Bookworms Trade Titles On The Big Book Swap Day

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Book swaps help raise money to fund literacy in the developing world | Room to Read

How many times have you heard, or said, "It's amazing - I'll have to lend it to you"?

A lot, we reckon. Because after you've read a brilliant book, the next thing you want to do is pass it onto your nearest and dearest to share the experience. And we're not the only ones to think so; Room to Read charity has launched The Big Swap Day today to do just that - swap books you love. Even better, swappers will be donating cash to the charity too, which improves literacy and gender equality education in the developing world.

Charitable book-swapping types can head to Daunt Books tonight, along with a copy of their favourite book and why they love it, to swap their tome for another person's favourite. They are also encouraged to donate the cost of their book to the charity.

Speaking to Nina Hind, Co-Leader from Room to Read's London Chapter, she said the best book swaps "are when everyone there loves reading and talking about books. It's like a book club without the pressure of being told what book to read and instead a chance to discuss many different books, favourite characters and come away with lots of great recommendations."

What would Hind take to a book swap? "Ross Raisin's Waterline." She continues, "I take a different book each time and always buy a new one as I'm sentimental about parting with a book that I have loved reading. My favourite book that I have come away with was the “Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri, which I would never have picked out in a book store."

But as well as being a good book-swapper, part of the fun is about what you come back home with. Hind says her dream Book Swap attendees would be "Richard Yates, if he were still alive, he's one of my favourite authors. And Stephen Fry would surely be a great addition to any book swap."

To get involved, members of The Huffington Post UK team have said what book they'd love to swap, and why, below. What would you donate? Have you loved any of these books too? Let us know in the comments below!

Deer Hunting With Jesus, Joe Bageant
"Bageant paints a sympathetic view of small town, uneducated America and explains without mocking why they think and behave in a manner that appears completely alien to not only coastal Americans but the rest of the world. Why do Palin, Bachmann, Santorum et al gain traction in mainstream US politics? Here's the answer..."

Stasiland, Anna Funder
"Tales from behind the Berlin Wall. An Australian with German heritage, Funder returns to Berlin to interview those who opposed the east German regime, as well as those who collaborated with it. Essential reading for anyone with an interest in the Cold War or the workings of the totalitarian system."

Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer
"Possibly the most comprehensive book on religion in recent past, Krankauer focuses on the two murders carried out within the Mormon community and uses this as a starting point for an investigation into the history and origins of the religion/cult, as well as drawing broader conclusions about the role of religion and modernity."

Paul Vale, Deputy News Editor

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami
"Because it makes you realise sitting on your ass gets you nowhere in life."

Stephen Hull, Executive Editor

Middlesex by Geoffry Eugenies
"It's one of the most eye-opening books that I've ever read. It's not just interesting because it's about transgender issues, it's about culture and identity and the challenge of finding out who you are. It's also beautifully written and incredibly engaging."

Dina Rickman, Assistant Editor

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
"For its haunting atmosphere and the psychological power struggle. The blur between dream and reality and du Maurier's incredible writing."

Jacqueline Head, News Editor

Catch 22, Joseph Heller
"It’s both the funniest and saddest thing I have read. I think probably also nostalgia as I first read it when I was about 15. Which is not a depressingly long time ago."

Ned Simons, Assistant Editor

How the Dead Live, Will Self or The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
"They're two of the most inventive books you'll ever read that transport you seamlessly into alternative realities that teach us a lot about ourselves and the human condition in often hilarious ways."

Jody Thompson, Blogs Editor

Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby
"This book brought me a very real inner peace. It made me realise that it's not completely idiotic to allow football to affect your life so much. It made me realise how valuable football is to emotionally repressed men who need an outlet, and if we can find meaning in the parallels between our lives and football which brings us comfort, how can this be a bad thing?"

Luke McGee, Assistant Blogs Editor

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
"It's an amusing, very tongue-in-cheek classic which is still small enough not to need a suitcase to carry it around."

Lucy Sherriff, Universities and Education Reporter

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Filed by Alice E. Vincent