Friday, July 12, 2013

I love books!

Thinking back to my childhood, I remember reading Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Encyclopedia Brown and Anne of Green Gables, just to name a few.

Growing up, our attic was my resource for new books, since I was the youngest of six and had shelves of titles from which to choose.

When I got older, I moved on to Borders, Barnes and Noble and Atlantic Book Stores.

And don’t even start me on the library. I could (and do) spend hours browsing the shelves of our local library, picking up books on everything from vegetarian cooking to thrift shop finds.

(Truth be told, I’d love to open a bookstore some day, just as soon as I win the lottery and get three children through college! I even have a name for it, but that’s a secret for now!)

Last year, I looked around our home and realized we had way too much stuff; stuff such as three shelves of games (that no one in my house likes to play), two tubs of crayons (why do I buy new boxes each school year?), and three bookcases of books (oops, my bad).

I knew we needed to clean out. Luckily, I found a local children’s charity that accepted our games, puzzles, craft supplies and children’s books, but I had a harder time giving away my books. In the past, when I’ve absolutely, positively had to get rid of some of my books, I’ve donated them to our local library for their annual book sale. (I’ve also dropped them off to a used bookstore in return for credit and gotten more books. I know. I have a problem!)

But this time, I came up with another idea. A brilliant idea, if I do say so myself! I decided to start my own book exchange!

And thus, the Book Koop was born. (You don’t even want to know how excited I was when I came up with that name!)

I purchased a plastic container, filled it with the books I wanted to share, put it on my covered front porch, and sent out the following email to family and friends:

“I have a collection of books just sitting on my shelves collecting dust. I hate to see books sit and would rather share them with others. With that thought in mind, I decided to start a book exchange - The Book Koop…
I have filled it with books that I would like to share with all of you. Please feel free to take a book if you are in need or if any look interesting…
If you'd like to leave a book (or two), please do. However there is no need to leave a book if you take one. I will try and check the bin and update the list of books available, so you don't waste a trip if nothing looks interesting…
I don't need the book back (and would suggest you only "share" books that you don't want back as well) so feel free to keep the book unless you want to pass it on to others when you are finished with it."

I didn’t get much feedback at first, and thought briefly of closing down, but when I went out to check The Koop after a month, I noticed quite a few of my books gone, and some new additions to the container. Success!

I recently got an influx of books from one neighbor and am thinking of expanding!

And, interestingly enough, I have had quite a few workmen come and ask about it, since it’s sitting next to my front door.

Having it outside makes it easy for everyone. Friends can come up anytime and pick up or drop off a book, and I can share my love of books with others without cluttering up my house. (Although I have a hard time saying books are clutter!)

I still hit the bookstores, although there are fewer and fewer to pick from these days, and I can’t resist the library, but I’ve also picked up quite a few new books from The Book Koop that I may have never looked twice at when shopping in a book store by myself.

So, while it’s not quite the bookstore I’ve dreamed of opening, The Book Koop is a pretty good start.

I love books!


  1. This is an awesome idea and a great way to share your books with your friends.

  2. Thanks Christy! It really is a win/win for all of us! (And it's as close to "owning" a book store as I am going to get for a few years :)


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