The December batch of Early Reviewers books is up, and ready for requests! We have 123 titles this month, with a grand total of 3,515 copies available. If you’re a non-fiction fan, or an educator, take note: we’ve got a number of interesting non-fiction and historical titles this month, including a memoir by The New Yorker’s cartoon editor, Bob Mankoff, as well as a handful of teacher’s guides!
The deadline to request copies is Monday, December 30th at 6pm Eastern.
Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, Germany, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to you, or select your country at the top of the list, to see all books available in your area.
Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!
The idea is simple: You pay into the SantaThing system (choose from $15–$45). You play Santa to a LibraryThing member we pick for you—we try to match up similar members—and you select books for them. Another Santa does the same for you, in secret. LibraryThing does the ordering, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving books!
You can sign up as many times as you like, for yourself or someone else. If you sign up for someone without a LibraryThing account, make sure to mention what kinds of books they like, so their Secret Santa can choose wisely.
Sign-ups close Friday, November 29 at 8pm Eastern. Saturday morning, we’ll notify you via profile comment who your Santee is, and you can start picking books.
Picking closes Thursday, December 5th at 12pm Eastern. As soon as the picking ends, the ordering begins, and we’ll get all the books out to you as soon as we can. There’s no guarantee that we’ll have books to you by December 25th, but we’re going to do our best!
Important note about Amazon: Amazon’s minimum for free shipping jumped up to $35 this year, so, if you want paper copies from Amazon, you will get $5 less in books than you pay—paying $30 will get you $25 worth of books. This does not apply if you select “Amazon Kindle Only,” OR if you go with the $40 or $45 price points, since shipping will be free.
Aside from that, you don’t need to factor in shipping. (Except for Amazon, booksellers have promised to waive that for us.) Unlike some years ago, there’s no profit “cushion” built into this for us, although we expect under-orders to pay for situations where the shipping isn’t free. We do this for fun, not money.
Ebooks are available again this year, but again, only via Amazon, and only for US members. We’re sorry to limit it, but ebooks are complicated in terms of rights and availability outside the US. Ebooks also don’t come with shipping costs, so this is one way to avoid the Amazon shipping issue, without having to go up to $40 or $45.
A long-time member, SqueakyChu, recently requested that we add Little Free Libraries (LFLs) to LibraryThing Local. Apparently the LFL people have been unable to keep up with all the new libraries, and have fallen months behind. Their own map is also limited compared to LibraryThing’s robust feature set. And having LFLs in LibraryThing Local would allow LibraryThing members to discover them, as well as users of our Readar iPhone app.
If you don’t know, Little Free Libraries is a grassroots movement sweeping the country and the world. “Stewards” build or buy them, set them up somewhere, often in their front yards, and fill them with books. Visitors take and leave books as they wish. BookCrossing, around since 2001(!), is a similar concept, encouraging and tracking the free exchange of books from reader to reader. Books can be released “into the wild” anywhere, but “BookCrossing Zones” (BCZs) are special spaces set up to facilitate this exchange.
We’ve discussed similar efforts before, and approached both organizations for a feed, without success. We’d love to work with either or both, and will (of course) share our data. But we’re not going to wait. We want people to know about these great projects, and all the other informal sharing libraries out there. So we jumped in. Before releasing it, we had our “Board for Extreme Thing Advances” group to work on it, and they added almost 700 venues, and worked out all the conventions we needed.
We’re still figuring out how to find and add all official and unofficial zones. If you’re interested, join the conversation.
“Little Libraries” is for small collections of every type, not just book exchanges. The Dutch projects MiniBieb and Boekspots are closely analogous to Little Free Libraries, so they fit. But, as I’ve written before, cities and towns throughout the world are filled with such collections, from coffee shops to churches, from community centers to advocacy groups. At present we’re focusing on fully “public” venues, but the many types available to choose from means it can all go in, with suitable filters for what you want and what you don’t want.