Source : Times of India
Are you someone who has an almost groaning-under-the weight bookshelf at your home? And do you make a note of not picking up another book again, only to prove yourself wrong? You’re not alone. There’s a book lover everywhere and yes, several folks don’t have the heart to do away with their collection. In such a scenario, book swap parties seem to be the way out. You can now hand the books over to a reading enthusiast, and make a few friends along the way. Set in a speed-dating format, if the other person does not accept your book, you move on to the next person until you get your ‘match’. A huge trend in New York and other major cities abroad, the concept is catching on in Mumbai, too…
What it’s about
There’s no dress code or theme to this sip-and-swap party. Instead, you simply arrive armed with a book you have no plans of hoarding. Next is the pitch: Grab a chair and sit down. You have two minutes to pitch your book and so does the person seated opposite you. If you don’t like the book or the other person doesn’t like yours, change the chair. Keep moving until you have found the book you are looking for. Says Priyesh Thakkar, organiser of the party, “Strangers meet and exchange books over coffee; I can’t think of anything more pleasant than that!” The idea took root a year ago in his mind, on a flight from Mumbai to Goa. “It’s generally tough to meet someone who shares your thought process on a flight. But I found myself seated next to someone who loved books. We talked about everything under the sun – politics to finance and culture! There are few things in life that help us grow -books, travelling and talking to people, but this doesn’t come easily and often, at a cost. So, I thought that books could be an effective and inexpensive catalyst. We started with our first party in January this year and the number of participants has increased since,” he says. Adds Sukriti Kumar, communications professional, “It is a novel way to get people to chill out at a cafe on Sunday mornings, which are more relaxed. We started with around 10 people and have connected with close to 300 people in eight parties so far.”
`In an age where people would rather comment than communicate, this is apt’
For Mumbaikars, this party is a novel way to forge friendships. Company secretary Anjali Vora went to a book swap party recently and says, “I got to know of this through Facebook. I took along a book by an Indian author. In no time, I was exchanging books with a guy from an IT background. He gave me the simple tale of a boy, who discovers magic. We’ve become good friends and even meet up sometimes,” she states.