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One year, my daughter hosted a book exchange for some of her friends and neighbors. Kids brought their used books and took turns selecting new old books. We baked a cake shaped like a book and that was it. The kids played outside afterward. No expense but for the cake and everyone had some books to enjoy afterward.
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Do you and your friends enjoy those trashy romance novels, perhaps your husband can't get enough of John Grisham or spy novels? Here is a way to save money on your reading materials. Have a book swap party. Have all your friends box up the books they no longer want and bring them to your house.
Set up long tables with the books on them, saw horses and plywood will work also. Now send invitations to come and get those books. If you have the books before hand, no one will know how many each person donated which can help eliminate disputes. You might want to decide on a number each has to contribute or take home. You can also include magazines. Just make sure they are whole and have not been cut up.
For the menu I would serve a nice wine with cheese and some hot snacks. Let each person browse at the tables and make their selections. You also might want to make up a trivia style game about some of the authors and have a couple of new books (or gently used from the second hand store) as prizes for the winners. You also could give each friend a gift of a book by their favorite author as a party favor. Any books that are left over can be donated to your favorite charity.
Hope you have fun at your party and Happy Reading.
By Debra in Colorado
You can have the same thrifty fun online. It may not be as fun as a swap party, but you get books out of it. Check out http://www.titletrader.com it allows people to swap books with one another for free. I thought people might be interested in it. (01/20/2005)