The great book ‘swap’

You all know I’m an avid reader.

New, borrowed, second hand, electronic, just as long as I have a few on the go I’m happy.

This post is about the repeatable, serendipidous moment when you discover the latest book swap bookcase in a guest house, cafe or beach bar and slowly flick your eyes along the spines, dig behind the covers for lost literary gems, make your choice and swap it.

The book swap started with the 4 books Loc and I bought from WHS in Heathrow airport on 2 November 2011, taking advantage of the BOGOHP, one of my favourite acronyms in retail marketing.

We headed to Mumbai with:

  1. Amitav Ghosh – The lonely tide
  2. Shantaram – Shantaram…
  3. David Nicholls – One Day
  4. Greg Hororitz – Or she dies

Some of the swaps so far:

  • Dawn French – A tiny bit marvellous
  • Michael Ondatje – Running in the family
  • Monica Ali – Alejanto Blue
  • Lee Child – Worth dying for…yet another Jack Reacher
  • Paulo Coelho – the winner stands alone
  • Wilbur Smith – sailor series…!
  • Eragon – Christopher Paolini
  • Blink – Malcolm Gladwell(need to read tipping point!)
  • Jeffrey Deaver – the empty chair
  • Jo Nesbo – the snowman
  • Iain M Banks – Surface detail

Observations so far:

  • There are a dissproportionate number of crime novels
  • ‘Shantaram’ is the book when travelling through India
  • ‘One day’ is ‘the’ bestseller latest book in the rest of Asia
  • Lonely planet is still the guide of choice for travellers
  • Ebooks are evident, but physical still rules on the beaches
  • The most frequently found books are English, German & French
  • Readers prefer reading books set where they are travelling
  • About half of the swaps were books I really wanted to read
  • About half of the swaps were not and some suprised me

The books above are only a selection of the last couple of months’ reads, the ultimate book ‘swap’ is not available to the masses; my parents incredible inexhaustible selection, and my dad’s ability to find exactly the right books to suit my current travelling interests.

The book swap trail will have it’s final point at WHSmith Sydney Airport on 27 April 2012.

I’m looking forward to swapping my way through Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Phillipines, Tokyo and Beijing, may do a few reviews, and likely to do a stint at the library on Rathdowne when back in Melbourne…!


Published by Marissa Doyle

Melbournian, traveller, wildlife

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