Everybody has books that they don’t really like or won’t read again. You can keep them on your shelves or you can give them away. Christmas is a time of fun, getting together with the people you love and sharing presents. If you have a group of friends who all like to read and who want new books, maybe doing a blind book exchange with your old books might be a good way to freshen up your to-be-read shelf.
Doing a blind book exchange can be incredibly fun and it won’t cost you anything but wrapping paper. It’s a perfect way for readers to find something new for free.
Gather your group
First, you have to find some friends willing to take part. Make a list of the rules, like one book per person. Can you swap ARCs or is it ARC/normal copy only? Do you differentiate between hardcover and paperback? Should books be from a certain genre?
If your group has an abundance of books they want to share, let each participant pick a hardcover, paperback, and ARC. Just to spice things up. Make sure that everybody leaves with a hardcover, paperback and an ARC as well, to keep things fair.
Pick out a book that you’d think someone in that group will like. It’s no use just picking one you desperately want to get rid of. You’re still trying to make your friends happy. Maybe check their Goodreads shelves to see if you have a book that they want to read.
Wrap the book
Wrap it up with plain wrapping paper and write down the genre and a few themes on the front. Make sure the wrapping paper isn’t see through or it’ll spoil the fun. Take craft wrapping paper if you want to be sure. It’s also easier to write on without damaging the cover.
Be honest, but objective with your descriptions. You’re trying to find the right home for your book. The things you didn’t like, might appeal to someone else. If you know your friends’ reading taste you probably already know who’s the best future owner for your book.
Plan your get together
Plan an afternoon or evening to exchange the books, drink tea/coffee/hot cocoa and eat pie/cake. Meet at a friend’s house or in the local coffee shop. You don’t have to make a big thing out of it, but you can. Bake cookies together or make a reservation for an afternoon tea. Cuddle up around the fireplace in a onesy or dress up in your best dress. Whatever works for you.
Plug your book
Each of you will present your book with maybe one line to summarize it, share your keywords as written on the wrapping paper, and pass it around. Answer questions of your friends without spoilers of what’s inside or the story itself. Give them just enough information to convince them to pick your book.
Claim your book
Let the other know when you’re interested in their book. It’s only fair if everyone has a book, so if you already have one, take a pass. If at the end not everyone has a book they’re happy with, shuffle around. You can always borrow books from each other later.
Divide the books equally and start reading! What better way to end this party than reading a new book. Make sure there’s plenty of food and drinks to keep everyone fed and hydrated. Why not make it a weekend and pull an all-nighter? You can switch books again in the morning.