I just wanted to give everyone a heads up about new things at the bookswap, which I have previously posted about here. Thanks to a user, (Thanks L.F.!) we now have a new bookcase and a slew of new books. Pesach cleaning also seemed to result in a whole bunch of new books. The bookswap now has more than 500! books and magazines in English, Hebrew, German, French, Italian, Flemish and Russian. The last three in the less than five books each category. An added bonus has been the number of children’s books in various languages that have appeared.
Books I have seen fit in the following categories:
Art history or art coffee table books
Novels (including fairly recent, nobel prize winners/other prize winners)
Bina, Mishpacha, New Yorker Magazines
There are usually new things on a weekly basis now as far as I can tell. I don’t check whats arrived on a weekly basis (I can’t keep up) but I can see that books are moving around. There are about 60 people who know where the bookswap is and I’ve been more in touch with, seen or heard about 15. I think most people leave with something they are happy to get. At least thats what the people I’ve spoken to have told me. I know I have been happy to read things that have been swapped in and out.
I have seen quite a bit of Herman Wouk, Nixon’s memoirs, Avraham Twerski, Azure, Tradition, AJS Review, Asimov, Tom Clancy, Memoirs of a Geisha, Agatha Christie, a book about the Montreal Metro, lots of kids books in German, a few pop up books in French, some kids cds and lots of other stuff that I can’t remember off the top of my head. Someone asked me via email about Faye Kellerman. At the time of the question, there wasn’t but now I think there is.
Overall I’m pleased with the bookswap but I have been thinking about a few things:
1. Space 500+ books do not fit so well in the alloted space. I was thinking of maybe selling off about 50 books so that the remainder are easier to find. Proceeds could go towards bookcases or books and maybe a part would go to tzedakah. It might be an opportunity to buy some books that a good number of people would like to read but that are more expensive. I’d love some input into this idea.
2. Organization Sometimes books are just dumped and people don’t put them nicely on the shelves. This means that I have to put them nicely on the shelves. Sometimes people dump things on the floor in the hallway. This is not at all convenient for the person who cleans the stairwell. It also means that sometimes while I am working I need to go out and move things. I think with a little bit more room on the shelves then the shelves and floor would be easier to keep organized. But people will still need to take the time to put the books back.
The cataloging geek in me would really like to sit one day and organize the shelves by dewey decimal or the like and have all books cataloged online. Not especially practical though so it will have to wait.
3. Accessibility Unfortunately the bookswap is not currently accessible to people with walking related disabilities. I would love for it to be. If you are someone who would like to use the book swap and can’t because of its location, please contact me privately so that we can try and figure out a way to open access. I have thought about snapping photos of whats in at the bookswap and posting them to the facebook page. What do you think?
4. Multilingual Outreach Reaching out to more French, German… speakers who might like to use those language books. At some point I will post to the German speaking list and see if there is a list for French speakers. I’ve mostly been avoiding it because my French and German are not up to writing appropriate descriptions. I will at some point tap into my local language editors.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the swap but I’d love to hear some feedback on how to make it better. As always contact me privately to find out how to get to the bookswap and read the other post for more information.
PS: Lindenbaum alumnae- the bookswap does not have anything to do with the Eden Center (contrary to popular belief,) but you can become part of their community via facebook and volunteering.