The Guardian Book Swap Starts Today

The Guardian and Observer launched a new social experiment on Wednesday, and I think this could be a fun and useful way to part with your collection of unwanted books.

The paper is going to be instigating the experiment today. Staffers will be scattering thousands on books all over the UK. The books are there for anyone to pick up, read, and share.  Each has a bookplate inside the front cover which explains the experiment,  the finders of the books are encouraged by posting details on where they found a book. They’re also invited to expand the experiment by leaving the book in another location for others to find.

You can find instructions on how to participate here. If (like me) you can only watch, then you might want to bookmark this map page and check back to see where books have been found and left. There is also a Twitter hashtag that you can follow: #guardianbookswap.

Now,I don’t know about you, but I have gone completely digital. Recently I have been clearing out my bookshelves and giving away virtually all my books. I would have loved to participate in this project because it emphasizes one of the few things you can’t do with an eBook. The act of adding annotations and then passing the book along to a stranger is not something that should be lost in the digital transition.