Book Swap

I’d like to revive our short-lived attempt to do a regular Transition South Lantau book swap. I’m sure there must be lots of people like me who look at the books on their shelves and think that other people should be reading these books: they shouldn’t be sitting there mouldering after just one person has read them. Likewise, DVDs. But a few basic rules are needed to make sure we can keep track of who’s got what. I would suggest we meet in a convenient venue – to be agreed upon – once a month. Each person brings as many or as few books or DVDs as they are prepared to let others borrow. Maybe two or three would be enough, but it’s really up to the individual. Each item should have a homemade library card attached. If somebody wants to borrow an item, they sign and date the card, together with their phone number, and give it to the owner of the book or DVD so they have a signed record of who has it. The person who borrows it is obliged to return it at the following meeting, or, if they are unable to attend, they need to make other arrangements to do so. However, it is incumbent upon the borrower to return it, it is not the lender who should have to go chasing after their property! That, I think, is of fundamental importance. If something gets lost or seriously damaged, then it should be understood from the outset that reparation should be made in whatever way is acceptable to the offended party. That can best be left to your imagination. It’s all based upon trust, of course, but is that a problem? The kind of books and DVDs can be absolutely anything, including kids’ stuff. If successful, this could enable more of us to read good books or watch good videos without having to buy our own copies; it encourages the lost art of sharing; and it could be a pleasant social occasion, although people can stay for as long or short a time as they wish. We could meet in a coffee shop, or a bar, and the venue could change each month to avoid imposing too much travelling on any particular individuals.¬†Alternatively, we could meet in someone’s home with each person bringing a teabag and biscuit. We could call it Transition Teabags. The only problem would be if too few people came along, so that there would be too few books and DVDs to choose from. We’d need half-a-dozen people, I think. Any other suggestions would be welcome. Is anyone interested?

Don Latter


About transitionsl

I've been an English teacher for the best part of 30 years, teaching in England, Tanzania, Brunei, Australia and Hong Kong. I've always been interested in nature and environmental issues, but it was the discovery of Peak Oil about five years ago that galvanised me into trying to help my local community to prepare for what will be a dramatically different world to the one many of us have been used to. I've been helping to run a transition group, following the guidelines created by Rob Hopkins's Transition Movement in the UK. This blog is an attempt to engage in discussion with a wider group of people in Hong Kong on the ways to transition from our current oil dependency to a state of fossil-free local resilience.
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5 Responses to Book Swap

  1. Merrin Pearse says:

    Sounds like a good idea. My biggest challenge will be putting aside the time to read the books. I would be particularly interested in audio books (easier on the bus and ferry).

  2. Neil says:

    I would be happy to do this!!

  3. Jennifer Lorrimar-Shanks says:

    Good idea. Maybe it could be a sort of Book Club too. We could all introduce the books we’ve bought and give a short critique. I’m happy to give my books away – don’t need them back.

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