Book Exchange!

  Although I have never actually accomplished reading on the beach

Although I have never actually accomplished reading on the beach

There is something about the summer that makes it the perfect time to read. I have a theory that the most anticipated books of the year come out in the summer. This summer, I've already read An American Marriage, and I am looking forward to reading Educated with a friend.

Have you heard about the Global Book Exchange? Have you already participated? Once I saw it on a friend’s IG story on Sunday, I knew I had to be part of it.

For the last 15 years, I have judged the men I dated by their love for The West Wing TV series and/or the books they read. You've got to have a quick way of sifting through! Not that this has helped, but I am sure it has spared me. My favorite people, male or female, read, and read a lot. Voracious readers automatically get my respect.

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When I enter anyone’s home, I am almost always drawn to their book shelves. In college, I worked in the library for 2 years. I love books, their titles, the acknowledgements, how they transport you to a different world, how they expose you to old ideas and new possibilities, how they allow you escape your present realities, and mostly, how we are all granted free reign to imagine the world created in the book and to amplify whichever of the various concepts explored in the book resonate with us.

“What is your favorite book?” Has been one of me and my sister’s favorite questions to ask anyone. I think you can tell a lot about a person by their response to this question. My sister recently asked on our cousins’ group chat what everyone’s top 5 favorite books were, and that conversation went on and on for days. We had classics like the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Old man and the sea, the Count of Monte Cristo and the Alchemist represented. As well as, new Africa-inspired books, including: Homegoing, Ghana must Go, Half of a Yellow Sun. And even Pride and Prejudice and Little Women. I was so pleased to find out that my 11 year old cousin reads James Patterson novels :0!

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I am so excited about this book exchange, because anything that makes the world (or a large group of people) come together towards some positive objective is a thing of beauty. In the 4 days since, I have seen other friends participate, and at first I thought of adding multiple streams to my participation, but on final analysis, I think that will make it complicated and splinter the pathway.

Some further thoughts on this:

  • I sent 2 books, because it is impossible for me to choose one favorite anything, and also because I wanted to give one African book to my American recipient
  • My favorite book is any one of 5 Sidney Sheldon books (in order: If tomorrow Comes, Master of the Game, Nothing Lasts Forever, Sands of Time). I think this might have something to do with the fact that they are the first amazing grown up books I read after Enid Blyton, and also I had to hustle to read them in ACO
  • I was worried that the person may have read Sidney Sheldon, so I ended up sending Shogun by James Clavell, another favorite. I asked my friend, “what if this person has already read my favorite book?” and her response was, “I guess that is not your problem!” What an excellent response, I hope to be more like this, to worry only about the things that are within my control
  • Did you ever have a pen pal? This feels sort of like that, but not quite

I hope you participate and in so doing, add momentum to this audacious cause, as well as, get your friends to interact with your other friends.

Happy Reading!