Book exchange / book swapping

A book exchange in a pub in Edinburgh shared on flickr by Steve Greer

A book exchange in a pub in Edinburgh shared on flickr by Steve Greer

The thinking behind this is something even less organised than a Book Crossing. Jez Turner shared a video with us in advance of the MakeShift event to explain his idea.

Jez explained that we know if you leave books which are available to take/swap in a public place or cafe that people don’t just walk in and take all of them in one go. Also even though many of us increasingly read books on tablets, we also like books, and often have books we are happy to pass on.


The sorts of locations which could be considered are:

  • community centres
  • doctor’s surgeries
  • cafes
  • pubs
  • micro pubs (they emphasise the importance of conversation – e.g. Hail to the Ale in Tettenhall)
  • railway station
  • civic centre
  • youth centres
  • Waterstones!


  • Include children’s books and adults books.
  • Maybe link to course books and resources which university or college students need  – make links with the university, set up a Facebook Group?
  • A concern – don’t want to put libraries or charity shops out of business. A way to counter this could be to leave a charity box by the books. However that could make it difficult for cafe owners etc. Or there could be flyers about the nearest local library, charity shops selling books nearby and so on.

Taking it forward:

Jez would love to hear from anyone who identifies a place where a book exchange could be located (i.e. a place where whoever manages or runs it is happy for a few books to be left there) – you can find Jez on twitter: @jezturner (if you don’t use twitter, ask a friend who does!)

Jez is also involved in a Creative Citizens work at Birmingham City University


One thought on “Book exchange / book swapping

  1. Pingback: Wolves book swapping – first moves, playing with maps | Jerome Turner

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