Holiday Book Swap

Our first annual book swap was a great success.  Since it will be an annual thing I wanted to detail the way our book swap takes place.

The book swap happens at the December meeting.  Many members are not religious but gift-giving is an American tradition and widely accepted.  If any member has issue with the gift-swap they can opt out of the meeting all together, or just decline to participate.  This is NOT mandatory.  If you choose not to attend or to participate, then you just wont give or receive a book… nothing else will be different that month.

The November meeting is when everyone is reminded so that they have a month to get a book.  The book swap goes as follows:

Step 1: Bring a book, wrapped in funky fun paper.

Everyone who chooses to participate comes to the December meeting with a book that they have read & loved but that is not a book we have read as a club (and that hasn’t already been gifted in previous swaps, if possible – see the link at the bottom of this page for previously gifted books).  This book should be less than 700 pages since we will read one of the books in February, and must be a novel of neutral genre as any of our to-read books, ie (no political or religious propaganda books, no cook-books, or life-manuals, etc. View our Genres page for more specific info on our club’s genre rules.)Taken from's "Book Swap Golden Rules"

Books do not need to be bought new. You can gift used copies as long as they are in Good Condition. →
( has a perfect description of this).

As long as the book is in good condition then it is swap-worthy.  You can give away a copy you already have, or you can find cheap used copies online; ebay, amazon, & barnes & noble have used copies for sale. Or you can get copies from Book Hounds used book store on Fruitvale, or other book stores, etc.

Members bring their swap-books wrapped in some sort of fun paper for any occasion, newspaper, foil, whatever you want.  The host will setup a place – preferably in the center of the meeting area – to set all of the wrapped books.

Step 2: Determining unwrapping-order.

Once we get to the swap-portion of the meeting, each member will choose a book from the pile depending on the order which was pre-determined.

Past Swap Orders:

  • We did a hat-drawing to determine who chooses in which order during our first annual book swap but this can be done in any way.  Another idea could be alphabetically, or order of who came to the meeting first, or however.
  • One way that worked well was to choose the first person at random, then have all following be chosen by the books selected from swap.  If your book is chosen, you select next. etc.

Step 3: Unwrapping of the books.

The person who goes first gets to pick and open a present. Feeling and shaking of unopened packages is definitely permitted.

Step 4: Getting to know the books.

Whoever brought the now unwrapped first book tells us all a little about it and why they loved it, careful to avoid spoilers.

Step 5: The unwrapping continues..

The person who goes 2nd gets to pick & open a present, and so on until all of the books are opened.  If the last member to choose ends up with their book as the only book left, then we ask if anyone would be willing to swap – just so that everyone gets to read something new.

Step 6: Poll the books:

We list the books swapped and they become the Book Theme for January’s Book Poll to be read in February. Everyone votes among the books gifted & we read one book as a group.


Annual Holiday Book Swaps:

Our Holiday Book Swap began in the year 2014.  It was so much fun, and really got everyone into a sharing spirit so we decided to make it an annual thing.


To see what has already been gifted (so as not to duplicate).. Go to Goodreads and log in, then go to this bookshelf:  Gifted in holiday swap

Women's Book Club in Bakersfield, CA | Established Sept.2013

Skip to toolbar