OUR SUNDAY IS BOOKED.
by Guest Contributor,
While most of my Sunday afternoons can be captured at brunch, this past month I decided to trade in the buzzy mimosas for buzz-worthy reads amongst fellow bookworms. Since the beginning of the New Year, I’ve made a concerted effort to gather friends together for a variety of fun soirees. For this specific function, my good friend Stephanie and I both knew we wanted to bring our love of books and reading together to create an event that was “one for the books” (please tell me you giggled when read that). Below I will share tips on how to host the perfect book swap party, including free printables!
· I was curious about how to best work the logistics of the book swap party so we decided to create a shared, private board on Pinterest. Pinterest is a great platform to gather your thought and ideas into one place, while also pinning fantastic tips and ideas from others!
· Cut down on your time and expenses by sending out electronic invitations. I personally love Paperless Post because their invitation templates are simply adorable! The specific template we used is titled “Library Card”.
· Bonus tip: Paperless Post requires that you purchase a specific number of “coins” to deliver your invitations to guest. While this fee is rather cheap, I’ve come to learn that most of my friends will easily check their text inbox before checking email. To save on this expense I chose to screenshot my final design and then text invitations to my guest. It cost nothing and received immediate RSVPs!
· Traditionally, most book swaps suggest that you ask guests to bring as many books as they’d like (especially for those wishing to declutter their bookshelves of unread or duplicated reads). For our book swap we requested that guests bring one wrapped book to exchange, fiction or non-fiction, unused. Seeing as we really couldn’t judge a book by its cover, we also asked that guests provide three clues about their wrapped read (Ex: “the perfect poolside read”, “a book likely to become a movie”, “if you’re looking to branch out from your usual fiction reads”).
· For food we decided to keep options light, delicious, and nutritious! We served homemade pesto pasta salad, mini tea sandwiches, fresh fruit, and tasty lemon bars. Don’t want to serve alcohol but want to provide a little fizz to the table? San Pellegrinos (Blood Orange flavor to be exact) are my go-to!
· It’s not a party without games and giveaways! This is really where our pinned ideas on Pinterest were able to come to life. While we wanted the majority of the swap to involve mingling and conversations, we had the following stations set up:
Ø Book Suggestion Box: Using blank index cards or library card templates have guests write down their name along 2-3 titles of their favorite reads and place inside a box. Later, we revisited these cards and emailed a sheet showcasing the titles suggested by everyone. Needless to say, my list of “Must-Reads” grew after the swap!
Ø DIY Bookmark Station: Allow your fellow book-loving friends to be creative! Spread on a table have precut, blank bookmarks (I used cardstock paper) and coloring materials for guests to create the perfect place holder. We even encouraged guests to swap with one another
Ø Guessing Game: Taking a stack of owned books, have guests guess how many pages in total they think all of the books have (no cheating!) on an index card, placing inside a box or gift bag. The winner gets a prize!
Ø Printable Bookmarks: Print free, bookmarks for guests to take away! My personal favorites were these adorable doughnut place holders I came across on Pinterest (printable listed below).
Ø Bookworms Party Favors: One of my favorite parts of the soiree were these party favors. What bookworm wouldn’t want their own little goodie bag of bookworms (sour gummy worms) to munch on, while indulging in their favorite page-turner?
· For the actual swap be sure that you have plenty of space to lay out all the books (along with providing a jar of pens for those that may have forgotten include their clues). I’ve seen the swap orchestrated different ways, from a free-for-all, to being a bit more organized, giving guests a raffle ticket. We chose to go the white elephant route, where guests could playfully steal books that someone had already unwrapped and chosen. As you can see from the unwrapped variety pictured above, everyone walked away with a new treasure, and for some, from a genre completely out of their norm. This unconventional soiree was surely “one for the books” and something I will host again for my fellow B&N addicted friends!
Free Guest List Printable: click here(used to gather emails)
Free Library Card Template Printable: click here
Free Book Suggestion Box Printable: click here
Free Guessing Game Printable: click here
Suggested Reads Example: click here
Free Bookmark Printables (quotes): click here
Free Bookmark Printables (doughnuts): click here
Free Bookworms Party Favor Printable: click here
Special thanks to my friend Gabby for inviting me to this AMAZING event. I had a blast connecting with other book lovers!
Have you ever attended a book swap party? If not, are you now inspired to host one? ;)