While most of the world is out snaring Pokémon on their mobiles, Belgians are parting rosebushes and scanning doorsteps for a more physical reward: abandoned books. Chasseurs de Livres (“Book Hunters”) is an online game that is considerably low-tech—instead of navigating via a smartphone’s GPS and camera, players log on to the Facebook page for clues to track down books or “release” them out again “in the wild” for others to find.
Inspired by playing Pokémon Go with her kids, Belgian primary school headmaster Aveline Grégoire devised the game after she found she was running out of shelf-space for her books, she told Reuters. The Facebook group has taken on a life of its own since she launched it in mid-August, garnering nearly 65,000 members. Books are sealed in plastic—anything from kiddie reads to French novels—and tucked into a tyre or beside a tree in Belgium, after which a photo is uploaded on the Facebook page, with a note on the book title and the city or village where it is hidden. While Pokémon Go is receiving a hit in its daily active users, the growing popularity of Chasseurs de Livres has Grégoire contemplating turning the game into an app.