Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Book Exchange 2012--Crybabies Not Allowed

It may come as a shock, but I like books. OK, maybe it doesn't come as a shock. This blog is all about books, after all.

But I can't help it. I come from a family of bibliophiles. I also come from a family of lying, cheating thieves. Case in point. Tonight we met to celebrate Christmas--and to complete our annual book exchange, a no holds barred, take no prisoners game of Dirty Santa where all the gifts are books.

Here we are gathered around the book pile getting ready to start.

And we are not just bibliophiles, but geeky bibliophiles, to boot. Here are members of the family Skype-ing in from Houston, Dallas, and Baltimore in order to take part in the festivities.

The rules work like this. You get to pick a book from the pile and open it or steal a book that someone else has already opened. It's a pretty good idea to pick a known quantity given the varying quality of the books in the pile. Case in point. Tonight What the Dog Saw and Sweet Tooth touched spines with The Bottecelli Secret and You Betcha. Stealing is often the best strategy.

Here is what I came away with. Heck yeah!

I stole it from my cousin who stole it from Captain America via Skype. Maybe this will become a cooking blog.

Also making its expected  appearance was the perennial favorite, Build and Repair With Concrete featuring Don Knotts. Each year the "winner" of this books gets to sign the inside cover and bring it back next year disguised as best they can. One year my cousin hollowed out the inside of an oversized children's book and hid the Concrete book inside just to throw us all off the scent. This year my uncle took it home, but I secretly think he enjoys reading it while it's at his house.

This year I decided to make a Glenda the Good Witch foil to the Wicked Witch of the West Concrete book, just in case there was anyone who is as challenged as I with making a dent in their books off the shelves list and was just looking for a little decoration.

I made another Read book.

This one was rather challenging, though. The pages, though not the oldest I have folded, were definitely some of the most brittle, even more so than the Bounty book. The effect, however, was really kind of cool, I thought. The word was definitely not as smooth as other ones I've done, but the broken, imprecise folds gave it a neat texture, as if to say this book is truly vintage and has seen its share of years.

Here is my cousin who stole the book from her mother who stole the book from my mother. There is no honor among thieves--or my family.

Just a lot of love.


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun! So how does one go about the actual stealing... wait for a back to be turned or is it trickier than that?

  2. No, stealing is definitely right out in the open. We draw numbers to begin and when your number comes up you can pick an unwrapped book or you can take a book that someone has already unwrapped. At that point, THAT person gets to unwrap a book or take someone else's. You can take any book that has been opened from anyone unless it's frozen (it's already been stolen twice during the game).