I have really cool friends. Just a fact. Over the break, my dear friend Mariah arranged for our first ever book exchange party! For the exchange, we were asked to bring a book important to us. It was an interesting challenge. We were not asked to bring an “intellectual” read, a spiritual read, or even our “favorite winter break read”. But we were simply asked to bring a book that, in some way, left it’s mark on us.
Before the actual book exchange, we played the Pilgrim’s Progress board game, which IS as awesome as it sounds. However, poor Mariah was “Lost Forever on a Path Called Destruction.” But Mariah was not the only unfortunate soul, as many of us spent multiple turns in penance for attending “Vanity Fair,” where we obtained worthless, worldly possessions like husbands. Tisk tisk on our souls.
Above are the books we brought and exchanged. The choices were interesting and, for the most part, to be expected. I’m not sure how much thought others put into their choices, but I spent days trying to decide on a novel. I ended up selecting Flannery O’Connor’s short story collection A Good Man is Hard to Find, which ended up in the hands of our beloved Ashley. Mariah submitted her favorite book Howl’s Moving Castle (which she swears is radically different and better than the film). Lauren Manske, Nicole, and Michelle also picked old favorites: The Little Friend, Surviving the Applewhites, and The Princess Bride. Ashley brought a fantasy novel she had enjoyed. And finally, Lauren Jordan brought the scandal with William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, which I left with (and was also quite appropriate, considering I spent about five rounds in penance for attending the “Vanity Fair”).
Christmas Break was long. I missed my friends, my dorm, and being in class (weird, right?). Mariah’s book exchange was small, simple, and just what we all needed at the right time. So, if you have bookish friends, I highly recommend such a party. You never know what you might learn about an old friend.