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Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

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Readers exchange mysteries, memoirs and more in second annual book swap

Book+Blog+member+Kristiyan+Kurtev+%289%29+helps+students+choose+books+during+the+book+swap+at+lunch+in+the+Quad+on+Thursday.+Last+year%2C+Book+Blog+also+hosted+a+book+drive%2C+except+it+was+in+collaboration+with+the+Green+Team+for+Earth+Week.
Jonathan Szeto
Book Blog member Kristiyan Kurtev (9) helps students choose books during the book swap at lunch in the Quad on Thursday. Last year, Book Blog also hosted a book drive, except it was in collaboration with the Green Team for Earth Week.

Harker Upper School Book Blog hosted its second annual book swap in the quad during lunch on Nov. 16 and in the Nichols Atrium after school on Nov. 17.

Students and faculty explored dozens of books arranged on a table and either exchanged them with their own or took as many as they wanted for free. Book Blog encouraged participants to bring books that were in good condition and appropriate for their fellow classmates. The selection of texts included books ranging from Karen M. McManus’s mystery thriller novel “One of Us Is Next” to “Latin for Dummies,” a playful instructional reference for those learning the language co-authored by upper school Latin teacher Clifford Hull.

Although the Book Blog held a book drive in conjunction with Green Team’s clothing swap for Earth Week last spring, this event was the first book swap that they organized by themselves. Upper school librarian and Book Blog advisor Amy Pelman explained the reasoning behind the club’s decision to give students and faculty the opportunity to exchange books instead of donating them.

“We decided to organize this event because it’s a fun way for people to take books that they already read and trade them for something new,” Pelman said. “Everybody gets something, and it’s more sustainable that way. Not only can they get rid of old books lying around, but they can also find something interesting and fresh for themselves to read.”

Not only can they get rid of old books lying around, but they can also find something interesting and fresh for themselves to read

— Amy Pelman, Book Blog advisor

Avid reader Aurelia Spura (9), who exchanged seven books for other ones, appreciated the event as a chance to not only obtain new books but also chat with other reading enthusiasts from Book Blog.

“The book swap is such a sweet concept because it’s really nice that everybody can give away books that they don’t need anymore to get new ones,” Aurelia said. “The [Book Blog members] were also really nice, and I was able to ask them about their opinion on many of the books, which was super helpful. It was a great experience and opportunity for me to get more books.”

The Book Blog initially planned to host the book swap in the quad on Friday, but inclement weather forced the event to move indoors into the Nichols Atrium, next to the long line of students and faculty waiting for cake as a part of Cake Friday. Pelman highlighted the difficulties in logistical planning that came with holding the club’s first ever independent book swap, especially considering the unforeseen circumstances of the rain and larger-than-expected crowd.

“We wanted to do a proactive event that included swapping books, so it was definitely a lot more people-heavy,” Pelman said. “There were a lot more people gathering around the tables, we have a lot more people manning the table. Between lunch and after school we’ve just had a lot more business and interaction.” 

With many exchanging multiple books of their own, dozens of students and faculty members were able to spend time with other enthusiastic readers and look forward to reading more books over Thanksgiving break. Book Blog member James Blenko (12) felt that the work leading up to the event paid off and noted the importance of encouraging fellow classmates to read more in their free time.

“Although we had to do quite a bit of marketing with posters, announcements in Schoology and the school meeting, it’s just a labor of love for me,” James said. “I love books and seeing people at Harker reading for fun. Our goal with Book Blog is to encourage people to do that, so it was really exciting having conversations at the table about books that we’re reading.”

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About the Contributors
Charlie Wang, Reporter
Charlie Wang (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is his second year on staff. This year, Charlie Wang hopes to improve his photography and writing skills and illustrate for journalism. In his free time, he enjoys drawing, playing obscure games and running in circles.
Jonathan Szeto, Reporter
Jonathan Szeto (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is his second year on staff. This year, Jonathan hopes to improve his photography skills and interview more people around campus. In his free time, he enjoys playing piano and learning more about aerospace.

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