The downside of this book fetish is that we never have enough space to keep all the books we have. With 3 reading-mad kids the problem is only getting worse, so some years ago I hit on the perfect way to pass on books - a book swap party.
This is how it works:
I invite everyone I know on an open house basis. We all pile books we aren't likely to read again on the tables, have a good rummage for new things to read, drink a lot of wine while chatting to people about the books, and put £1 in the charity pot for each book we take home.
Genius, don't you think? Everyone gets rid of books they don't need and can choose new ones, we have a good time and whichever charity I've picked gets some money. A good deal for everyone.
This year I chose to raise money for Comic Relief. Red Nose Day is a month away but there's no reason not to start early. Also, I'd been looking forward to the craft book Comic Relief was issuing this year, so I guess they were on my mind.
Miss B was enthusiastic
She did a lovely job on the signs and negotiated a later bedtime so she could chat to people and look for books.
I'd baked some cheese straws, although as it was nearly St Valentine's day I made them in heart shapes. I love cheese pastries. I use a Nigella Lawson recipe from the kids' section in How To Eat, but with mature cheddar and smoked paprika. The trouble is, no matter how many I make they never quite last long enough.
|2 of 6 trays I baked|
My Very Excellent Mate Emma brought along a copy of her latest book for children, Wild Thing Goes Camping which she kindly let me raffle off on her behalf, and dedicated the book to the winning child. Another tenner for Comic Relief and a very lucky girl - thanks Emma!
The last of my friends left about 11:30, leaving behind a kitchen full of used wine glasses and a full charity jar. There were some bottles of wine too, so Mark and I "bought" them from the book swap and popped money in the jar.
I was too wide awake at that point, so I settled in with The Great British Sewing Bee to unwind. I can't resist the Bake Off, Sewing Bee and Allotment Challenge. I love enthusiasts having a go. Fearlessly attempting, even.
The next morning, having raised over £90 for Comic Relief with the books we swapped, there were still heaps left. I could have had another event with the leftovers! by evening they were all delivered to the charity shop and we'd moved the furniture back to its normal position.
That's it until next year. I wonder how many more book swaps I can host before ebooks kill it off. A fair few more, I hope.