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CERES Book Exchange

Home > Melbourne > Books and Writing | Community Events | Free
by Sue Stevenson (subscribe)
I write essays, short stories and political commentary and believe the colour orange is unfairly discriminated against.
Published January 28th 2014
Update August 24th 2016
The CERES Book Exchange no longer runs.

Swap your books for some books
As if CERES Environmental Park wasn't funky enough, with its emphasis on sustainable community, of producing organic, local food, and teaching others how to do the same in ways that are as good for the soil and for us as possible, now, from 1 February 2014, they will be playing host to a book exchange.

CERES Environmental Park, happy chook, permaculture, sustainability, chickens
The free-ranging chooks are happy at CERES. And now for some books ...

Dunno if you're anything like me, but I find it hard to part with books. There are ones I love that I read every couple of years, like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Or Helen Garner's True Stories, a collection of non-fiction pieces where she ventures into places I wouldn't think to (like a gun show) or where I wouldn't quite dare (like a morgue). Like Geraldine Brooks's Year of Wonders. Or like Eastern Body Western Mind, which marries psychology with the concept of chakras in a way that delights me and creates a story that works for me about the still-mysterious way energy works in our bodies (and which delights me even if you may have just lowered my IQ by 60 points for mentioning chakras).

The next level down from those books I will not be parted from, are many that I have loved but which I could possibly find it in me to part with if you persuaded me. I mean, if I knew I was taking them to a second home, where someone else could skim their eyes across their pages and take the same delight from them I did, would that make it easier to part with them?

Absolutely. Especially when the principle of this book exchange is "take one out, put one in." Because there would be nothing to entice me to part with some books quite like the possibility of taking some more home in return. Which, if this enterprise was about me minimising the piles of books lying all over the house, would be failing before it even started, akin to sticking a nicotine patch on while having a fag.

But that's okay. Because this isn't about me and my hoarding. This is about us and sharing our books. But still, I like to stay open to possibilities for addiction-minimising. I like to think that perhaps I would go all Zen and take a box full of books and come home with just one ~ a slim volume of poetry, perhaps. And the pleasure of knowing my books are being shared, recycled, repurposed, in someone else's hot little hand maybe even as I supped just one poem from my new volume would make me feel rich and spacious, which would only expand as I looked around the house and noticed the extra spaces where books once were.

A girl can dream. After all, in a world that includes proboscis monkeys, more things are wildly possible than your federal politicians will have you believe.

The Zen idea is nice. I like it. It's a distinct possibility. But most likely not a probability.

CERES are looking for donations of books, so if you are not as hoardish as me and would like to consider helping to stock the beginnings of the book exchange, please contact Monique Miller on 0439 796 020.

This book exchange takes place in a cave. As if sharing books in a cool green community space, costing nothing, wasn't enough.

To see some vids of what the good folk of CERES get up to, take a squiz here.
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Why? Because books, man. For free.
When: From 1 February 2014
Phone: 0439 796 020
Where: CERES Environmental Park, Cnr Roberts and Stewart Streets, Brunswick East
Cost: Nothin'
Your Comment
Thanks, Lorraine. I'd like to thank Weekend Notes and God.

(Why do people always thank God when they win stuff? It's always annoyed me. So they think that when they lose it is because God has abandoned them, and she is only on the side of winners? That seems like a crappy sort of a salesperson god to me, personally.

But I digress :)
by Sue Stevenson (score: 2|569) 2355 days ago
Nice work, Sue. Where would we be without book exchanges? I think it's the ultimate in recycling when we can share words, ideas, thoughts and dreams.
by Geraldine Massey (score: 3|8170) 2355 days ago
Is this happening every day or a specific day? Havent seen anything there yet!
by wilma (score: 0|8) 2349 days ago
Well done on getting gold :)
by Lorraine A (score: 3|1614) 2355 days ago
Thanks, Geraldine. Book exchanges and local libraries are wunderbar!
by Sue Stevenson (score: 2|569) 2355 days ago
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