Thursday, January 10, 2013

Make the most out of your Blogger Book Swap Experience

Everyday that I check the registration documents, I am always floored.
A little idea of getting a few bloggers together to put together a book swap has grown exponentially!
As I write this, we have 79 bloggers signed up.
Say whaaat?!
That's incredible!
I'm also loving the enthusiasm and excitement to meet other readers.
It makes me so happy to see people who love to read.
As much as I love social media and am slightly obsessed with it, the core of that is literacy and a love of reading.  I grew up surrounded by books and constantly asking my mom to take me to the library.  I went to a charter school for middle school and it was such an incredible experience.  Apart from the amazing staff and people that I met there, our school was conveniently located across from a public library.  So every Monday, we would walk across the street for a designated "library period" and it was almost like story time again.  One of the librarians would introduce us to some of her favorite reads for that week and we would have the opportunity to explore those options or whatever the library had.  I devoured books during that time and I just loved it.  I remember coming home from school one day and having the sequel of a series that I had just started, in my hand.  I curled up on the big "fancy" couch and read until probably ten at night, but I finished it.
As I get older, I don't remember a time in the most recent past that I have had an experience similar to that.  The time that I read the most is while traveling, usually in an airport.  That's where I find myself finishing those sequels or finding the time to sit down and read a book that has been on my list for f-o-r-e-v-er (Sandlot reference) ;)

Well it's still January of twenty13 and you have more than 11 months ahead of you to start tackling some more books and perhaps, set a reading goal for yourself.  In my sidebar, you'll find that my goal for this year is 30 books.  I actually want to surpass that but I figure that 30 is a pretty good start and with work, may even be more challenging than I think it is.  At the bottom of this post, you'll find my Goodreads "to-read" shelf.  Goodreads is an online service that helps you organize your virtual bookshelf.  You can review and rate books that you've read, would like to read, and are currently reading.  If you are participating in the Blogger Book Swap, I highly recommend you either use your account or set one up.  Not only can create a wishlist of books that you would like "to-read" but you can also establish books that you already own.

On your left sidebar, you will find the above options.  At the top of this list, you will see that the books are organized into three distinct categories, as already mentioned. You can also add the Goodreads feature to your toolbar, so if you are exploring Amazon and are interested in a book, you can add that to your "to-read" list from there.  Pay special attention in this sidebar to the category "owned books."  Once you click on that, this will pop up:

By clicking on "Add books that I've shelved," you can add books that are part of those three original categories to books that you already own.  If you're like me, I have a ton of books that I own and still need to read.  So it would be silly for my book swap buddy to get me a book that I already own.  This is a great solution to that.

 A screen like this will pop-up and on the upper right, you will notice the drop down bar that can help organize your shelves by those three categories.  Easy peasy.

This Saturday, the registration will officially close and the Blogger Book Swap will officially begin.  If you have special circumstances, like live outside of the continental U.S. or have an APO address, please send me an e-mail at  I know there are 20+ people who have not received my latest e-mail because I sent it out when we had around 50 people registered, so I'll go over some useful tips.

This is a swap, so you'll have only one partner.  Get to know that person and the types of books that they enjoy.  Find out some of their favorite genres or literary characters.  Also find out what types of books they don't like.  Explore their Goodreads profile if they have one and update yours!  If you are just craving to read a specific book, I would suggest picking your top five and sharing that with your buddy.  Giving your partner a variety of options is always a great route, plus keeping that element of surprise makes the event a lot of fun.  Apart from the book, please include a letter to your partner explaining why you chose that book for them and just some awesome well wishes.  You don't have to include anything else, but a bookmark, notebook, trinkets, etc. are small ways to express your love of reading with your partner.  I already picked up a few items that I just love and I hope whoever I get partnered with has a love of writing :)

Check your e-mails this weekend to find out who your buddy is and if you haven't signed up for the free necklace giveway from Glassy Chic Boutique, make sure that you do!

Thanks for Reading!

Kimberly's to-read book montage

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb: A Novel
A Stolen Life
A Game of Thrones
Fifty Shades Freed
In One Person
A Feast for Crows
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Night Circus
A Clash of Kings
The Girl Who Played with Fire
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Water for Elephants
A Storm of Swords
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
A Dance With Dragons
Steve Jobs

Kimberly Erskine's favorite books »


  1. I'm excited about this swap! That's awesome that so many people have signed up.

    1. I check it everyday and something like 10+ people sign up every single day. Here I thought it was going to be a small event :P

  2. I can't wait to find out who my swap partner is! That's awesome that so many have gotten involved! Also, I love GoodReads. It allows me to keep track of all the books I've read and all the ones I want to read. :)

    1. I really like Goodreads and I need to get better about updating it. I think a combination of blogging more and reading more will help with that issue :P

  3. Replies
    1. Ahhhh me, too! Only a couple more days until the big announcement :)

  4. I can't wait to find out who my partner is either! I am hoping to go spend some time browsing for her(?) book Tuesday! =]

  5. My younger self is jealous of you for having had the opportunity to have "library period" in an actual library!! I basically had a library date ever other Sunday with my mom and in the summer would volunteer for the summer reading programs. Great tips for the swap