Tools of the Trade – book swaps

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014

A while ago, my neighborhood hosted a community book swap. Show up, donate your books and dvds, come back a week later and take home as many books and dvds as you want!

Truth be told, the Saturday of the event I had forgotten about it until the last minute, so by the time I showed up it was rather picked over. However, I STILL came home with about 6 books I’m excited to read. None of these books are new releases, but I found a couple of authors I’d been wanting to try, and a couple of old favorites, and a couple of new-to-me books by favorite authors, so it was a very nice mix. Next year, they’ll probably end up back at the book swap where they can be loved by someone new.

I think book swaps are a great way to connect with fellow book lovers, and a great way to be efficient about your bookshelf space and your reading budget. And, you know, the environment and stuff. See if your library or a community group puts one on, or host one yourself! I think that would be a ton of fun.

I will include a cautionary tale: my husband and I backpacked around Europe for our honeymoon, mostly staying in the cheapest hostels we could find. Many hostels have take a book, leave a book areas, and I would often utilize these. In some ways having a limited selection was really nice because I was forced to read outside my comfort zone, and I found some great books this way. However, at one fateful stop, I picked up a really intriguing mystery. I got sucked into the story and the characters and I couldn’t figure out whodunnit. Then, as I finally got to the big reveal…back cover. What?!? The last 5 pages or so were ripped out and I spent the rest of the trip fuming because I’d missed the ending.

But in general, this is not likely to happen to you. You’re more likely to bring home some new friends, try something new (this is easier to do when it’s free), and free up some space on your shelves.

Have you ever gone to a book swap? Would you consider hosting one?