The Beauty of Trading Books

I had never partaken in a book trade until this week. My first time trading books was brought on by @raelynninwinderland looking to sell/trade some books on Instagram. I normally don’t buy books that I haven’t read yet (because I want to own books that I love and support my local library), but I realize that trading a book that I already own for one I could really enjoy is different. I am not buying a new book to expand my collection or giving in to consumerism. I can rehome a book I don’t love and give home to a book that someone else didn’t love/want.

I should probably explain how trading works (based on what I’ve seen on Instagram at least).
A person usually posts an image of a stack of books in their stories, then people direct message them or respond to a sticker with the book they would like. Then the person who wants the book sends a picture with the books they are willing to trade for the one they want, and the original trader chooses from that stack. Each party then packages the book(s) and mails it to the other. So, ultimately, both parties gain a new book(s) for the cost of shipping alone. It’s brilliant really.

Raelynn had a book that I was interested in on her stories, so I dug through all my books trying to find the ones I was willing to part with for a new one. I was shocked at how many I found. I thought I only kept books that I loved or wanted to read, yet here I was with a small stack for her to choose from.

That’s when it hit me, trading books is kind of beautiful in concept. I own several books that I wouldn’t unhaul for no reason, but I was willing to give them to someone I knew with the hopes that they may love them. The thought of these books getting another chance instead of sitting on my shelf collecting dust, brought me more joy than owning pretty books that I didn’t entirely love or hate.

The Swap

We ultimately traded two books each, because we both just so happened to want two of eachother’s books. The book that first sparked my interest was the Fairyloot edition of “The Pale & Bright“. I had been quite sad when I missed out on this book back when Fairyloot included it in heir subscription box. The other book I chose from her stack in response to her interest in two of my books. The book I chose was the Fairyloot edition of “This Golden Flame“. I have recently seen a lot of good reviews for this book, so I decided to give it a try since I was presented with the opportunity.

The books that Raelynn chose from my stack were the Owlcrate edition of “These Violent Delights” and the hardback of “Circe”.

A Bit on Why I Chose to Part with These Books

I didn’t really enjoy “These Violent Delights” when I read it with the TBR Book Club on Instagram. I actually DNF-ed this book at the halfway mark, because I wasn’t connecting with the characters or plot, and I found the pacing to be a bit slow at times. I kept this book after DNF-ing it mostly because of how beautiful it is. I loved taking pictures of this special edition. It was pretty easy for me to part with this book.

The other book I decided to part with was not an easy choice. I enjoyed “Circe” for many reasons: the narration, the wonderful writing, the characters, the dreamlike atmosphere, the use of witches, and the themes. On the other hand, I harbored negative feelings towards the book whenever I saw it or thought about it. This isn’t necessarily the book’s fault, because it is more of a personal preference thing. I was thrown off guard and quite disappointed by the sexual violence in this story.

If you don’t know, I do not intentionally read books with sexual violence, personal violence, and nonconsensual situations. I generally try to read positive stories that have a more hopeful/positive tone. I just have a personal issue with glorifying such terrible things and using them for entertainment. I personally feel like it desensitizes readers and puts bad behavior on a pedestal. Yes, I have a problem with true crime and serial killer media as well. But again, it’s a personal preference, and I just can’t stomach it. You do you, and I’ll do me. This is why content warnings are so important, but that’s a discussion for another time…

So, I had some very positive and very negative feelings towards “Circe”, but I also knew that someone else could really enjoy such an amazing book. Additionally, I did not want to part with this book, because it had been a gift from my mother-in-law. I was so grateful she thought of me while on vacation. So that created a very positive association to the book for me. Do you see the duality of my relationship with this book?…

But, I am so excited that Raelynn is excited for these books, and I can’t wait to see her post about them on Instagram in the future. Now, both of these books can bring joy to someone instead of acting as props and conjuring negative feelings on my shelf.

Have you ever traded books with someone? Would you?

Thank you so much for reading and chatting with me. I hope you have a good day/night wherever you are and your next read surprises you in the best of ways. I’ll see you in the next one!

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