© 2014 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee
Would you venture out on the highway in bad driving conditions to go to any book event? Should a late spring, blinding snowstorm on April 19th, 2014 be reason enough to miss a scheduled book swap and make the big time?
Up the rural highway almost devoid of traffic, we discover that with care, life is passable. Soft, wet snow. Instant road slop, slush, four inches, with freezing rain. Slipping, sliding, so what, book lovers persist, anything to get to a community book swap.
For this event four bags (the reusable cloth shopping- kind) chuck full of well-read, used books were hauled down the highway. Some books were obtained at previous events, some gleaned and weaned from our own eclectic collection. No matter. Up the mile hill we slipped in to the ancient community center in South Gillies, Ontario.
Community Book Swap: How does it Work?
It’s a simple process. Come and see. Haul used books to the swap, and return home —with just as many or perhaps more ‘new and different’ books. Keep them for a month or forever if you wish. Read, enjoy, give them away, lend them to others, or haul them right back to the swap, your choice.
Creating an endless supply of excellent reading material, used books are living fuel for a healthy book swap. Books for exchange; want one book? Ten? A hundred or more every month? Go for it. Swap. Take’em away. Books of every description, Cd’s, music and movies, and older VCRs are there too. New or used, worn, dog-eared, some never cracked to the curious eye, ancient, deeply enjoyed or skimmed. Perhaps some pocket westerns narrowly missed being tossed into someone’s woodburner, —but now rescued they’re all treasures equally tossed into the swap instead. Each and every book can be recycled—to a new reader, a new, proud owner. A new bookshelf, a new home.
Book Swap Rules
The rules of the community book swap are simple, smart, and green. Every book is free. Bring books or not, you may also make a donation, but only if you wish. It’s a kind gesture, the swap is a lot of work setting out tables, boxing, handling and displaying so many books. A whole library’s worth. There’s a gallon pickle jar handy with a handful of coins, a few loonies, crumpled fives in it, so toss in dimes, nickels, folding money, whatever you wish, no expectations, no obligation assigned. Help yourself.
If you’re looking, the neat organization and layout of hundreds of books on endless tables arranged by the two wise and helpful, gentle organizers is impressive and eases the burden. The highly-dedicated gray-haired couple seems to have every book in the right place, some memorized, too, believe it or not. Mainstream fiction? Right there. Bird identification books? Over there. Diet books? Downstairs, there are cookbooks too, last table at the end. You get the idea.
Get to the Book Swap and Make the Big Time
Here’s the best part. Great titles of every genre are available, reference books, poetry, fiction, instruction books, textbooks, soft-covers, hard covers, literary, the weird and wonderful, New York best-sellers, you name it, they are all free for the taking, first come, first serve yourself. Works by authors, the incredibly famous to the eclectic, virtually unknown and insignificant are equally available. Hemingway, Shakespeare, King, Burton, Christie, L’amour, Gray, Irving, Dostoyevsky, Harper Lee,….and…I.
Yes, you heard it here first. Browsing casually with her reusable cloth shopping bag, among a thousand other books, she discovered it. The better half found a signed copy of The Fires of Waterland, 1st edition. Laying there with Hemingway, Shakespeare, King, Burton, Christie, L'amour, Gray, Irving, Dostoyevsky, Harper Lee, and I. My own novel. Right there at our community book swap, and during a snowstorm too. Imagine that.
I showed it to the old guy and his wife. Upon previous visits to the swap I had told them I was a writer and a published author. I told him the 2nd edition of The Fires of Waterland was soon going to print. A new publisher. “Oh my!” he said, beaming, as he thumbed through the prized find.
“You’re one of the authors making the big time at the Gillies Book Swap” the old guy observed, smiling widely, —and smartly tucked The Fires of Waterland into his briefcase.
I was delighted.
Imagine that. Going to a book swap and making the big time.
Is that Incoming I hear?
photo credit © 2014 by WLK Photography all rights reserved.
tags: book swap, The Fires of Waterland, make the big time, Gillies Community book swap, authors, books