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This is Nemo's response to chain letters.

Unlike a chain letter - which unlike an actual chain, grows in a tree-like fashion - a ChainBook is a true chain. Each link segment connects to only two others. One before it, and one after.

Physically, it has handled as such:

  • Give a book to someone with the ChainBook message.
  • The message instructs them to give that same book to another, at a time/place that is appropriate according to the law of the ChainBook.

Note - it is the physical book that is passed on. Not a copy or a new purchase. This is what makes it a true chain.

The ChainBook message is something like this:

Please accept this gift as a 'Chain Book'.

This book has come to you because the sender felt, for his or her own reasons, that you should be the next person to recieve it.

The way a chainbook works is simple. Take this book as a gift. In time you may find someone who is the *right* person to pass it on to, and you pass the book (no, not a copy. This actual book which you are holding) on to them.

There are no conditions. Who, When, and even If you pass it on are at your own discretion.


Naturally, the book to give is an important choice also. Nemo considers that it should be moving, but not flippant, not take itself too seriously, or preachy - because this is, after all, the sort of book that Nemo himself finds most meaningfull and suitable to this concept. Leunig, as an author/cartoonist, writes excellent books to give as ChainBooks - and indeed, Nemo has started a few chains already with Leunig's little blue book (titled "Short notes from the long history of happiness"). However, this is merely a suggestion at best, and perhaps little more than an example. Others may find other books of wildy different styles and genres to be more appropriate, given who they are and who the first recipient of the chain will be. -Nemo


Needless to say, a less careful, more random version of this idea is facilitated by Book Crossing, which encourages its users to trust in fate and leave books in public places.
Very true, bookcrossing is a neat idea, but in my experience, tends to be populated with the books people don't care too much about. (and really, if I want random books - I can just go to a library) Chainbooks is less random, but is meant to be personal. -Nemo
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