Today on the blog we welcome a new chick, our friend, Deb Haire. Here is the first of (hopefully) many guest posts by Deb…
My Bookcase Runneth Over…
Who still has real books on their shelves? While I love the new electronic gadget my hubby bought me for Christmas, there is something about the feel and smell of a real book that gets me all nostalgic. You can take a real book camping, you can share them with your friends, and best of all of you can read them in the bath without fear of being electrocuted (is that a myth???).
Take a look at the status of my bookcase! You can learn a lot about someone from what they keep on the shelf. I recently cleared out my parent’s house, and their bookcase was filled with books about World War II and Elvis. My bookcase is full of cookbooks (those of you who know me please stop laughing), diet books and parenting books.
So I’ve decided that while I’m cleaning out my bookcase, I’m going to have a good old-fashioned book exchange – time to get rid of some clutter, acquire new reading material and hang out with some pals.
These invitations are really easy to make…
I got the idea for these invitations online at Whatever DeeDee Wants. The library pockets are from a local teacher supply store, and the inserts are 3×5” index cards from the dollar store. I used the American Typewriter font to give it that authentic library feel. Use your word processing software print options to set the paper size to that of your index card. You can download the template for the 3×5” invitation by clicking here .
Here are some suggestions for holding a successful book exchange:
- Invite a variety of people.
- Ask your guests to bring 2 or 3 books that they are completely done with – even if you write your name on the inside there’s a fairly good chance you are not getting your book back.
- Ask your guests to fill out a little information about the book; why they liked it, easy/hard read etc.
- Set up a couple of tables so that the books can be displayed according to genre…it will be your own little library!
- At the end of the evening, donate any books that are left behind.
Now for the food and drink.
First of all, if anyone offers to bring something, say “sure, thanks!”. Second, keep it simple. If you want to have a good book exchange, you are going to invite more than a couple of people. Serve finger foods that you can prepare mostly in advance – you want to spend your time scoping out the best trades, not with your head in the oven.
The Food Network and Martha Stewart have some great appetizer ideas. Here are the recipes I’ll be using,
These are the Italian Style Sausage Skewers I made – even my kids ate them! They are made with turkey sausage from Longos, and are very tasty.
Keep your drinks straight forward, and preferably something that you can make in a punch bowl or a pitcher for easy refills. How about some White Wine Sangria? Here’s what I used to make mine…
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 1 orange
- ½ a quart of strawberries
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 oz Cointreau
- 1 litre club soda
- 1 bottle Canada White wine (This wine is from Konzelmann Estate Winery in Jordan, Ontario.
Cut all the fruit into nice pretty pieces. Sprinkle the sugar to coat the strawberries and let rest for a couple of minutes. Place all the fruit at the bottom of a pitcher, and add Cointreau and wine. Add the soda water just before serving.
Ta da! The final product. I ensured the quality of this recipe by several taste tests. Yummmm! Added bonus; when someone spills it won’t stain the carpet. Finally, don’t forget to offer some sparkling water with lemon and lime for the drivers in the group.
Book Exchange Variations….
Why not have your book exchange with some friendly co-workers on your lunch hour? Note: bring your own lunch, and lose the Sangria.
Do you have a lot of children’s books? Make it a parent /child book exchange on a Sunday afternoon. Yet again, minus the Sangria but substitute hot chocolate with marshmallows.
Photos by Deb Haire
To learn more about Deb see our Guest Chicks page.