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