February 13, 2011

postcrossing 1 & bookcrossing


this is about 5% of my postcard collection
this is maybe a quarter, many still in the
paper bags/envelopes shops in europe
put them in, cos i love those too :)

i love postcards. i started collecting when i was a kid. i would ask everyone i knew to send me cards from anywhere in the world they were in or happened to be visiting, and to please put a nice stamp on them of course. it was my way of traveling the world from my home. my favorites then were cards showing me places, buildings, peoples and cultures that i didn't have a chance to see with my own eyes. as i got older and took off on my own travels, my postcard collection grew to include cards on art, cute things, weird things and just stuff. i don't know how many cards i had but it was A LOT.

three years ago, i trimmed down my postcard collection when i was moving house. i threw out (a harsh term for a harsh action taken very reluctantly) hundreds of cards. some went to the salvation army, others to friends and more into the trash bin. i regret it now but i needed to do major spring cleaning as i was (and still am) a terrible hoarder. loads of stuff just had to go, including my complete stamp and bus ticket collections (boy, do i miss them too!).

i adore this postcard! in the middle of the photos
in a little plastic box is a model of a  trabant,
the iconic East German car. lots of cute
trabant photos here and more trabant photos from google

 but isn't life a cycle? in the past few days, i've kept coming across things about postcards. two i really liked. i joined the great big stitched postcard swap and the postcrossing project, which i learned about from a post on viridian's blog. it allows you to send and receive snail mail postcards to and from people around the world. the site generates postcrossers' addresses randomly for you to send your postcards to. you get postcards back the same way. you can also request direct swaps. you get to set up a photo gallery on the postcrossing site of your sent/received cards, which can be then be viewed by other members. it's free to join.

i'll post later about my postcrossing cards and more photos from my postcard collection. there are also a couple more photos at the bottom of this post.

postcrossing's a bit like bookcrossing. if you have a book that you don't want anymore, why not share it with others?

bookcrossing how to:
1. once you've signed up (free) at the bookcrossing site, you register your book and get a bookcrossing ID (BCID) for it.

2. then label it on the book (you can download free labels or create your own or order some) and the fun part...

3. ...share it. this you can do in whatever way you wish: just pass your book on to someone you know, set up or join bookcrossing exchange groups, create a wishlist, etc etc, or best, release it into the wild. "release" your book anywhere you like - i've left mine in the toilet, at work, in an airport, at the bus stop and on a train - so it can hopefully be "caught" by someone who would like to read it. this person will hopefully look up the BCID on the bookcrossing site and report that it's been caught, and then continue the book's adventures by releasing it when he's done reading it. if all works out well, you can follow your books' journey, see where it's ended up in, who's read/reading it.

i gave away some books the bookcrossing way when i moved to my new home. some of them saw a little bit of the world, others disappeared. i haven't used this for a while, maybe it's time to start again and continue the cycle?

more from my postcard collection:

postcard from prague

postcard from prague

i have a few arty postcards bought during a visit to prague in the late 90s. i love the kafka one,
it looks just like a book cover! the artist is Czech Jiří Votruba. i checked out his website. 
he has indeed done book covers. i love the illustrations for the Opera for Children series. a snapshot here. 

illustrations for Opera for Children book via Jiří Votruba

back to my postcard collection
this is one of my more unusual postcards. it's pop-up card, you can see better in the second photo

postcard from italy
postcard from italy

i had a love affair with italy for many years so i have tonnes of italian postcards. the one on the left is a social commentary postcard with caricatures of italian politicians in the 1990s. i see romano prodi  (top left accademico = academic) who was prime minister twice and later european commission president, and giulio andreotti (rachitico = rickety, the hunchback 2nd from right in 1st row), who was very much the kingmaker for 2-3 decades, and has been linked to corruption, murder and is said to have given a "kiss of honour" to toto riina, the godfather who was later arrested and jailed for life. the other characters are identified in sometimes derogatory terms (including phallic, psychopathic, vandal).

the postcard on the right plays on the word "fotografo" (photographer). among the characters: feto (foetus, pregnant), frato (priest), amatore (lover), furto (robber).

theme postcards are a favorite. here are some:

postcard on delft china
postcard on italian windows
booze postcard

thanks for reading! i'll be writing more postcard posts...
[ edited later:  I now have a postcard blog where I document the cards I get via Postcrossing. I usually write write some info on what's on the card and any links I have with them. Please visit me at Postcard Love! ]

if you enjoyed this post, why not...
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check out my other posts and this: great big stitched postcard swap
Eurostars Hotels Home Theater Seating and Accessories

related links
postcrossing forum
postcrossing on twitter
bookcrossing forum
bookcrossing forum (yahoo groups)
bookcrossing on twitter

by liberal sprinkles


Maleena said...

it's like you've summed up all your experience with postcard in one post! It seems you try to cramp everything.Hope to hear more.

Postcard makes great bookmark.I normally leave some in books I borrow from the library .It makes a nice surprise.That's better than throwing it away.

Wanda Metcalf said...

I like these. I love looking at post cards. There are some that are really funny and some that are really pretty. Others have recipe's on them.... there are just so many.

A fun idea that collected them all these years!

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