Category Archives: Research Reflections

On the value of exploratory research

I don’t know whether neighborhood book exchanges live up to the claims of providing ‘icebreakers’ or ‘literary watercoolers’ for passersby. But I do know that inventorying a book exchange in the early morning rain tends to prompt conversation—at least the “what are you doing?” variety. After explaining that I was contributing to a study of […]
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If you can’t steal a free book, then what do you call it? – Part II: A tragedy of the commons

With a perch on the soft-edges of public spaces, neighborhood book exchanges invite the public to participate in an open and free exchange of books. But that invitation positions the book exchange for all the highs and lows of public participation. In this post, we continue our discussion of book exchanges and book theft.   […]
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If you can’t steal a free book, then what do you call it? – Part I: The price of “free” things

Neighborhood book exchanges are celebrated for providing free access to books. But the open invitation to “take a book or leave a book” can result in more taking than leaving—even taking all the books to sell. Here, we discuss what it means to offer books for free, and whether you can steal a free book.  […]
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Why a kickstarter campaign is a lot like hitchhiking

The first two weeks of our thirty day Kickstarter Campaign has been a fast and furious introduction to crowdfunding. A big thanks to all the folks who’ve given us a lift so far! Reflecting on our experience so far, Tenny explores the highs and lows of crowdfunding as a parallel to hitchhiking across the USA. […]
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