Swap the Book (Idea)

Wonder if this has been done in the community before.

A Book Swap Club.

I'm an avid reader. I don't mind not owning books and lending mine, If they don't get sold afterwards :)

A nice bloke on this forum, Kit Wells, was incredibly nice to spontaneously offer sending me 2 books of france (something with 'a year in la merde'. I know its quite funny and I can't wait to read it lol).

It happens that he does not want the books back, just one desire: that I will lend them to someone else once I have finished reading them.

This brought me to the SwapTheBook idea.

I have a big list of PDF Books on my computer library, but reading on paper is quite another dimension. Don't hesitate to sent me a pm if your interested and I provide you with the list.

HOWEVER NEXT i'm throwing it in the arena of discussion and see if firstly this idea catches fire

Some suggestion to run a Book Club:

1.Each book would have a owner, the person lending the book to the club. Why? At some point he may want to retrieve the books or simply donate them to the swap club.

2. We would create a spreadsheet with the library, associated owner, the condition and who is currently reading it. There would be a time deadline (not to strict but a guideline so books don't get stuck).

3. People will request a book by lending their address. So it will be done in a "first come , first served" fashion.

4. Shipping cost is taken by the person sending the books. This is the easiest form as we don't want to have official accounts (unnecessary paper work to have it 'legal' when not needed).

5. Its entirely non-profit.

6. The stage and condition of the books would be always updated :) It requires very small work: some data-entry. Don't spill ta coffee :)

7. We could find 'donors' as there's plenty of people with loads of libraries that may want or need to donate their books.

8. People who have read the book can leave a rating and comment! :)

Now this are some basic suggestion. Keen to hear you on there about.


I hope you enjoy them! K

Today the postal service came and brought me a lil package.

I opened the package (in a hurry).

Inside two little, nice, (paper = real) books.

THANKS I really appreciate!

Will let you know what i think of 'la merde' :)

No I was thinking of the charity shops that are part of the Abbé Pierre Foundation, they accept donations of furniture , clothing, books, dishes, appliances, the proceeds of the resale of these items is used to provide jobs, housing, to people who have fallen on hard time as well as newly released prisoners, you can find their stores almost anywhere they often have very nice things and the appliances are always in good working order they have been repaired, if need be by the "compagnons" as they call the members of the Emmaüs communauté .


Dear Marie-Antoinette,

I haven't heard of Emmaüs ! You mean http://www.emmausroad.org/ ?

Merci, a pleasure and very kind of you!


Ivan, do you know that Emmaüs has books in many languages? they sell them between 50cts and 1 euro et have often half price sale on the books and many libraries have also a foreign book section.

Your idea is great and I have enjoyed your other postings as well.


Hi Ann,

welcome to the Forums! I'm relative new too so that's exciting :)

Glad you and so many other have welcomed this idea so let's make it happen!

I'm going to open up the spreadsheet today and simply copy/paste the link in here to make it accessible.

As for the lending kindle I do have the kindle app on my mac.

Would that be meaning I can read them even if I don't have the kindle itself?
I did not know that there is a number of people one is entitled to lend on the kindle / Amazon.

If that is possible sure ! Great addition.

Cheers - Ivan

hello everyone,
I'm new to SFN and just found this thread.

It seems a great idea and I wanted to add a suggestion around kindle or ebook readers because I read a lot of books on my kindle and I'm entitled to lend them to other people (there is a limit on numbers and the time over which they can be lent).

Would anyone be interested in adding a kindle/ebook reader section to the idea of a lending library?

a multilingual book swap shop. very interesting as I could have access to plenty of that (2nd hand books in italian/german)....

Does your wife speak/read italian?

I'm just not clear how i'll be able to run it in virtual form. I must get down and rooted.

Always loved the combination of this things:

Books, Tea/Coffee & Cake and cats :)

I think I should open a Coffee somewhere down the lane. A Cat I already have.

Extend the languages too. I read your two languages but my OH prefers one of them. There are plenty of Dutch people around too. I have visited a local English only book exchange but talk about rubbish. After a few times I gave up.

Cheers Chris,

I will keep your suggestion too. 40 to 60 people must be nice folks. What about running this in a virtual sense? I mean I too see the benefit of running a real book-swap, the more I read in here.

My intention however as it right now run it virtually - online.

Good wishes with the donations saucer!! Keep up the good work. :)

Cheers - Ivan

Hi Sand! Thank you for the golden suggestions.

It happens that I'm not much of a 'fix' person, we move quiet a bit. I'm thinking how this suggestion would fit into a virtual model. I much would like in future to have a 'real' space as I'm considering to take over a small-scale farm and gite.

However until then It will be mostly a online book swap!
So your saying not much admin is necessary that's great to hear.


ps. haha on the sniff part. We can always run a 'smoked line' of books for thus cigarette&coffee lover :)

Agathe Christie - smoked / check yes :)))

Thanks KIT ! Really appreciate mate :)

I don't mind smokers actually and quite honestly do smoke some cigars (outdoors).

But this is a one or two a year thing or if i'm out and had some whiskey :)

Cheers !!

I have been running a very successful book swap for nigh on 10 years now. You are over-egging the pudding. Make it simple. My lot come to my house on the last Friday afternoon bi-monthly. They bring books....never found one smelling of smoke so far. I have a room dedicated to the books where we have our computers and study stuff. I provide tea and home made cakes - leave out a donations saucer - you shouldn't be out of Pocket for offering this service.

Over the years I have set up several English Library sections in local French libraries and given away thousands of books. I generally have about a thousand on display. About 40 to 60 people attend each time. Twice a year we have a plant swap too (not held Inside with the Library).

We are a happy band. In the beginning I kept track of what books came and went but it was a waste of time. The people who come are true readers, desperate for English novels and they are generous in their donations.

Do contact me if you want to know any more détails.

Chris Clarke

Hi Ivan - it's a great idea - we have had a book swap for several years now as we have a restaurant/bar in an area with lots of Brits around and hold a fortnightly coffee morning with an English book exchange (although books can be changed any time that we are open, people do like to come on a specific date and have a coffee and chat). Good chance to have a sniff at them too Peter, lol! (I do agree with you incidentally!) :-)

It isn't necessary to do any administration - we just have some bookshelves and loads of donated books. Initially we thought it would be necessary to monitor the ins/outs, but in fact we have way more books than we started with as people are very generous and bring more than they take! Tourists also use the facility in summer and so this refreshes the stock too.

Maybe you could get a local bar or community centre to give you a bit of space to get something similar going - it's a big help to many, as aquiring English language books can be expensive and it is nice to have a proper book to hold - and if you do something on a specific day it's a chance to meet other readers too!

Wonderful idea Ivan! Your two books were posted this morning - enjoy (and nobody in this house smokes)!

Good point Peter, I had not thought about that.

We could label the book 'non smoking' but then how if a smoker lends a book in the process?
We must start a Non Smoking Swap Club :)

Food for thought. No your not being too picky. I hope smokers won't feel offended in here, i'm a ex smoker too.

Great idea Ivan though i'm not a big reader nowadays unfortunately. My only reservation would be books coming from a smoking or non smoking address. I know, ex-smokers are the worst but the stench of the stale smoke is horrible to most who have kicked the habit.

Or am I being too 'picky' ?