Crimson Fairy Book

Perhaps you know that I love fairy tales, myths, and legends?

So I was minding my own business, sitting in one of the rooms in the beautiful Art Deco building that houses the Saint Paul Court House. I was waiting for my name to be called so that I could meet with a traffic hearing officer. No good magazines to read, no network available on my phone, nobody to engage in conversation. I looked at the magazine rack again and my eyes fell on a book that looked to be of great interest even from afar. Just the way it presented itself — leaning casually upright in the magazine rack, with it’s eye-catching cover of classic cream outlined with a border of bold crimson and decorated with jaunty black embellishments and text — curled a finger at me and drew me near. When I got close enough, imagine my delight in seeing that it was an ANDREW LANG fairy book! And, even better, one which I have not read; the Crimson Fairy Book.

After my initial hyperventilating excitement, I also noticed the little note on the book that says “I’m a good book! Please take me home. I promise I’ll behave.” Such an appealing invitation. And just look at the adorable dragon on that cover. How could I resist? And since it’s an Andrew Lang,  the book can misbehave too as far as I’m concerned.

So I sat happily down and proceeded to read my new free book, the glow of happy possession/ownership spreading throughout my person with each line I read. This book felt so right in my hand as it sang its stories beguilingly in my mind. I pictured in my mind’s eye the perfect spot for it in my home, pondered my sister’s envy when I told her about it, my daughter’s delight. In sheer happiness, I looked at the cover again and noticed that “Look inside!” was highlighted with exuberant yellow.

“Read and Release me”

So I looked more carefully inside the book and inside the front cover I read the following:

“I’m a very special book. You see, I’m traveling around the world making new friends. I hope I’ve met another friend in you. Please go to and enter my BCID number (shown below). You’ll discover where I’ve been and who has read me, and can let them know I’m safe here in your hands.Then…READ and RELEASE me!

BCID: 940-11169155

Peeping at the website that wants me to give up my new-found treasure

So it was with trepidation that I went to the BookCrossing website.
My Crimson Fairy Book and I have just found each other. Are we to be separated so soon, victim to the cruel “release” dictates of the BookCrossing program? It does say at the site that I can keep the book if it has found a good home but now I’m wondering if it would be selfish of me to keep this book from its higher destiny, an exciting and “storied” life of globetrotting and bringing joy to others on its travels.

BookCrossing, according to Wikipedia, is defined as:

“”The practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise.” The term is derived from, a free online book club which was founded to encourage the practice, aiming to “make the whole world a library.” Source: Wikipedia

The program has been called “A modern-day message in a bottle.” –The San Francisco Chronicle, “An unlikely global sociology experiment.” — Book Magazine. The New York Times has said of the program, “If you love your books, let them go.”

From the Book Crossing Website:

“It’s easy to find books, share books and meet fellow book lovers:
Step 1. Label
Register your book for FREE, and get a unique BookCrossing ID. This
BCID allows you to follow your specific book wherever it goes. Think of
it as a passport enabling your book to travel the world without getting

Read more about step 1 and find out what steps 2 and 3 are at the Book Crossing website.

What to do?

So, back to my dilemma. Here’s what I’ve decided: I can’t be expected to part with Crims (as I’ve named the book) just yet — I’m not even through reading him! I’m not ruling out the possibility of releasing Crims in the future but I think I have an even better idea. I have just the book to release in Crims place. Happy reading!