Letterboxing Glossary: A
- abandoned letterbox
Abandoned letterboxes are simply boxes that are no longer maintained by the owner. Perhaps the owner moved away or dropped out of letterboxing, the box has been abandoned and the owner can no longer be reached.
On Atlas Quest, addendums may show up on fostered boxes. Foster parents of a box are not allowed to edit the box, including the clue—even if the box has moved or landmarks in the clue have changed. They can, however, add an addendum to the box which allows a foster parent to communicate updates or other important information for future finders.
- adopted letterbox
By AQ standards, an adopted box is one in which the owner of the box is not also one of the planters of the box. Boxes can only be adopted on Atlas Quest if (1) the owner of the box allows it, (2) if the owner of the box has passed away or (3) if the box is abandoned and one of the planters takes over ownership (although technically, AQ does not count it as an adoption since the owner would also be a planter).
If a box is otherwise abandoned and you do not qualify for adopting the box, you might consider fostering it instead.
Letterboxers often assume one or more “secret identities” for a variety of reasons, and these secret identities are called aliases. Learn more about aliases and why you might consider adopting one for yourself on SpringChick’s An Alias Among Us.
- altered books
An altered book is exactly what it sounds like—doing something to a book that would physically alter its characteristics. For letterboxers, this might include creating letterbooks, but that’s usually as far as a letterboxer will alter a book. But there’s a large group of people whose hobby is to alter books in a very big way by turning them into photo albums and keepsakes, ripping pages, pasting in ticket stubs, and so on. The kind of thing that would give a book crosser nightmares!
An edible organic spheroid which falls to the earth under the influence of gravity. Rarely confused with oranges.
- attempted box
An attempted letterbox is one that you tried to find. On Atlas Quest, they can be further subdivided based on the confidence level that the box is really missing.high-confidence attemptThe attempter believes they found precisely where the box was located but did not find the box—probably because it is missing.mid-confidence attemptThe attempter believes they found the general place where the box was located and poked around for it but came up empty. Maybe the box was there but the precise location was missed, but there’s a reasonable chance that the box is just missing as well.low-confidence attemptThe attempter looked for the physical box but is not at all certain that they were looking in the correct place.zero-confidence attemptAlso known as “fake attempts,” these are a record of attempts where someone might have read the clue but never actually looked for the physical box. Perhaps the clue was encrypted and they couldn’t figure out how to decrypt it, or perhaps the weather turned bad and they had to turn around before reaching the final location for the box. Regardless, there was never any real search for the physical box so it’s impossible for the attempter to judge whether or not the box is really still there.