Time to purge. I know for many avid readers, this advice will be on par with tooth extraction, but think of all the new "yet-to-be-read" books that you will be making room to invite in! In addition, if you love a book, share with others! Here are a few ideas for your books:
1. Host a book swap party. A group of women friends and I do this each year. We pile all our books on a table and take home whatever looks good (not a 1-for-1 trade necessarily). It is like Half-Price-Books with live book reviews! We donate what is left to charity.
2. Host a children's book swap. We do this at my children's school. The kids bring in books to donate ahead of time and the moms organize them by reading level and genre. The kids can then come by class to choose as many books as they brought in. We make sure that we have enough so that every child gets at least one, even if they didn't bring on in. It is wonderful to see their eyes light up at the surprise of getting a free book for summer reading. The teachers get to take any leftovers for the classroom, which is especially nice for new teachers who are building up their library. If you have 4-6th grade books to donate, we are always in need of these for the swap since most families donate books their kids have outgrown. Contact Hartland North Elementary at www.hartlake.org
3. Donate your children's books to an organization that gets them in the hands of children. Children's hospitals often give books to children who are hospitalized or can use them for their playrooms or waiting rooms. Our local library has a summer reading incentive program where books are given as prizes. Daycares or homeless shelters are other options.
4. Consider sharing a book through Book Crossing. This hobby shares books by leaving ("releasing") an internet registered book in a public place for someone to find. The finder can then let the placer know it was found online, read it, and leave it for another lucky finder. Check out www.bookcrossing.com
5. Swap your magazines. Hartland public library has a magazine swap shelf. We also do this at our church. Consider starting a swap in your community.
Share your ideas for local book/magazine swaps, donations and sharing on this blog.