If you’re planning a holiday gathering with friends or family, skip the gag gifts or white elephants and have a book exchange instead.

Book exchanges are simple and fun for all ages. They are a great way to both clean out and refresh your library and to share books you love! Each person gift wraps a book from their personal collection. On the tag, write the age range (picture book, children, mid-grade, young adult, new adult, or adult). Depending on the group, you may also want to include the genre.

Here’s how the exchange works

  • Have each participant draw a number.
  • The person who drew number one selects a wrapped book. When they unwrap the package, the person who brought the book to the party tells a bit about the story and why they liked it.
  • The person who drew number two can “steal” the book number one already opened or choose a wrapped book. Continue through all the numbers in order.
  • If someone steals your book, you can choose an unwrapped gift or steal an open book from someone else.
  • A turn ends when a wrapped gift has been opened.
  • A book can only be stolen once each round.
  • The exchange ends when everyone has a book.

Have fun and enjoy your new book!