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Published September 3rd 2021
Bring a book and borrow a book
Two mid-size Northern Suburb Shopping Centres are making it easy to find and share books through their in-store book exchanges sites.
Brookside Shopping Centre and Stafford City Shopping Centre in Brisbane's inner-northern suburbs have set up their own book exchange areas making it easy for readers to browse the shelves to find their next favourite read.
As its name implies, a book exchange or book swap is about giving away and sharing books that you have read or no longer want to keep in your home collection and offering it up for offers to take away and read.
Simply, place it on the shelves provided at the exchange site. Browse through the other titles and if you find one that you like, take it home to read. When you have finished, bring it back for another reader to borrow. So to put it simply, it is all about bringing a book and borrowing a book.
Brookside Shopping Centre The Book Exchange at Brookside Shopping Centre is located in the northern corridor of the complex opposite Big W and Prouds Jewellers.
Here you will find 4 Open Shelved bookcases stacked with pre-loved fiction, non-fiction books, magazines, even the odd encyclopaedia to browse through and take home before reading and bringing it back
As someone who enjoys crime drama, I have been seen smiling to find back catalogues of Linda La Plante and Patricia Cornwall novels to explore before finishing and returning for someone else to collect. I also found a CD by Pete Murray, so you can never quite anticipate what will be on the shelves.
An added surprise was to find that Plant Drop Australia had called by and left a succulent plant on top of the bookcase with a simple note of offering to give the plant a good home. Plant Drop Australia is a Facebook group that pot plant cuttings, where members find a spot to leave the plant with a special note and wait for a stranger to find it and take it home.
Brookside Shopping Centre is located at Osbourne Road, Mitchelton and is open between:
Stafford City Shopping Centre
The book exchange at Stafford is a little different. It is located in an enclosed shop (formerly occupied by Flight Centre). It is a little fancier and offers tall black bookshelves, as well as tables and chairs to get comfortable and sit back, flick through the pages of a selected book and chat with fellow book worms.
The offerings are a little slimmer at this site but it is still developing, so watch this space. The books and taking part in the Book Exchange is free and available during the opening hours of the shopping centres.
The Benefits of Reading
While exploring the book exchanges is a bit of a literary adventure, there are also positive health impacts for picking up a book. Research shows that regular reading:
improves brain connectivity.
increases your intelligence, vocabulary and comprehension.
empowers you to empathize with other people.
aids in sleep readiness.
lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
fights depression symptoms.
prevents cognitive decline as you age.
Beyond these health benefits, book exchanges can nurture stronger communities by sharing, increasing trust and openness as well as improving literacy, and providing accessible literature. Whenever I visit, I often see visitors talking about the books they have read and those they are looking forward to reading in the future.
Photo courtesy Bethany Laird
So I guess shopping doesn't have to be all about groceries and home essentials. Why not add finding some books to your shopping list and give yourself the opportunity to put your feet up and get lost in the adventure of a good story.
Mitchelton is situated 9 kms from the Brisbane CBD and Stafford is 8 kms.v
Book swaps are such a wonderful idea; for the people who enjoy the reading of them, for the fulfilling feeling that comes from sharing and for conservation as the books are reused over and over. There is a cafe in Inverloch, a small seaside town in Victoria that has a great book swap with the entire wall decked out in packing crate style bookshelves, (although unfortunately COVID has forced it to be blocked off for now.)