I read a neat article this morning about a dedicated knitter in Cambridge who participates in yarnbombing -- the practice of anonymously leaving or covering something in a public place with knitted or crocheted work. Some of these projects aren't small, either; I've seen a photo of a tank covered by a yarnbombing (which you can check out too if you scroll down here.) While some people don't care for the practice I think it's charming.
I've often handed out my books to strangers in public a few times, but I always ask first if they'd like one. Just shoving a book into someone's hands seems a bit rude to me. I've also read about releasing books in the wild, ala Book Crossing, but I've never purposely left books in a public place to be found by anyone (accidentally, however, I have -- and I apologize to whoever found my old copy of Brave New World on that park bench three years ago.) I think my main hesitation is the prospect of a child too young to be reading my adult fiction picking up the book and reading it without letting Mom and Dad know. Under those circumstances some books can be like Pandora's box.
I most like finding out what people enjoy reading and without warning giving them books I think they'll appreciate. I think of those as book drops -- the gift of a story I believe is suited to the recipient but that they don't expect. I have pretty good luck with matching the book to the person, too.
Today I want to try a controlled book drop experiment -- on you all, of course. In comments to this post let me know in general what sort of stories you enjoy reading (and it seems to work better if you don't tell me the names of your favorite titles or authors, but instead describe the type of story) by midnight EST on Sunday, July 15th, 2012. I'll choose three names at random from everyone who provides me with a description, and send the winners a book I think they'll enjoy reading. In return, I ask that the winners tell me after they've read the book what they thought of it so I can post the answers here on the blog. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something at PBW in the past.