The Traveling Hippo Experiment

I've just received a few copies of my book, Hippo Eats Dwarf, from my publisher. This is the final version that will be on sale in stores in a few weeks. It's great to see the book finally done and in print!

Anyway, since I have a few extra copies, an idea occurred to me. Why not give them away? But not as prizes. Instead, give them away to volunteers on the condition that, once read, they're passed along to someone else. Each person who gets the book will write a note in it saying where it's been and also try to send a picture of the book back to me. This way I can create a visual diary of the adventures the books have as they (hopefully) travel around the world. I imagine it as a book version of the traveling gnome prank. The experiment will be to see how far the books can travel, and for how long.

I've decided to give away ten books. If you're interested in participating email me your address. (Don't leave your address in the comments!) I'll send a book to the first ten people who respond (though I'm giving priority to the moderators, if they want to participate). [Update: I've now got the ten volunteers!] I'll also keep a wait list of people willing to receive the book, so in case someone can't think of anyone to pass it along to, they can contact me and I'll give them a name to send it to.

I figure the worst that can happen is that someone will keep a book. Which is why I'm 'setting free' more than one book. But if people do play along, it'll be interesting to see what happens.

To start the ball rolling, here's a picture of Hippo in my backyard in San Diego, posing with a few friends. (Yeah, I need to mow the lawn.)



Posted on Fri Feb 24, 2006


Is that a toy guinea hen on the left?
Posted by Big Gary on a biology expedition  on  Fri Feb 24, 2006  at  04:08 PM
I help you Alex!!!!!
Posted by X  on  Fri Feb 24, 2006  at  04:49 PM
What a good idea! If you're willing to start one in New Zealand, let me know and I'll send you my address.
Posted by Wendy Collings  on  Fri Feb 24, 2006  at  05:27 PM
Is there a chance I get a copy? I can sned it wherever you tell me, but maybe it
Posted by Arturo  on  Fri Feb 24, 2006  at  05:42 PM
This is a really cool idea. I'll graciously let the others be the first 10 (since I'm ordering my own copy anyway) but I'll gladly go on the waiting list for when people get stuck and can't think of anyone else to send it to.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Fri Feb 24, 2006  at  06:18 PM
That is a toy guinea hen, Gary. It usually sits on my desk, next to my computer. It comes from Africa. My sister lives in Malawi and is always sending us these little beaded creatures that they make over there.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Fri Feb 24, 2006  at  06:41 PM
Gosh...This sounds like an excellent idea. I guess I don't have much choice, I'll join Chary on the wait list.
Posted by Smerk  on  Fri Feb 24, 2006  at  08:02 PM
I guess the beaded chameleon is from Malawi, too, then.
I have some fish from Lake Malawi in my aquarium.
Posted by Big Gary on a biology expedition  on  Sat Feb 25, 2006  at  06:51 AM
If anyone has not figured it out yet, Big Gary is the coolest guy on Earth.
Posted by Dave  on  Sat Feb 25, 2006  at  07:48 AM
Aww I wanted to do it... maybe i'll just buy my own and do it without you 😜
Posted by Blood For Nothing  on  Sat Feb 25, 2006  at  08:45 AM
What about Mexico? I live in Mexico and believe me, the book would visit the strangest places... But then again, you might never see it again. Ahh, anyway, I want a copy!!!...
Posted by Stonicus  on  Sat Feb 25, 2006  at  11:37 PM
Sounds like a great idea!
BBC Radio 4 did something like this a while ago, but I can't remember the name of the programme (Google didn't help me much either, maybe someone else might know?). I think they left books in bus stops with notes attached explaining the idea, and presumably left a contact number or something so they'd have something to use for the programme. Or something like that. Anyway, I remember thinking it sounded really cool then as well.
Posted by Owen  on  Sun Feb 26, 2006  at  10:55 AM
"...Big Gary is the coolest guy on Earth."

Aw, gee, thanks, Dave.
Would you be willing to write me a certificate to that effect?
Posted by Big Gary, blushing  on  Mon Feb 27, 2006  at  05:42 PM
...It would probably be a good idea to open something up in the forum, where people could upload their own photos of the book's trip & other users could comment. A Traveling Book *on-topic* only thread.
Posted by Maegan  on  Sun Mar 05, 2006  at  10:59 AM
Hope all is well with you both
Put my name on your list Alex would love to read your new book.

Posted by Sylvia Borgerson  on  Tue Mar 07, 2006  at  06:17 AM
This is a really cool and great idea.I'l send you my address.
Posted by Kenny Doucette  on  Fri Mar 21, 2008  at  12:29 AM
ov, good idea thanks man 😊
Posted by ilkay  on  Thu Jun 19, 2008  at  04:02 PM
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