Unlike my coworker Anna who has switched to digital reading, I still love the feel of a book. I pick up books in a number of places including garage sales, thrift stores, and bargain bins. Occasionally, I’ll even pay full price (usually when I’m at an airport and desperate!) The result is that I have a lot of great books lying around. I’ve always enjoyed trading books with friends, so I decided to host a books swap.
The concept of a book swap is simple: people bring books, they leave with other books. It’s like a clothing swap, but easier since one size fits most! Following are some tips for hosting a successful book swap.
- Invite book loving friends over for about two hours—just enough time for snacking, visiting, and book “shopping.”
- Ask attendees to bring at least one book to swap and a snack or drink to share. If you have the space, you can ask them to bring a friend along.
- Set up a space for the books that offers plenty of room for browsing; a dining room table works very well.
- Establish some simple ground rules. I said exactly this: “Just use common sense. If you bring one book, don’t take ten.”
- Identify a charity to donate leftover books. At the end of my swap, there were about 15 books remaining that were warmly received by the local women’s shelter.
Of course, I ended up with a lot of great (and free!) books. But my favorite result is that I learned so much about books, authors, and my friends.