Authors: Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
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To my parents for providing the foundation,
to my brother for being an inspiration,
to my husband for always believing,
to my little champion, for all the reasons
here to welcome you to the wonderful world of Book Scavenger. We are a community of book lovers, puzzle lovers, and treasure hunters. Are you, too? Then come along and join us!
Here is how you play:
Hide a Book
Choose a book to send on an adventure.
Pick a public place to hide your book. For example: a local park, a coffee shop, the library, or bus stops.* (*Please be respectful of our environment as well as laws and regulations of the area in which you are hiding a book.) Visit our online store to purchase bookouflage and bookstumes to help conceal your book, or create your own. Or hide your book in its birthday suitâafter all, sometimes no disguise is the best disguise of all.
Create and upload a clue. Provide other scavengers with a hint for how to find your book. Example:
The lowest branch on the tallest tree.
To increase the difficulty level (and fun!), many users conceal their clue with a cipher or code, or make their clue the solution for a puzzle. Use the “autogenerate” feature on our website to have a computer encrypt your clue, or get ideas from the Puzzlepedia page and create your own.
Register the book you would like to hide. Every registered book is issued a unique tracking code. Apply a tracking badge to the inside front cover of your book. Download your tracking badge from your profile and print it. (You can print onto a label or use paper and tape it to your book.)
Hide your book! Track its travels via the “Hidden Books” tab on your profile as other scavengers find, log, and rehide your book.
Find a Book
Select a book. Search for books hidden near you. Select which book to hunt by title, location, or random selectionâit's up to you! Alternatively, enter a specific title. If users have hidden that book, you will see a list of the locations.
Download the book clue. If you flag the book before you download the clue, you will earn double the points if you reach the book first. This is called declaring a book. See the “Points” section for more information.
Solve the clue.
Go Book Scavenging!
You earn one point for every book you hide, find, or if someone finds one of your hidden books. As you earn points, you will move up through the ranks of the game. The higher your rank, the more special privileges you earn, like unlocking secret pages and online games and puzzles. You can also cash in your points at the Book Scavenger store for book-hunting suppliesâor for more books, of course!
To earn more points and add an element of suspense to your hunt, a seeker can declare a book. To do this, you must select “Declare This Book” before you download its clue. You cannot declare a book you have hidden yourself or one that has been hidden by a Book Scavenger friend. Declaring a book will double the point value. But watch out! Declared books are flagged for all users to see, alerting every book sleuth to the hidden book that is now worth double points. This is where the suspense comes in! Will you capture the book first, or will a poacher? Poachers are book scavengers who target declared books in an attempt to get them before the original seeker.
(0â25) A bright and brainy young sleuth, Encyclopedia Brown was the go-to detective in his neighborhood who offered his services for the bargain rate of twenty-five cents per day, plus expenses. This is the entry level for all those playing Book Scavenger.
(26â50) Your curiosity and keen eye for clues are moving you up in the world! Nancy Drew is a smart and resourceful teenage sleuth who began solving mysteries in the 1930s and continues to solve them to this day.
(51â100) You are an intrepid book scavenger now. This private detective is the creation of San Francisco's own literary son, Dashiell Hammett, and appeared in his novel
The Maltese Falcon
, as well as three short stories.
(101â150) Agatha Christie's famous detective is more than meets the eye, and you are now a book scavenger who shouldn't be underestimated.
Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin.
(151â200) You're an old pro at this game. Dupin is often considered the original detective. His creator, Edgar Allan Poe, is credited with starting the detective fiction genre in 1841.
(201+) The highest rank for a book scavenger. You are a master of puzzles, logic, and deduction.
The final, most important, and most fun step of all: READ the book! In addition to offering literary treasure hunts, Book Scavenger provides a wonderful online community for book lovers of all ages. Post reviews on your profile, join book conversations in the forums, and bask in the book-loving ambiance.
Those are the rules, fellow scavengers! And don't forget our motto: “Life is a game, and books are the tokens.”
Yours in pages and play,
Creator of Book Scavenger and CEO of Bayside Press
whistled his way down Market Street, silver hair bobbing atop his head like a pigeon wing. He tapped his trademark walking stick, striped in Bayside Press colors, to the beat of his tune. A cabdriver slowed and honked his horn, leaning to his passenger-side window.
“Mr. Griswold! You want a ride? It's on me, my friend.”
“Very kind of you, but I'm fine, thank you,” Mr. Griswold called back, and raised his cane in a salute. He preferred traveling by streetcar or BART. They were the veins of this city he loved, after all.
A woman clutching a cell phone hurried to Mr. Griswold's side.
“My son is such a fan of Book Scavenger. Can I trouble you for a photograph?”
Mr. Griswold checked his wristwatch. Plenty of time to spare before he had to be at the main library for his big announcement. He balanced a hand on the woman's shoulder as she held the phone at arm's length to take the picture.
“So is it true?” she asked. “Do you have another game in the works?”
In response, Mr. Griswold pulled an imaginary zipper across his lips and gave her a wink. He continued on his way, through the stream of pedestrians, whistling and tapping his cane on the brick sidewalk, completely unaware of the two men who'd stepped into his wake.
One was tall and gangly with bushy black eyebrows peeking from the edge of his backward ball cap. His partner was a bulldog of a man who moved as if his chest propelled him down the street instead of his legs. His hands were jammed in his front sweatshirt pocket, and his stare didn't waver from his target.
Mr. Griswold descended into the BART station. When he paused before the fare gate to remove his Fast Pass from his wallet, a voice from behind spoke his name. Mr. Griswold turned and faced the men. His smile faltered. It was early afternoon, off-hours for commuting, and the trickle of people coming in and out of the station was slow. Nonexistent at the moment.
He adjusted his frameless glasses and looked the tall man in the eye. “I'm running late for an appointment, gentlemen.” Mr. Griswold wiggled his salt-and-pepper mustacheâa nervous habit. The way that short man popped his knuckles and gave him a look that could only be described as
caused him to put up his guard.
“We have a friend in common,” the tall man said.
“Yeah, a friend.” The short man laughed hoarsely.
“Ah, I see.” Mr. Griswold turned to go through the fare gate, but the tall one stepped in front of him and blocked his way.
“I'm in quite a rush,” Mr. Griswold said. “If you wouldn't mind calling my office, I'd be happy to speak with you at a later date.”
Mr. Griswold extended his walking stick between the two men, trying to force his way through, but the tall man grasped him firmly by the shoulder.
“We want the book,” he said.
Mr. Griswold resisted the urge to hug his leather satchel firmly to his side. Inside was a special edition of
by Edgar Allan Poe that he had crafted himself using the Gutenberg 2004 EX-PRO Printing Press and Binding Machine he kept at his house. He planned to make forty-nine more, but only the one in his bag existed at that moment. He'd brought
as a prop for the unveiling of his new, elaborate game. It would be just enough to give a hint, a small peek, to the public of what would be involved. But these men couldn't be talking about
Nobody knew about it yetânobody at Bayside Press, and nobody in his personal life.