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Sunday Swap Party

This Sunday I was invited to my first ever book swap party. In keeping with the green party theme there was an email invitation that asked us to bring 3 or more books, there would be light snacks and it was an “open house” setting. They would be book swapping from 5 to 9.

In my usual manner I put way too much thought into it. I had the kids pull out books that they didn’t want to keep. Each of my kids was able to fill a cloth grocery stack with paperbacks they didn’t want to read again. I thought about adding my books to the batch, but I have book sharing issues, all of which bring me some measure of shame.

1. I read books with a red pen, if there are too many typos I circle them. It’s the only way I’m able to get through the book. I realize that with the number of posts I churn out (some of questionable quality) that this is hypocrisy with a capitol H. I’m okay with that online but not with the friends IRL (I’m so hip).

2. I read trash. Really, I read historical fiction and chick lit. Not exclusively, but Great Expectations isn’t on my nightstand. When I want to trade my trashy novels for real literature I use Swaptree. Meet me there, I’m a mediocre swapper but they haven’t kicked me out yet.

3. I read in the tub, in the steam shower and in the hot tub. I read in water and my books resemble sponges when I’m done. Trading those books would be downright embarrassing.

We arrived at the book swap around seven. The first wave of swappers was exiting as the kids and I arrived with ours. As we walked in the door there was Kaitlin (9 years old) manning the ticket table.

We gave her our books, she counted them and gave us tickets.

After she counts the books, we\'re given the appropriate number of tickets

One ticket per book.

Then she took the kid’s books to the kid table

and the adult books to the adult table.

We had wine, cheese and crackers; the kids had smoothies and we chatted and picked out new books for ourselves. My son left with every Junie B. Jones book he could get his hands on and my daughter got The Phantom Tollbooth (one of my childhood favorites) even though she was warned against it (little stinker).

The swap was a nice excuse to visit with friends and make some new ones.

I loved that it was an evening guided by a child. Kaitlin, at just 9, sent a dozen families home with a dozen new books each. A good time was had by all.

Our new books.


Crafters Anonymous Craft Swap : Crafting a Green World

Trade Your Child’s Books for New Ones with Swaptree : Eco Child’s Play

Tip o’ the Day: Read ‘em and Weep : amystodghill – Green Options


Jessica Gottlieb is a freelance writer in Los Angeles; this is an original post to Eco Child’s Play.


  1. I’m inspired to organize one of these – I just did a post on my personal blog today on being sustainable with books and having a swap was one of my ideas but I never actually had one. Seeing your post on the same day makes me think I need to do this.

    I just got invited to a Tastefully Simple party and although I would love to spend the evening with the women I know will be there, I have no desire to purchase any of those products. I think a swap like this, complete with wine and cheese, would satisfy that “have to get together on Friday night to drink wine with the girls AND walk away with something new” desire that many women have.

    Of course, to satisfy that desire, it would have to be a no kids book swap.

    HMMMMM.. I’m starting to plan as I type.

  2. This is a great idea. I’m a ferocious reader and writer, and I never have enough time for both and a “real job.” I’ve kept track and since January, have been averaging a book a week. (I take the metro to work in D.C., so I read)

    My wife and I love wine too, so we’ll have to put one of these together.

    Thanks for the post,


  3. Mikalan Kruase says:

    What a great idea. We have always had a book swap basket at the pool in the summer, but what about the winter months. It sure beats reselling them, where you only get a fraction of what they cost, and then buy another book of equal value at half the original price.


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