A good friend of ours recently returned to Texas after a lengthy stay on our couch. Before she left, she raided our bookshelf and grabbed five titles she'd been wanting to read.
We have a lot of books and we aren't big on re-reading, so anything that had already been read was fair game. Three weeks later we got a package in the mail; it was all the books she'd taken. She had actually mailed them back. How sweet, we thought, and unnecessary.
We're big readers, but there are only a few books we own that carry much sentimental weight. Other than a vintage copy of Catcher in the Rye, Charlotte's Web, and a signed copy of Assassination Vacation, our books are up for the taking.
Rather than sending the books back to us, we wish our friend had kept them and loaned them out to any of her friends in Texas who might like them. Then, when we visit her later this year, we'd take a couple books of hers for the flight home and consider it even.
That got us thinking about how easy it would be to set up a book exchange with a group of friends (preferably ones who live nearby). Everyone would bring a number of titles they'd be willing to part with and then all the attendees could pick through the selection.
It would be like the perfect combination of a book club and a Naked Lady Party -- except you'd be swapping books, not clothing, and you wouldn't all be reading the same book, you'd just be hunting for titles you want to read. Throw a few margaritas into the mix and we can't imagine a better time.
And, although we know the library is the greenest way to go, we have too many friends who are either authors or editors to stop supporting the industry completely. And, buying books is still one of our biggest guilty pleasures. We're not giving it up entirely, not yet.
What do you think? Have you tried anything like this?
We're going to, and we'll let you know how it goes.
image via Chotda; Flickr.com