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Break the Literary Loop with In-Person Book Exchanges


Do you find yourself stuck in a constant loop of similar books with similar genres? One easy way to break this loop is to contribute to a book exchange! 


Little Free Libraries and in-person book exchanges are very similar, but have one major difference. Keep reading to find out why we think an in-person book exchange is the best path for you to take! To start, let's give some background on Little Free Library.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization headquartered in our very own St. Paul, MN that focuses on promoting neighborhood book exchanges, usually in the form of a public bookcase in front of a building or house. With these, anyone has the opportunity to donate a book for someone else to read, and take a book for themselves to read.

The instructions to use a little free library are simple: “take a book, share a book”. Here are the steps to participate in this free book exchange:

  1. Find a Little Free Library on this map

  2. Find a book that you are interested in donating

  3. Open up the Little Free Library and drop in your book

  4. Find and take home your next good read from the Little Free Library

Though the Little Free Library is a great way to participate in non-interactive book exchanges, it’s nothing like an in-person book exchange. After all, an in-person book exchange is a great way to put down the screen, and pick up the page!

In-person book exchanges follow the same general idea of “take a book, share a book”. Exchanging books with others in-person offers 4 great things:

  • You get to share a book that you love with a new audience so that they can learn to love that book, genre, and/or author

  • You get to be introduced to what your peers at Carlson are reading, and check out some new books you may have never thought to read

  • You can bond with your peers over common interests in genre, book, or author

  • Most in-person book exchanges have refreshments and snacks as an added benefit

The main difference between an in-person book exchange and a Little Free Library is, well, the interaction.

At an in-person book exchange, you get to see all the different reactions to what books are being exchanged. On top of that, being around other book lovers in-person helps hold yourself accountable when building good habits! Reading around other people and interacting with them face to face will help reduce your screen time, and get you one step closer to your goal of putting down the screen.

Some in-person book exchanges might even take place at book fairs. At book fairs, you might find live readings and Q&A sessions with authors, book sales, book drives, and book signings. Book signings are a great way to meet your favorite author, and gain a one-of-a-kind item.

While Little Free Libraries are great for every day use, in-person book exchanges are a great way to challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and try something new. Book exchanges help us celebrate books and community in a way that is beneficial for every single person. 

The Book Exchange from Imagine We Could serves as an opportunity for all Carlson students to come together and connect over the wonderful habit of reading! Our book exchange will present you with a variety of different books, genres, and authors recommended by your very own peers!

Who knows, maybe this experience will help you find that next great series, your new favorite author, or even a new friend! 

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