Today’s no-waffle: Holiday book exchange

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For the past four years, one of the book groups I’m in gets together in December for our annual book exchange. This year we met at the Hi Spot Cafe in Seattle, a terrific place for brunch or coffee in a lovely old Seattle Victorian.

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For our book exchange we loosely follow the rules for a White Elephant  (though being from the east coast I prefer to call it a Yankee Swap). Here’s how we do it:

1.  Everyone brings a wrapped book.  This year we brought books we thought would make good future reads for our group.

2.  A control freak named Molly  Someone passes out a hat and everyone picks a number.

3.  The person who pulled #1 selects a book and unwraps it.  The person who brought that book gives a brief description if it.  At this point someone usually says, “ooooh, I’ve been wanting to read that!”

4.  The person who chose #2 can either pick a new, wrapped book from the pile or steal the book from #1.  When someone has a book stolen from her, she gets to choose another wrapped book from the pile or snatch an already opened book from another player.  This continues until all books are unwrapped.

Our book group has two additional rules:  nobody should have to go home with a book she’s already read and a book can only be stolen three times.  This year I brought A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan.  I had the audacity to steal my own book instead of choosing a new one.  Of course my plan bit me in the butt, because it was stolen back.  I ended up with Anne Lamontt’s Grace (Eventually), which I am thoroughly enjoying.

I am lucky to be in a book group with a bunch of smart, funny, lovely ladies.  If you are in a book group (or are thinking of starting one) I highly recommend a holiday book exchange.

Are you in a book group or parenting group?  Do you have any traditions or annual activities?  I’d love to hear about them!

2 responses

  1. That sounds like such a great idea! I am going to suggest this instead of our annual white elephant holiday exchange at work. Too late for this year, but next year for sure!!

  2. I wish I had friends that wanted to do a book swap! I also wish I was in a book group. Sounds like fun!