The stack of books on my nightstand just keeps getting bigger. A couple of weeks ago, a friend posted on Facebook that she wanted to do a book exchange and asked people who wanted to participate to “like” the post for more information. One of my goals for 2016 is to read at least 52 books, so I immediately hit the like button.
Since then, I’ve had a new book waiting on my doorstep about every other day. Getting packages is exciting, but getting surprise packages is the best. What I love about the idea of a book exchange with friends, family and strangers is you often end up with books you wouldn’t otherwise pick out for yourself. I just started the first book I received, We Have Always Lived In The Castle. Shirley Jackson wrote the novel and is most famous for her short story The Lottery, which I remember reading in high school. While I probably wouldn’t have sought this book out for myself, I’m absolutely loving it and looking forward to reading several books that are outside of the typical genres I turn to.
So, how does this whole book exchange thing work? Some people claim it’s a pyramid scheme because you do end up receiving more books than you purchase. It’s completely dependent upon the people who participate. You may get one book, you may get a dozen. To give you an idea of how it works, here’s the message my friend sent when I agreed to participate:
Please copy and paste my Facebook status about the books, and send a book you like to this address:
(Address of person who referred the person sending you this message to the book exchange)
Send this message to the people who like your status and swap my address in:
(Address of the person sending you this message)
The Likes of your Likes will get your address! (swap your address in for mine, and move mine up). I suggest Amazon as a cheap means of book swapping! If you have any questions, message me back!
Hopefully that all makes sense? I had to read over the message a couple of times before I understood how it works. Yes, there is a chance you could send a book and never receive one. But, I figure there are far worse things that could happen. I sent along a copy of my all-time favorite book, Lucia, Lucia and it makes me happy to know it may have helped brighten up a stranger’s day.
There are, of course, many other, simpler ways to do a book exchange. I’m tossing around the idea of doing one at our office, where everyone brings in a wrapped book and randomly chooses one to take home out of a pile. What a great way to expose people to new genres and perspectives!