The first #NEBookSwap

So, after months of planning and organising, the first #NEBookSwap happened last night. And it was AWESOME (even if I do say so myself…)

NE Book Swap bunting

After attending a clothes swap earlier this summer, I decided I would try and run my own swap, but for books. I knew I wasn’t alone in always having a ‘to-be-read’ list longer than my arm and a ‘have read’ list that’s even longer, and so I thought it would be a brilliant way for like-minded bloggers to get together and swap some used books for some new reads. And eat cake.

Having no experience of running events in Newcastle, I turned to Twitter to ask people about their favourite book stores in Newcastle. Enter Fiona. She tells me that she’s a bookseller at Waterstones in the Metrocentre in Gateshead. She says, maybe we could sort something out and hold it there?

And so begins the start of a beautiful relationship between me and Fi (or not, last night she called ‘see you around!’ after me as I left Waterstones. Talk about aloof). We met up over (large) cocktails (sweetie flavoured), and began mapping out how last night was gonna work.

Cake Book Swap 2

Cake NE Book SwapThis cake was made lovingly by Chris’s mam + grandma: big shout out to Mrs E and Mrs P!

How did it work?

People were asked to bring between 5-10 books, with one book wrapped up in paper with a short description written on the front (books would be permanently parted with, so people were asked to make sure that they were only giving away books that they were happy to give away for good!). The wrapped book would be put away in a ‘Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover‘ section for everyone to choose from at the end.

Everyone was given paper tags to write their names on, so that they could slide these in the cover of the books they wanted to take home. If a book had more than one tag in it, then we picked the names from a cup so that books were chosen as fairly as possible.

NE Book Swap table

Dont judge a book by its cover

Book Swap

What else?

We had prepared literary themed games and icebreakers for the attendees, which I think helped everyone open up and chat to people they’d not met before.

We had tea and coffee. Obvs

We had a ‘blackout poetry’ competition – the prize a HUGE bar of Galaxy – which was brilliant. It was great to see everyone’s creativity at play. Y’all have pretty dark imaginations, I’ll give you that…

We also held a raffle to raise money for Lumos, J.K. Rowling’s charity for vulnerable children. We we extremely lucky to have prizes donated from Upside Down Presents on the Quayside, Inpress Books, and Zoe Elizabeth bags. We were so grateful for the donations from these awesome local businesses.

Goody bags were also given out at the end – the bulk of goodies provided, again, by Upside Down Presents (find them on Twitter), That Gent Mark, and Inpress Books (find them on Twitter too!).

Book Swap 2

don't judge a book by its cover 2

I had such a good night – over 80 books were brought to swap, and it was all so much fun. Here’s to the next one!

I would love to know whether you’ve ever been to anything like this before! Let me know in the comments, and don’y forget you can find me on Twitter and Bloglovin’.

Have a great weekend,

Rhi xo

Book Swap Vertical

11 thoughts on “The first #NEBookSwap

  1. This sounds amazing! It’s such a shame I left most of my books at home before moving to Newcastle myself, I’d have had so many to share otherwise! Well done for planning such an awesome event 🙂

    Brianne xo


  2. Was such a lovely evening 🙂 Thank you for inviting me! I loved all of the books I received as part of the swap, and the American chocolates I won in the raffle! You both organised it so perfectly and it couldn’t have gone any better 🙂 Go you! Angelica x


  3. Rhi this looks amazing! Well done you!!! I so wish I had something like this near to me, I love the idea of wrapping the book in paper as to not judge a book by its cover.


  4. Pingback: NE book swap | CyclesWithWolves

  5. What a great event – looks like it took quite some love and devotion to pull together. Lovely attention to detail, I wish I lived closer [I’m in the NE but not near enough!]

    I’m a big literature lover myself and just attended a new book club this week – so your post caught my eye!

    I’ve set myself a blog-commenting challenge – #300in30days – so am scouring around for interesting new places to visit. I’m also saving all the blogs I visit to a Pinterest board, so others can share in my finds … off to pin your blog now.

    Julie 🙂


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