The library at my children’s school holds two events every year. One is the Scholastic Book Fair, and the other is the book exchange.
The book fair is a straightforward event where you can browse through a large selection of Scholastic books that are available for purchase. The book exchange, on the other hand, encourages each student to bring in two books they already own, and in return they get to pick out one book of their choosing that someone else has brought in. For those who don’t have two books to trade in, they can purchase a book for a quarter (Okay, so the book isn’t technically free, but a quarter seems like a nominal fee).
I love the book exchange for two reasons. First, it ensures that every kid in the school who wants one will have a new-to-them book to read, which may help them discover new authors and encourage their interest in reading. And second, I love to see how carefully my oldest picks and chooses the books he wants to trade in. This is a lengthy process where he considers each book in his bookcase and weighs the pros and cons of which ones he’s willing to get rid of. He clearly values these books. Granted, he uses the same care and thoughtfulness when deciding on a Pokemon card trade, but seeing him value books as much as Pokemon cards warms my heart. At least he doesn’t sweep all his books to the floor in a grand gesture and declare, “Take them all! I don’t want them!”
Instead he’ll tell me exactly why he’s not willing to give up certain books and why he’ll happily turn in others. It gives me good insight into the types of books he likes. Plus, he’s always excited to pick out a new book without me looking over his shoulder. It’s a win-win for everyone.