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My BookCrossing Project

BookCrossing -

When I decided to get into the financial services industry, I started by reading everything I could about personal finance. I started with David Bach, reading the Automatic Millionaire, Smart Couples Finish Rich……etc. The more I read, the more I became interested. These books opened my eyes to the “industry” that is financial services and how most financial institutions where making personal finance more complex than it needed to be. How they had introduced complexity and jargon to secure their role as “professionals”. How they made you feel like you must pay to get good advice and achieve your goals.

These books opened my eyes to the underlying truths of personal finance and started me on my path to true freedom through financial independence. These insights have transformed my life in ways I often can’t capture appropriately in words. I am truly a different person.

Since then, I have lent my books to many family and friends after discussions we’ve had about money, debt and the stresses they face in their financial lives. In fact I have a purchased multiple copies of the same books that opened my eyes so that I can share them with more people. It brings me so much pleasure to share my library with people and to hear about the epiphanies they reach after reading them. I feel a bit like Morpheus, dispensing mind-freeing red pills to those seeking the truth.

It is in this spirit I am excited to launch a fun new project. Rather than limit my book lending to the limited number of people in my personal network – I am releasing my personal finance library to the word via a movement called BookCrossing.

SeeJackSave BookCrossing LabelBookCrossing is “the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise.” Each of my books will have a label inside, explaining the BookCrossing process and encouraging them to take the book, read it, visit the book’s unique tracking page to leave a travel update and to release the book back to the wild. It’s a bit of crazy idea – but apparently it actually works.

How I Will I Release The Books

I do a bit of travel for work. I intend on taking a few of my books on each trip, leaving them in airport waiting areas, coffee shops, bus benches and the like. Hopefully these books find their way into the hands of people interested in improving their financial health and hopefully they take part in the game!

My BookCrossing Goals

My goals are twofold. The first is to have my books reach (and hopefully help) 1,000 people by January 1, 2015. The second goal is to have my books travel to 100 different communities.

The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With a Single Step

I’ve got 10 books to circulate right now – but will be visiting a few used books stores and thrift shops over the next few months to buy more. I know, I know this seems like an unnecessary expense. But I don’t think so. While I’m working towards financial independence, it’s not my actual life goal. For me financial independence is just a tool I will use to do what I really want, which is to help people.  Not only will my BookCrossing project bring me a lot of entertainment (I can hardly wait to hear from people who find the books!), but I know that I’ll be helping to spread the financial freedom ethic. It’s a bit of a long shot – but I can hardly wait to get started!

You Can Help Too!

As I buy more books, I’ll need unique locations to release them into the wild. Judging by the Google Analytics reports, I have readers from all over North America and some from Europe. If you’d like to help – send me your address (or an address I can reach you at) and I’ll send you a book which you can release in your community. Release the book I send and visit it’s unique page to check-in on it’s travels.

BookCrossing Follow up

I’ve created a new category for this project and all the unique book pages will be found there. I’ll be providing regular updates on the movement of these books in my monthly goal reporting. If you’re as curious as I am about the potential of this project – check in from time-to-time to see how we’re doing.

So I ask you, am I CRAZY, or does this not sound like fun?

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  • J. Money

    That. Is. AWESOME. I had never heard of this idea before but it’s fascinating! Good for you for taking it on… It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out in the “real” world :)

    • Jack

      It is an awesome idea (provided it works!). I first heard about this concept from George Stroumboulopoulos’ Operation Disc Drop a couple years ago. Make a mixed CD of music you enjoy and then leave it for someone else to pick up and enjoy. I did a little research when I thought using this idea for personal finance books and found So the idea isn’t original – but I wanted to see if it would work. Fingers crossed!

      • J. Money

        Oh cool, that’s a great idea too actually. I’m sure it’ll work :) Though prob with books that are more interesting to the average person, haha… still worth a shot though!

        • Jack

          Nothing ventured, nothing gained right! :)

  • Matt @ momanddadmoney

    Very cool idea! I’d never heard of it before either but it sounds like an awesome way to spread some great messages. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing how this goes.

    • Jack

      Yeah – it’s a pretty neat idea. When I started researching the idea, I found where the concept seems to work very well. They have better technology and not limited to a small number of personal finance books – but we’ll see if we can’t get a few people to participate.

  • Anne @ Unique Gifter

    That’s great! I’ve seen traveling books before (very popular in hostel common rooms!), but never with such a specific purpose. best of luck!

    • Jack

      Thanks Anne! I just love the idea of leaving something for someone else to enjoy. It’s just a neat way to connect with people. It’s a very specific topic – so I know that not everyone may be interested in the books I leave. But I’m hoping that a few people will take me up on the experiment. No posts yet for the few books I released last weekend – hopefully people are just taking the time to read them before posting. (He said optimistically)

  • BrokeMillennial

    Wow! What an absolutely awesome concept! I’d never heard of it called Book Crossing before and now I really hope I stumble upon one of your books. I’m looking forward to reading the updates.

    • Jack

      Thanks! I think it’s a pretty cool concept too, so I just had to try it out. Keep your eye’s peeled for stray personal finance book!

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  • Free to Pursue

    Love it! What a great idea. I’ve read all the books you are circulating and I say “here, here.” They should be required reading for all 18-year-olds!

    • Jack

      I totally agree. If we armed our kids with this knowledge before pop culture got a hold of their wallets – we’d have a totally different world.