Releasing Books Into the Wild. Communal Gift Giving At Bookcrossing.Com

Daniele Dalli, University of Pisa, Italy
Matteo Corciolani, University of Pisa, Italy
Gift giving is a long lasting and well rooted stream within consumer culture research. It has been considered under many perspectives (economic vs. symbolic; relational vs. communal, etc.). This paper will focus on Bookcrossing.com. Bookcrossers liberate their books, releasing them “into the wild”: they leave them in a railway station or in a pub, and hope that someone they don’t know will pick them up, read them, and further release. This is a special case of gift giving, with-out any instrumental or functional implications and virtually no obligations of direct reciprocity. The paper will describe how members carry out Bookcrossing using different methods.
[ to cite ]:
Daniele Dalli and Matteo Corciolani (2008) ,"Releasing Books Into the Wild. Communal Gift Giving At Bookcrossing.Com", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research.