Changing the world one book at a time

27 Jul

I always like to think I could save the world, but I’d be happy just to change it a little.  Make it more beautiful, a bit greener, a little happier and a lot kinder.  My littlest sister knows me well, and a couple of Christmas’ ago she gave me this book…

Michael Norton's 365 Ways to change the world - a great Christmas present

The book is set up with a suggestion a day for making a change in the world, and they have a website too, you can check that out here .  Some tasks are big, some are small, and some are things that you are hopefully doing already.  Admittedly I keep picking it up, reading a couple of ideas and then put it back down.  I think about putting some of the ideas into action, and then something else more pressing comes up and it gets put to one side.

There is no way in the world that I would be able to implement each idea every day, some I just don’t have an interest or motivation to tackle, others are just a little too big for me at the moment.  But as I unpacked the mountains of books that I have collected over the years, I put this one aside and decided it was time to actually implement some of my good intentions.  In the words of Mahatma Ghandi it is time for me to be the change I wish to see in the world.

The book categorises the actions into different themes, and I’ve been gravitating towards the environment, community and neighbourhood and culture and creativity sections.  They seem to encompass some of the issues I care most about.  I’ll be able to address a lot of the ideas for change through my work with Drawn Outdoors, particularly the environmental ones, so this fills my heart with lots of warm and fuzzies.  But there will also be things outside of Drawn Outdoors that I would like to pursue to generally make the world a better place, and for these I will need to make just a little bit of effort.

So with this aim in mind I became a Book Crosser.  This was the idea for 11 December (yes I’m either really early or really late), and the idea is that you share your book with the world, creating an informal public library.  By registering your books on the Book Crossing website before releasing them you can track the progress of your book (providing those who find it add to the book’s online journal).

My first two Book Crossing Books ready to release into the wild!

The Book Crossing label providing instructions for Book Crossing - yes that is the Daredevil's hand getting in on the action

I released my first book into the wild today, and it was snapped up!  I was so excited to see that the person who picked it up took the time to go to the website and register the book pick up.  I released a bit of chick lit – I know from experience this is a great read on public transport, and as I was releasing the book at a bus stop I thought it would be a good fit.  I’m going to release my second one tomorrow, and I hope it has the same result.  Such a small act, but I’m sure it made the book finder smile, and it definitely made me happy.

The second part of the idea is to encourage others to try Book Crossing – So, try it, give it a go.  I’m sure you have books that you can afford to share, I know I have plenty.

I’ll keep you posted on my other world changing activities, but in the meantime, how are you going to change the world today?



6 Responses to “Changing the world one book at a time”

  1. Elissa July 28, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    I love the idea of bookcrossing. I have a box of books I was going to give to the OpShop – but this sounds way more fun!

    • drawnoutdoors August 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

      Definitely much more fun, especially when the person picking up the book play along. Second book release not so successful, but we’ll see how the rest go!

  2. Kate July 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    I have released several books over the years and not one of them was ever reported found again on the website. Boo hoo! The first one I released I even watched and I KNOW it was picked up. But the lazy people didn’t register it.

    What I instead did last year is hold an event for the Great Book Swap that raises money for Indigenous Literacy Day. Sharing books for a great cause! I’m going to do it again this September.

    • drawnoutdoors August 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

      First book release was a success, but second one has gone without being registered, yet….
      I remember that day last year, but I think we were busy, will have to try and get there this year, definitely have HEAPS of books!


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