Passing forward

… how finding books brings people together

A beautiful day in autumn. Time for a walk and contemplation in the park nearby. The three rounds in the park are a ritual that I perform since I'm living in Frankfurt on Main. Breathing, walking, finding a rhythm and let thoughts and feelings flow. Today happened two things. The idea for a new book took shape and an encounter with books that let to a very interesting talk with two men.

Why I love to live in a city

(And on the seaside, but that's another story.) In Frankfurt on Main and nearly each other city, that I visit, I find books. Mostly in the public bookcases, where people store books, they want to pass on. Sometimes in boxes in front of houses and today in the park. Often, when I store books in the cases or browse through the contents, I meet other people and sometimes we start to talk.

Double Passing Forward

This is Bernard Moitessier's Passing Forward in double sense. Things find their way to people who can and want to use them and people start dialogues. In the blog entry from 25 April 2014 and in the book, I'm currently working on, I reflected on Bernard Moitessier and how he as a sailor performed and wrote about passing forward. By the way: you can find books and passing them forward also in harbours, for instance in the office of the harbour master. Otherwise some sailors would have to use half of their storage room for a library.


Today the double passing forward experience started with the idea for this blog entry and my request to take a photo for this blog entry. The two men reacted open minded and after I had introduced myself (author and blogger, topic of the blog entry and the URL of my study desk) I took several photos. We selected the photo for this entry and talked about passing forward, sustainability, social informatics and the role of national economy and business economics as social sciences in our world. What a coincidence: an IT professional and a banker. Not really astonishing in Frankfurt on Main. Lunchtime, so we proceeded with our dialogue on our way home. Before we parted the topic balance came up. Not "work-life-balance". We live when we work. So the purpose is to find balance: in our lives, in our communities and for the environment.



The passing forward of books is just one example of sustainability. Plastic threatens the wellbeing of nature and thus the wellbeing of human kind. We are part of nature, but it seems we tend to forget it. No, that's not correct. More and more people are aware of it.

On the radio Nadine Schubert talked today about life without plastic (HR2). Back to sailing: during the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) 2017/2018 the sailing yacht "Turn the tide on plastic" promoted awareness for the danger of the use and litter of plastic. And the solo sailor Conrad Colman performed the Vendée Globe 2016/2017 on a 28 meter yacht: "Around the world with 0 emission". In his blog he reports on the challenges and beauty of extreme sailing. Gaining sustainability is often uncomfortable and challenging. In "Eine Weihnachtsreise" (A Chrismas Journey) from Dec 24, 2016, I cited Conrad:

… Mich Desj, two time winner of the Vendee Globe, says that you need to be mentally prepared for one major problem per day and so far I'm keeping up with his tempo. I am still working to get the battery pack online after the fire and whenever I look around there's a new error message displayed on the instruments. It appears that I'm still losing a little oil from the hydraulic ram I repaired in the doldrums and I just got back on deck after over an hour up the mast to repair a sail. …

Moreover passing forward and sustainability bring joy and fun. Do it yourself, meet interesting people and start a dialogue.

And where is your next public bookcase?

Christa Weßel - 23 November 2018


Further Reading

[all accessed on 23 November 2018]


Vendée Globe 2020-2021

Da diese Frage immer mal wieder auftaucht: hier können Sie FIlme, Fotos und vieles mehr entdecken und genießen (hinzugefügt am Fr, 06 Aug 2021)

damit starten:

Blog sections Organization Development (because organizations consist of people) and Social Informatics (because books are a part of our technical world)


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