Book Swap Party: How to Host an Epic Event


Book It! is a feature on The Candid Cover that discusses books and ideas for young adult book clubs and parties.

book swap party

Host a book swap party for a really fun and easy way to get together with friends and fellow book lovers! A few weeks ago, I invited some friends over to exchange books, create some bookish crafts, eat some book themed food and just talk books. Our little get-together was not only a success, it was a great way to find some friends who share an interest in books. Below, you will find my suggestions for hosting an epic book swap party. 

  • Send out Book Swap Party Invitations

A very simple and effective way to invite your guests is to use a digital invitation or a website such as Evite. This site will help you to create your invitation and email it out to your guests. I find it easy to keep track of who is attending and it is also a great way to create buzz and conversation with your friends before the event. On the invitation, there is a space for writing more details where I requested that each guest bring at least 2 books with them to trade.

  • Bookish Food and Drink

There are so many fantastic food and drink ideas that you can put together that are themed around books in general or about specific books. I had a mix of book related foods for my guests.

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There was some hummus and “Peeta” chips (The Hunger Games), Cat in the Hat fruit kabobs, Nerds candy, Turkish Delight (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), licorice (plot) twists, butter beer (Harry Potter) and Dauntless cake (Divergent).

  • Book Swap Party Decorations

A quick search on making pendants will give you more than enough ideas on decorating for a book swap party. You can literally transform your entire house into a book haven, right down to your shower curtains. While I would have loved to plaster my house with bookish decorations, I chose a simple and cost effective decorating technique. Simply using your own books, some Scrabble letters and a few pages ripped from a thrift shop book can give a really cute atmosphere to your party.

  • Bookish Crafts

Whenever I host a party, I always try to have any activity or two to keep my guests busy and to help with conversation. Sometimes when you invite friends over that are unfamiliar with each other it is awkward and having something to work on together can help to alleviate that and provide some fun at the same time. Also, let’s face it, booknerds tend to be on the quiet side!

For this party, we made some simple bookish journals and pendants.

To create the journals, we used dollar store journals and some scrapbook paper that we cut to fit and then used Mod Podge to adhere it for a cute and easy cover.

Next, we had a really fun time making pendants that were inspired by my friend, Kim, over at Dreaming in Libraries. To make the process quick and easy for a short party, I opted to use Mod Podge to glue the design to the cabochon. In this case, we used pages from a thrift store copy of Gone With the Wind. Also, hot glue was used to affix the pendants to the cabachons. While the finished pendants aren’t as professional as Kim’s, they still turned out quite nicely and I enjoy spotting my friends wearing theirs every once in a while!

  • The Book Swap

The last part of the party (and the most exciting!) was our book swap. As people arrived I had them place their books on a bookshelf designated for the exchange. There were also tickets that I purchased from the dollar store for guests to take. However many books a person brought determined how many tickets they received. When it came time for the swap, guests exchanged their tickets for a “new” book. I also provided some little totes for everyone to use for their books as a fun thank you.


There were a few unclaimed books that were on the shelves after the party that I donated to a local charity. We had such a wonderful time and it was so much fun that I think I might do another book swap party. It is a fantastic way to have a great time with your friends and get yourself a few new books in the process!


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About The Candid Cover

Olivia ❀ YA book blogger, Starbucks lover, novice New Yorker, & professional bibliophile.

17 thoughts on “Book Swap Party: How to Host an Epic Event

    • Candid Cover says:

      Thanks! You would be surprised! Also, there isn’t any actual reading required, so there is no pressure on your friends who don’t read as often. 🙂

  1. Jaime Lynn says:

    I would love to do something like this, but I would only have one person in attendance. None of my other friends love to read as much as I do. It wouldn’t be the greatest party ever!

    • Candid Cover says:

      Can you imagine trying to create pendants, read, review and take on all of the social media we do? I have often thought about what would do well on Etsy, but just never had a desire. Maybe some day when that TBR gets a little bit smaller. lol <3

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