The AOW Book Swap!

If you were anywhere within fifty feet of Twitter this December, you’d have heard about the Olive Dragonfly Secret Santa, and also Gemma’s brilliant Blogmanay.  These involved being assigned a person, finding a present, and sending it to them…and in turn, receiving your own, thoughtful gift.

It turns out, AOW readers (and beyond!) really, really enjoy receiving beautifully-wrapped and lovingly thought-out parcels.  (Okay okay, show me a human on this planet who doesn’t and I show you someone made of stone).

We were further inspired by Anna Skin & Blister’s Share Advent, which in turn inspired Florence Finds January Joy.  These projects brought (and continue to bring) our online community together, into something more than just comments, but into activities that we shared and something tangible that we could unwrap.  These activities made us more real to each other.  Shared experience (and opening a parcel that someone has lovingly put together) can do that.

We were inspired.  We wanted to do something that everyone could participate in, wherever they live, whoever they are.

What do AOW readers love above all else?

Books.

We’d love to do a book swap.  And we’d love you to be a part of it.

Pile of books from The Curious Presbyterian

Technically it’s not a “swap”, but here’s how it works:

1) you throw your name into a hat;

2) we find you a lucky recipient at random; and

3) then you choose a book and send it to that person.  A book that you love and that you want to share, or a book that you think they will love.

Chances are, you’ll know the person you’re assigned from guest posts or comments…and be able to pick the perfect book from that.  However, if you don’t…fear not!  We’ll be sending round an (easy, peasy) questionnaire for you to fill in, with a chance for you to say what your desert island book is, what you love to read, what you hate to read.  You’ll get the questionnaire of the person to whom you’re assigned…find out what they love to read,  what they’re like….and this will help you whilst you’re browsing the aisles for that perfect book.

It can be ANY book, in the world.  Brand new, second hand, anything at all.  This isn’t about the cost, it’s about the thought, and the story…oh okay and sometimes the cover.

And of course, if you want to send it all wrapped up in a peach bow, with a note saying why you picked the book you did, then all the better…

Can you think of a more lovely thing than a surprise book landing on your doormat with a handwritten note?

If you’re in need of inspiration, you can look through our previous Book Club posts, through the aisles at the AOW Online Book Store (buying here helps us!) or, for the serious book nerds, have a look at our Books That Made Me Me series.

What are you waiting for, readers, bookworms, fellow addicts?  All of you can take part in this.  Come on out, lurkers.  We’d love to meet you!

 Leave a comment below if you want in, and make sure you leave it before Thursday night.  We’ll then be in touch with all the details.

And then you wait.  For your book, lovingly chosen, to drop onto your doormat.

 

Love Anna, Aisling and Clare x

Fairytale bookends at NOTHS
Categories: Books

124 Comments

  1. Becca
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Oh my god I’m SO IN.

  2. Roz
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Meeeeeeeeeeeeeee! This is the most beautiful idea ever :D What a lovely way to start a horrible Monday!! xx

  3. Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Oooh yes please. Count me in.

  4. Carly
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I’m in. What a fab idea, especially as I’m in a book rut at the moment.
    X

  5. Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Erm… Me please?!

  6. Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Oh my god this is super exciting. You girls really do know your audience hug? Something tells me I am not the only bookworm here (who enjoys the touch, and feel and smell of books as well).
    I am so in !
    (I hope it does not matter that I am in NL? I can happily send the book anywhere) and hopefully within Europe the price difference in postage is not so high? Please please let me participate.

    • Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Amanda, anyone can take part! From anywhere in the world! X

      • Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink

        Great I will share it on Facebook this is super exciting !

  7. Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    This is an awesome idea: count me in!! (and I’m also so happy anyone in the world can participate!)

  8. Vivienne
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Meeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  9. Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Absolutely! Count me in please!!

  10. Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Oh, I love this! Amanda sent me a message about it and I loooooved the idea! I’m new to this site, but I’m in if you let me!

    • Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Welcome to our slightly mad, slightly wonderful corner of the internet! And of course you are welcome to join in!x

  11. Lynsey
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Oooh I’m in! x

  12. Bella
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    It goes without saying!

  13. Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    What a blooming lovely idea – Yes please, I’m in!!

  14. Chirsty
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Yes yes yes please!

    “A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
    ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones (Yes, I too am currently wading through this series. Slowly!)

  15. Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Count me in, sounds brilliant!

  16. Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    what a wonderful idea! count me in!

  17. Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Yes please!

  18. Mahj
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Like a pigeon on a chip, I too am on this/all over this.

    In other words, yes please count me in!

    xoxo

    • Roz
      Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Hahahahah! Now lusting after chips Mrs M!!

    • Becca
      Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Any news on when the new Divergent/Insurgent book is released? The delay is KILLING ME.

  19. Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    This is possibly the most exciting start to a Monday morning ever! Please count me in :-D

  20. Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I’m a bit nervous to say yes, as I can say I love reading, but don’t have the widest knowledge of books. But, I’ll try my best!

    So…that’s me in, too!

  21. Katielase
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    BEST. IDEA. EVER.

    Yay! Books! Also yay excuse to go browsing around bookshops. Wheeeeeee!

    K x

  22. Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Although my taste in books is, at times, questionable and popularist, I devour them. Perils of working directly next to a public library! I am so in.
    xx

    • Katielase
      Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      There is no such thing as questionable taste in books, if you love books, you are awesome and clearly have good taste.

      K x

      • Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        You have now reaffirmed my whole life and I love you. xx

  23. Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    ME PLEASE – also am feeling V inspired after my Mr B’s book spa experience on Friday (which was fantastic and I am so grateful to AOW for posting about it before Christmas. Also grateful to Mr W for buying it for my Christmas present after several VERY unsubtle hints)

    K x

    • Alex
      Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      I am so envious! Sounds like the best present ever for us bookworms! I’m still hoping they’ll open one up outside of the Uak!

      • Posted January 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        They do the books by post thing (not sure if international?), might be worth investigating!

    • Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      I went to Mr B’s in the holidays. So enjoyed the book spa. Who did you meet with, what books did you choose & oh my the chocolate brownie was delicious.

      • Posted January 14, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Oh oh oh it was fantastic – I met with Ed who was lovely (and had similar reading taste to me I think); I chose 6 books including a graphic novel which I am really enjoying and took notes about the other big pile of books I didn’t end up buying but were recommended. The books were all ones I wouldn’t have necessarily picked up in a bookshop or on Amazon (Amazon is great for some things but I find it’s really not very helpful for browsing). All fiction, some quite dark, all authors I hadn’t read before (one or two I had heard of but didn’t know much about).

        I think I would quite like to live in their reading room.

        Maybe I should do a post on them once I have read them? (or we both should!)

        How was your trip? Who did you meet and what did you choose?

        • Aisling
          Posted January 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          Katy and Rachel – we would LOVE to read more about the magic that is Mr B’s. Please, please write about it for us?

  24. Lee-Anne
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Me Me Me Me!!!!

    Such a brilliant idea. I read these pages everyday but hardly ever leave a comment as normally worried I will sound silly but I am so in.

    xx

    • Posted January 14, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Lee-Ann, we would LOVE you to comment more! We love all comments, silly or not! X

  25. Rach M
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    What a fabulous idea! Count me in. Can’t wait! Xxx

  26. Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Count me in too please.

    Also, sneaky tip. It means there would be no handwritten note but for anyone who is worried about postage costs you can send direct to your recipient with amazon super saver and if you tick ‘this is a gift’ they won’t receive any financial information and you can type a cover note.

    • Aisling
      Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Excellent tip Amy – thank you!

  27. Steff
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    So keen for this!!! Most of the best books I’ve ever read have been presents and recommendations. Awesome idea. Xx

  28. Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Me too please this sounds awesome.

    I used to do bookcrossing but don’t anymore and miss getting random books in the post.

    xox

  29. Lara Blue
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    YES! <3

  30. Claire
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Me! Me! Me! So far in it’s all got a bit friendly….!

  31. Yanthé
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I’d like to join in please!

  32. ClaireH
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Yes please too! (Now to work out what my desert island book would be…)

  33. Zan
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Obviously I’m in! xx

  34. Posted January 14, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I need cheering up. Please please please let me in!

    • Becca
      Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Saw your tweets over the weekend. It sucks but it will be OK. Am now on the other side of a two year stretch (neither of us was in prison…promise). Now I long for a night to myself listening/warbling to the Les Mis soundtrack without having to run around the living room with the remote.

  35. Jess Foster
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Am new to AOW (been reading back on posts since I found your awesome site). This sounds fab. Can a newbie join please? I promise I have good ‘book’ taste!

    • Posted January 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Welcome, Jess! Newbies, oldies, all are invited! X

  36. Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Me too please! Read this on my phone earlier but couldn’t comment (it’s just not worth the hassle on a phone!)

  37. Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I’d love to be involved – how exciting!

  38. Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I really want in on this! I also don’t mind covering the cost of postage if people are apprehensive about sending to the US!

    • Katielase
      Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      I don’t mind posting abroad, at all. I posted a lot of books abroad to G while we were in our 16-month Oz-UK separation, and it’s not as expensive as you’d imagine!

      K x

  39. Lee-Anne
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Aw thanks ladies. Becca my spelling is terrible too so don’t worry. Although I say its not my spelling its my typing that’s bad.

    I love buying books for other people. my friends always know what they are getting for birthdays and Christmas off me. Must be the librarian in me. xx

  40. Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I would love to be involved in this. I love books and reading and reading books!

    • Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Reading books is one of my favourite types of reading.

  41. deltafoxtrotcharlie
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    me, me, me!

    dfc

  42. Peridot
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Abso-bloody-lutely.

  43. Peridot
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    PS Also really want those bookends….

    • Roz
      Posted January 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      I want the bookends too :D

  44. Sarah
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a fun way to start my “must read more” resolution. Count me in please!

  45. Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    This sounds lovely, yes yes yes from me!

  46. Laura M
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Please count me in! I have been meaning to graduate from lurker to commentor for a while now and feel this is the perfect time! x

  47. Jen G
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Yay – I’m in! And I promise to stop lurking and post more on your fantastic blog… Jx

    • Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Hooray! More commenting please!

  48. Vivienne
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Just came back to say how excited I am, and I’m so pleased to see that this idea has got lurkers joining in, and newbies visiting….wonderful!!!

  49. Sharon
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    This sounds so fabulous and has cheered up a very grey Monday in January, I’m so in. So excited already x

  50. Aisling
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    To echo Vivienne – it is SO exciting not only to see the amazing response to the BOOKSWAPPING! but also the number of new commenters popping their beautiful heads up to say ‘hi’.

    ‘HI!’

    We’re blown away at the love for the idea and giddy at the thought of getting to know some fabulous new people – we can’t WAIT!

  51. Posted January 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Ooh me please- I love this idea!!
    After reading about both ideas on AOW I bought my Mum a gift certificate for Mr B’s for Christmas and my brother some Folio books and they both LOVED their presents! 3 cheers for AOW and all those who love books!
    PS I’m in France so could send my book to somebody else in Europe if it makes it easier re postage etc?

    • snowshep
      Posted January 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      @Vicki: I’m in Austria – maybe the lovely AOW-ladies could pair us?

  52. snowshep
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Oooh, ooh, me!

    My sister gets me a pile of surprise books most years for Christmas/birthday. We’re not that close but the thought she puts in and the messages attached make me feel very special.

    @Mahj: ‘Like a pigeon on a chip, I too am on this/all over this.’ I will store this line for a special occasion – brill!

  53. Charlotte
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Ooooh me please! You just can’t beat a good book.

    This has really cheered me up this grey snowy day!

  54. Emily
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I would love to take part! Also another lurker who rarely comments but I can’t resist a book post. I have a huge list of books I want to read this year already and will probably get a sigh from my lovely R for adding to our (my) shelves but I’ll take it!

  55. Megs
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Ooh – Love books, love AOW and love giving books as presents, but I’m another rare commenter/lurker type. Can I join?

  56. Helena
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    This is such an awesome idea! I would love to join in too please. Like lots of people above I’m also a regular reader and occasional commenter.

  57. Sarah
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Hands up – I’d love to join! I’m one of many Sarah’s commenting and never get around to putting a picture up.. but hoping the questionnaire will help either way?!
    I’ve picked up loads of good book recommendations from AOW in the past, so hoping I’m on the right wavelength too x

  58. Posted January 14, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Gravatar.com
    When you enter your e-mail address here when you comment it links to gravatar and gets your pic. It works for most blogs I think.

    • Posted January 14, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been wondering that for a while. Although, I tend to get freaked out by any pictures of me in miniature. Not other people, other people look fine, it’s just me. This is why I have a gerbera as my twitter picture!

      • Posted January 14, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        I’ve also been wondering that for a while – I wanted a little pic when I comment for ages!! Sorry off topic I know! Thanks Katy for the tip!! X

  59. Emma R
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Id like to join in too! I’m another one who doesn’t comment much, but is keen to join in more this year!

  60. Posted January 14, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Woah, stupendous idea! I’m a bit late to the party, but please may I join in too? Eeeek!

  61. Sandie
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to play :-) I adore reading but feel like I just don’t have the time at the moment. I’d enjoy having the chance to think about books again! x

  62. PiriyaP
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    I love books and I’d love to join in :)
    Also hello to the Austrians on here, nice to hear from you! I’m a wannabe Austrian seeing as my bf is Austrian :)

  63. Posted January 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Oh me too please. Unemployment is giving me ample time to read and I’m running out of books at the library… As long as you can find someone willing to a US based swap. I’m happy to post anywhere. Apologies in advance though, American books feel weird….

  64. Bex - Ginger Bee
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Yes yes yes!! exciting!

  65. Flick
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Ooh me too please. I’m in America too but willing to post anywhere. The husband says I’m not supposed to buy more books having had to have millions of them shipped over here when we moved, but he didn’t say anything about other people sending them to me. Win!

  66. Lottie
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    I want to do it and I am a US based Brit!!! So Lorna, that’s us sorted!

    Can’t wait! Such fun!

    • Flick
      Posted January 15, 2013 at 3:23 am | Permalink

      ooh where in the US? Maybe we should have an AOP stateside!

      • Lottie
        Posted January 15, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes! I would go to AOP if I was back in Blighty! I’m in Houston x

  67. Susie
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Yes please! This wonderful idea has brought me out of my little lurking shell… :)

  68. Katie
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful idea. Please count me in. xx

  69. Beth
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Yes, please. I’d love to be involved. Excited by the thought of all these books winging their way around the world! Another fab idea AOW! X

  70. Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Me too, me too!

  71. Lauren
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m in too

  72. Kate G
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Yes please me too! Those bookends are amazeballs.

  73. Posted January 15, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I’ll send cake if you will? :-D

  74. snowshep
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    @PiriyaP: Ditto! Can we start a club?

    • PiriyaP
      Posted January 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes please! The thought of an Austrian WAGs club makes me ridiculously excited.

  75. Christie
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    This is an amazing idea, I would love to play please!

  76. Posted January 15, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Ace idea ladies – count me IN! x

  77. Caroline
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    This sounds AMAZING! Count me in! cx

  78. Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I love the idea, Amanda share it in her blog poppiesandicecream I´m in Madrid so also love to see a lot of people from all over the world here.

  79. Hannah
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Yes please – count me in!

    :D

  80. Sukai
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    In, please! Great idea, love the thought of receiving a *mysterious parcel* :-)

  81. Peabody_Bites
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I would love this. Book posts are my favourite AOW posts (and the only ones I really comment on, and the reason I spent New Year in Laos buried in A Clash of Kings (ASOIAF Book 2), slightly to the frustration of my husband….

    In short – I’m in please.

  82. Marlene
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Oh yes please, I’m in!

  83. Lexie
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Sounds brilliant, count me in please! X

  84. Posted January 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely love books, recommending them to friends and sharing them so I would love to be in :)

  85. Posted January 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh my goodness, how exciting!!!

    • Posted January 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Ack. I just re-read and realized this is world-wide.. I can’t afford to send a book outside of the US right now, so if I could be assigned someone in the US that would be lovely- and if not, that is okay and you can just take me out of the “hat” and I will participate next time!! <3 <3

      • Posted January 15, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Don’t worry Helen, when we send you your questionnaire there’ll be a question about your delivery preferences – we’ll note you down as preferring to send within the US! And if you can get some more US-based readers to join in, all the better! x

  86. snowshep
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Will there also be a spreadsheet to see the books sent/received? It would be really cool to see what type of books this wonderful community shares. I’m picturing some very cool data visualizations … x

    • Posted January 15, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      We’ll be asking people to do some book reviews(if they want to!) so we can see who’s sent what….

  87. Tinny
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    What a great idea! I would love to take part please.

  88. Laura
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Yes please! I’m another lurker but would love to take part in this!

  89. Posted January 15, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Yes please, this sounds brilliant! x

  90. Liz
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    can i join in please!? Proper books have taken a back seat since i got my kindle, would be lovely to give and receive actual proper reallife books! X

  91. Leni
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Hello! Is it too late to join in? I am another serial lurker (since AoWedding and RMW) and one of my new years resoultions was to become an active AOWer…… Bookswap is such a fab idea ladies; like a bookclub but without having to change out of the Onesie! x

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      That is the best resolution it is possible to make! And we are all for activities we can do in onesies…!
      You aren’t too late to join in… readers have til tomorrow night! X

  92. Posted January 17, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Hello! I’m a little late to this, but would love to be involved! I’m also a reader rather than comment writter and hope to get involved more in 2013. This seems like a perfect idea!

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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