr

MissMarkey requests the pleasure of your company at yet another exciting Unconvention event, the ‘Hats off to BookCrossing’ flashmob.

Date: Sunday 25th September 2011

Time: 11.00 am

Place: The Old Market Square, Nottingham

Dress code: A book and a hat

Not only are we inviting you to be part of a very exciting flashmob event, we’re also offering prizes for the most ingenious, outrageous and thematic hats.

During the event, you will have time to appreciate one of the most historic locations in Nottingham before setting off on the traditional Uncon Sunday release walk. The Old Market Square is the original setting of the Nottingham Goose Fair and the spot where Robin Hood is said to have won the silver arrow in a contest devised by the Sheriff of Nottingham.

So get your thinking caps on and if you want to get ahead, get a hat. But don’t keep it under your hat – let everyone know about the ‘Hats off to BookCrossing’ flashmob!!

Goodie bags and raffle

Gift bags by misocrazy on flickr

Over the last few days, the committee have been thinking and discussing about goodie bags (and their contents) and raffle prizes for attendees to the Uncon.

We know in the past that members have wanted to volunteer items to go in goodie bags as well as raffle prizes and we want to encourage that tradition to continue.

Firstly, we are looking for something hand made or personal to go in each goodie bag – it could be a bookmark, hand-written postcard, bookstring etc – something small, inexpensive and easily postable to Nottingham. Our Events Coordinator Janice has requested that all handmade items come with the maker’s name on them somewhere, so that people can give individual thanks if they wish for the items they’ve received. We don’t expect any one person to make goodie bag contents for everyone so don’t panic!! If you’re interested then just make as many (or as few) of your items as you wish.

Secondly, we are also open to any other offers of goodie bag contents or raffle prizes – so if you have something in mind (which you can get access to/ create and are happy to donate), get in touch with the committee and discuss it with us.

Items for donation will ideally need to be sent to Nottingham in advance – partly so we can get the goodie bags set up before everyone arrives and partly so we know what raffle prizes we have on offer and can hopefully let all of you know in advance as well. If you have something ready to send, please contact our local committee member David for details of where to post your items – depending on amounts being sent he may wish to share the load/ storage with some of the other Nottingham locals!!

Registration update

We now have 76 individuals registered to attend the 2011 Unconvention in Nottingham.

With more than 4 months to go until the big weekend, this is a phenomenal show of interest from the BookCrossing community!

As a result of this great response, we are thrilled to announce that the early bird booking rate of £15 has been extended for all future bookings to the event. There will be no increase in booking fee for registrations made from 1st May until the booking deadline.

New Uncon bookrays

If you visit the bookrays page, you will see that we now have three new additions available for attendees to read.

We’ve managed to source the second in the series of books by Stephen Booth – Dancing with the Virgins. I know people have had difficulty getting hold of this book at times, so take the chance to read it now!

Also, we’re very happy to announce two Eve Makis bookrays – Eat, Drink and be Married and The Mother-In-Law.

Black Dog by Stephen Booth is already on it’s way to the next reader and the next book to start travelling will be Eat, Drink and Be Married (just as soon as I’ve finished reading it!)

If you wish to sign up for any of these bookrays, or those that are already in place, please contact me via the site or by PM to pingucb, with a list of the books you wish to read, your BC name and your shipping preferences.

Early Bird Registration

Early bird - dicktay2000

Just a reminder that early bird registration for the Unconvention is available until the end of the month. To qualify for the early bird rate of £15 to attend the weekend, you will need to complete the online registration form here by the end of the day on Saturday 30th April and make payment by 6th May.

If you have already registered for the event but not yet paid, please remember that to secure the early bird rate you will also need to complete payment by Friday 6th May.

For full details on costs and payment options, please visit the Costs section of the website.

Author bookrays

I am planning to set up bookrays for some of the books by our Uncon authors, so that attendees have a chance to read something by the authors before the event.

At the moment, I have four Stephen Booth books in my possession and am hoping to read through at least a couple of them in the next few weeks. I am also hoping to get hold of some Eve Makis books for the same purpose.

The books that I have at the moment are Black Dog, One Last Breath, The Dead Place and Blood on the Tongue.

I started reading Black Dog, Stephen’s first novel, last night and will be setting it up as a ray as soon as I’m finished. Anyone who wishes to take part in the ray for this book or any of the other three can either contact me via the site or by PMing me pingucb on BookCrossing. Please let me know which book(s) you are interested in, your shipping preferences and make sure your BC name is included in your message if you don’t send it as a PM.

Keep an eye out for a new bookray page, coming soon, where you can keep track of links to each of the bookrays available, which ones you’re signed up for and where you are in the list.

Free ticket competition!

Books by Ian Wilson on flickr

Want to win two free tickets for the UK BookCrossing event of the year? Already paid but want to get the money back for your ticket and a free one to give to a friend?

In order to win, all you have to do is guess how many books I will have registered on my BookCrossing bookshelf by the end of my birthday and make a link to the Unconvention website somewhere else on the web. For full details of how to win this fantastic competition, please visit our new Competitions page.

If you wish to make an entry for the competition by Comment (see the full details of entry), this is the news post to comment on!