Well, it took place on the last day of January, but February is such a runt of a month, I think it would be a great time to host a book exchange.
I attended one yesterday, hosted by my friend Christina Lay and a book-loving friend of hers. They had tea and cookies and some delicious teacakes from Germany, and two big tables set up with books that she and her friend were culling from their bookshelves. They put the word out via their respective email lists to come sometime between 2-4pm. The deal was: you can take as many books as you bring.
I arrived about 2:20 with a half dozen books I don’t need any more. I didn’t really intend to bring home more books, as my shelves are currently groaning under the weight of textbooks, so I didn’t consider the strategic effect of timing. If I had arrived later, there would have been more books to mull over, correct? Yet, perhaps they would have been picked over by that time… Christina said the best thing is to host a book exchange. That way you get to see everything that comes in the door.
I left with a small cookbook of sauces and marinades and a novel by Jane Smiley. It was nice to pick up a book and just put it in a bag. No checkout required. Meanwhile, I stood around, munching lebkuchen and discussing our best reads of the year with people I had never met. The only thing we had in common was a rabid love for books, authors, and the need to discuss them.
The hostesses were left with three boxes of books to donate. Perhaps a few more than the two of them started with, as most people who showed up brought more books than they took.
What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
So grab a book-loving friend and make it happen. Or organize a bigger one within your book club.
Fine (free!) literature is an excellent way to meet other readers and refresh your nightstand.