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Belgians seek books, not monsters, in the wild

belgian book hunt pokemon spinoff 40220040  girl lying in grass reading a intentionally toned
djoronimo / 123RF Stock Photo
Bibliophiles, here’s a game that will get you up from your chair and out of the house. Belgian primary school headmaster Aveline Grégoire was inspired by Pokemon Go to develop an online game in which people search for books, rather than pocket monsters, according to Reuters.

“While I was arranging my library, I realized I didn’t have enough space for all my books. Having played Pokémon Go with my kids, I had the idea of releasing the books into nature,” said Grégoire.

Grégoire set up a Facebook group called “Chasseurs de livres ” (“book hunters”). There are now more than 52,000 members. A post pinned to the top of the group’s discussion timeline explains the rules of the game.

The way it works is first you wrap a book in protective plastic (to avoid moisture damage). Include a little note a comment about the book — optional. Then put the book somewhere in a public place  — releasing it into the wild.

Take a photo of the book in place, preferably with the title showing, and post it in the Facebook group, along with the title of the book and the name or hints of the location, being as specific as you wish.

When someone finds the book, they take a photo and post it in the group. Next the finder reads the books and then “hides” it again, along with a note with comments.

Grégoire’s group hides books in Belgian towns and countryside. A family in southern Belgium has made the game part of morning walks. So far they’ve found one book and “released” four others.

“My daughter said it’s like hunting for Easter eggs, only with books,” Jessica Detournay said. On the day her family left four books, by the time they got home someone had already posted on Facebook that two had been found.

Grégoire is thinking about creating an app for his book hunting in the wild game.

It’s simple to set up a Facebook group and start your own game among bibliophiles in your own town or city. Just be sure you don’t include bibliotaphs — people who hoard books and, when borrowing books, never remember to return them.

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