Not knowing too many people when I moved to Houston, I turned to books and “bookstagram” to help me find local readers to connect with. Recently, a few of us decided to plan a book swap to meet more local readers, and to exchange some books before the holiday season. We chose to meet at throughgood coffee, which not only makes some of the best coffee (and chai!) in Houston, it also has a wonderful outdoor area complete with a taco truck!

Around 14 of us were there, and we had a really easy but workable format. We each brought three books, one of which was wrapped and included some descriptors (think “blind date with a book” style). We used raffle tickets to randomly draw names, and we each took a turn first choosing from the wrapped titles, then from the others. A few of us had brought some extra books and ARCs so everyone ended up walking away with five new-to-them books! We even had our own book stamp that I made to commemorate the books swapped at the event!

It was a great morning, ran so smoothly, and was a lovely way to connect with local readers. We were inspired by bookstagrammers in NYC who ran a bookswap and shared some tips and tricks with us (@bookcarouselnyc). Special shoutout to Kelli (@tangledintext) who planned and ran our first #HTSBookSwap. We’re hoping to do these quarterly so if you’re in the Houston area get in touch, or follow the hashtag on instagram for details of the next event.



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