Books & Beer is celebrating 2 years of jolly book exchange and swopping! Details to come!
When I first heard of the Book Exchange, I was skeptical. Then I decided “Why not?”. Sometime in the middle of the actual ‘exchange’, I thought “Wtf.” Eventually all I could feel was “Holy shit, this was a huge return on investment.”
Arriving at the National Library Building, the line was long. Really long. Not the kind of long you’d expect for a It’s-Saturday,-I’ll-Sleep-In attitude you’d expect. Singaporeans who love to read, oh we really, really love to read. Most people were either A) Families with young kids or B) Adults though. Generally speaking. Skipping past the baby stroller ramming into me multiple times as I anxiously walked towards the actual book area (The Plaza), I basically threw myself into this sweaty, dense crowd of kiasu Singaporeans. When you put kiasu and Singaporeans who really love to read at such an event, you get super die die must hoard all books which seem interesting enough that I might read it within this lifetime but hmm I’m not too sure I only have 50 coupons to spare so I’ll just grab this first and review it later by the steps okay moving on to the next book.
Did I mention the sticky arm against arm action? But enough with the whining. Oh, Singaporeans. Can’t do anything else but complain, huh.
On to the main event.
By some stroke of luck/universe made decision, I managed to stumble on a few jems at the Book Exchange. Firstly, as I scrambled and squeezed my way to the non-fiction aisle (there really was no choice but to squeeze), I was duly disappointed by the lack of the kind of non-fiction I wanted. Whilst I really wanted to grab a copy of a textbook on Futures, Options and Derivatives, something stopped me. I moved on and things looked really grim. I honestly couldn’t find any book that caught my eye and I was towards the end of the “two aisles” that were available for non-fiction. And then. Boom. Antifragile. First thought: Who the hell donates/exchanges/gives away Antifragile in almost perfectly good condition? (Okay it had some folds but I’m pretty sure it was due to processing and what not after the actual “donation”.) So, gleefully, I grabbed it. Without thinking. I knew I wanted it. Then I began searching, again. To my joy, I found some other treasures like Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. I’ll admit that I have read this already. But I borrowed it from the library then and it was an amazing book. So again, I knew I wanted it. Subsequently, the finds just kept coming, thankfully. Some other great finds included Liar’s Poker, What Do You Say After You Say Hello, The 4-Hour Workweek and Where’d You Go Bernadette. Also, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Whoever is donating these very new (~2011 - 2012) books, you very kind soul, thank you. Please donate every year. So maybe next year I could get some 2013 books. I also had to let go some books, sadly. I actually have more books at home that I could exchange. I just honestly didn’t know how many fascinating books I could actually find from this event. I’d thought that everyone would just treat it as a dumping ground of some sort (and in a sense, it was, seeing certain books around) but hey, there are treasures lying around waiting to be found too.
All in all, this felt like a variant of a book crossing event. Except that you get to keep the books for 1 year and then you get to set them free to find new owners again. (Of course, you could also keep them forever.) One thing’s for sure, despite the blood (very teeny little bit coming from trolleys scratching against my feet) and sweat (thankfully, no tears), I’ll definitely be marking Book Exchange 2014 on my calendar. Assuming I’m free.
All you need for this workout is a stack of hardcovers and some yarn or rope to tie them together!
Workout #1: The Book Curl
Workout #2: The Book Up
Workout #3: The Brunch (Book Crunch) - Just like brunch this can be done alone or with a friend!
Date: 18 May 2013
Venue: Jewel Cafe & Bar (129 Rangoon Road)
Our next book swop takes us to Jewel Cafe & Bar, where they serve up modern comfort fare and good coffee. Come join us for an afternoon of book exchange in their new coffee roaster room where all the fun in a coffee joint takes place, obviously!