Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Life Of Life Of Pi

Partly inspired by and partly inspired by a Litminds discussion, I've decided to do a little experiment to see how far a book can travel. Tomorrow I am traveling to Ottawa for a few days, then the family and I are off to San Diego. Somewhere along this path, I will be leaving a copy of Yann Martel's Life Of Pi. On the inside cover I will be adding the following note:

The Life Of Life Of Pi
Congratulations! This book is yours to keep...for now. As part of an experiment to see how far and how long this book travels, please follow these instructions:

1. Read it (and hopefully enjoy it).
2. Visit to tell me where you found it.
3. Sorry, now it's time to give it up. Choose an interesting locale to leave the book and then say goodbye. Email me at jmutford @ and tell me where you left it. Thanks for helping!

Then as people (hopefully) participate and tell me they found it, I'll be assigning them a number of pi. I'll start the process at 3. (See sidebar)

Please leave comments, questions, or the location you found the book below.

Update from the future (Dec. 4, 2012): After a 5 year hiatus, The Life of Pi trudges on.  A few changes to note:

1. There is nothing in the sidebar indicating the progress, but it looks like we're at 3.141
- Me, Iqauit (3)
- Justin, San Diego (1)
- Alexandria, Utah (4)
- Judy, Cambodia (1)

2. Judy tells me that she had problems leaving a comment on this post. If this happens to you, simply email me using the address above.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

What an inspired idea! I'll be following the adventures of Pi with great interest.

Have a wonderful trip, trips actually.

John Mutford said...

Yes, hopefully it doesn't die a quick death! Too bad my trip didn't coincide with pi day, eh?

Sam Sattler said...

OK, John, now I've got to get off my butt, choose a book, and join the experiment. I like the write-up for the inside cover that you came up with, so now I just have to choose a book that I think people will read and move along the chain. This should be interesting.

John Mutford said...

Sam, It would be really cool if we actually ended up finding one another's book. Of course that's too far fetched. Most likely, it'll pass into two hands and find a permanent home on a book shelf somewhere, or in a lost and found box at a mall.

Praveen Madan said...

OK guys, you are motivating me into action as well. Picking a book to give is the hard part. Giving away a good book involves parting with a good book as well! But I think this should be fun. How did you select which book to give away?


John Mutford said...

Looking at my bookshelf, I decided to pick a book that I enjoyed but wouldn't mind giving away. I had it narrowed down to a few, but the gimmicks associated with Life Of Pi made it too good to pass up. The title and tracking number, 3.14...seemed obvious.

Allison said...

That idea is sublime!

Have a great trip.

Anonymous said...

I had a similar idea when I was in college, but I didn't have the internet then. I traveled to Tucson with a copy of On The Road and handed it to a complete stranger, on the inside I had written "Please read this and then give it to a stranger", wish I knew how far it had gotten. Perhaps I will try again following your guidelines.

John Mutford said...

Thanks Allison. Yes, hopefully, Pi and I will travel well.

Fearless, Angela's Ashes was once passed by a stranger on a train to a friend of mine who later passed it to me. I, too, passed it on and now have no idea where it ended up. I like the idea of being able to track it somehow. And On The Road lends itself to some pretty easy gimmicks itself!

Anonymous said...

Well I guess I am the first to find the book! I found the book in the lobby of the Bahia Hotel & Resort where I work, in San Diego, CA. When I found it I thought it was just a routine left behind book until I read the inside cover. I love this idea and it definatly put a smile on my face! I can't wait to read it I am starting it tonight. Thanks John for such a fun idea and way to share this book!

John Mutford said...

Great Justin! You never know how things are going to work out- when I didn't see it there the next day, I feared someone had dumped it in the trash. I'm just too pessimistic. I'd try working on that character flaw, but let's face it, it'd never happen. Let me know what you think of the book and good luck finding the next reader!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Yay! How great that you found the book, Justin. I hope you enjoy it; it really is an intriguing story.

Anonymous said...

So it has been waaaay too long since I have responded mainly because I was sad...I lost the book for a long time and recently found it two days ago and finished the book! A very amazing book, now I am finding a place to leave the book. Sorry the the long hiatus!

John Mutford said...

Justin, No problem! I'm very glad you found it and enjoyed it! I was suspecting Pi had died quick death, but looks like it's still alive afterall. Already it's an interesting path!