A bookshop near Stazione Termini has launched Italys first official book swapping zone for children. The Esquilibri e Caff bookshop in Via Giolitti, run by eight Italian mothers, is holding the swapping event every Sunday from 11.00-16.00, when children can take old books to the shop and exchange them with those of other children. The initiative is sponsored by Bookcrossing Italia, which forms part of an international organisation that campaigns for the freeing of books once people have read them. Once bookcrossers have finished a book, they register it with a central database (www.bookcrossing-italia.com) and write its own unique code inside it as well as details of the bookcrossing scheme. They then liberate the book, leaving it in public places for others to pick up and read. People who find the book can then log on to the website and report where they found the book before releasing it again so that the books journey can be traced. Around 16,000 people in Italy are registered bookcrossers, and there are some 3 million books roaming free about the country. The website reports that there are currently 229 books floating around in the Rome region, with the latest release Q by Luther Blisset made on 24 November at Villa Sciarra. The Esquilbri e Caff bookshop has started up a special child-friendly version of bookcrossing (www.littlebookcrossing.it) where as well as tracing the chain of owners each book has, children can also add comments about the book. Esquilibri e Caff, Via Giolitti 319, tel. 0644362563, www.esquilibri.it.
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