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Tough Guy Book Club End of Year Book Swap

Towards the end of the year Tough Guy Book Club engages in a traditional Book Swap where every member who signs up is assigned a name and address of another participant, at random, and sends them a book they love, off their shelf or newly bought, with a note or anonymous, it doesn’t matter. Each year the TGBC book swap promises three things. A chance to share a special book with a far-off goon you’ve never met before, the building of a closer community across the global reaches of TGBC, and heaps of drama in the set up. And this year was no different.  We will start by giving a huge shoutout to the hard-working goons behind the scenes who coordinated hundreds swaps between people all over the world. Hats off to you and drinks on everyone else! Also, the community deserves to be recognised for their patience, there were questions and concerns, but few grumbles and no abuse.

Book swap is always an eagerly anticipated event and a favourite feature of TGBC for a lot of goons.  Some spend ages thinking about what book to send along, carefully curating a selection that is just right. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone loves to get a package in the post. Some got the perfect match and threw themselves into a holiday read while whittling down their TBR pile in an instant. Others unwrapped something they would never think of buying for themselves, but these gems often end up in a prize spot on the bookshelf. The end of year can be a tough time for some, and book swap can be a bright spot in a quiet time of year, made even quieter by observing festive activities around them and not being a part of them – a physical delivery representing someone thinking of them can mean a hell of a lot at the right time!

The Pool Hall was flooded with photos of the goodies after they had been dropped off.  Some dog eared and well-thumbed tomes that have been pulled from a personal bookshelf, some uncracked spines sent direct from the bookshop with that new book smell intact. Many combined book swap with the #dropshop challenge and sent a treasure unearthed in an OP shop or goodwill shop.  There is no wrong way to do this, unless you forget the bloody book of course.

Some also included a little something extra, while this is not required or expected, some goons got lollies or a choccy bar, a little dram of something to enjoy the book with, or even something more random – there was a cigar, a slap band, and DVDs even featured quite a lot this year – however you use those things these days.  The most appreciated extras, however, were the notes, cards, and postcards. A little bit of writing to explain the decision for the book, passing on holiday wishes, or just reaching out to a random goon to say hello.

As one of the most loved traditions of TGBC, it was great to see book swap being so well received and participated in this year. Thank you to everyone who sent a book and posted their gratefully received haul in the pool hall.  We can’t wait to do it all again next year.

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