I absolutely love putting these boxes together for our South African Book Swap and I cannot wait for the fourth one in December; I’m so excited!
But we had our third book swap recently and this time we were tasked to plan strategically because there would be a set budget – a very small one, at that.
Our boxes were to contain:
- one or more second hand / used book (to keep costs low), either from a used book store or from our own shelves;
- total budget for the entire box, excluding shipping, was R150.00 (approximately US$10.00)
If there’s one thing you should know about me; I hardly ever stick to a budget…
My third swap partner was Stella from George; she like the colour blue, has an online stationary store and is momma to a black and white cat called Mitchie.
Stella and I both decided that we would capitalize on the budget by taking books off our own shelves instead of using a quarter of the budget on the book alone, thereby maximising on the items that we could add with the book. So we sent each other a short video of the books we were willing to put up for trade and let each other know which books in each pile we already had, then we each get to choose a book from the remaining pile and base the box around it.
I immediately decided on Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, because I loved the book and I loved the movie and I lived during that era and I wanted Stella to enjoy the story as much as I did.
“Whenever I saw the sun, I reminded myself that I was looking at a star. One of over a hundred billion in our galaxy. A galaxy that was just one of billions of other galaxies in the observable universe. This helped me keep things in perspective.” – Ernest Cline
Then I went shopping!
My favourite little shop always has the cutest boxes and I just couldn’t resist this box because it totally screamed, “Mitchie!”; I also got some pretty blue wrapping paper at the same time. Even though the box a third of my budget I justified it by reasoning that the box and paper and bows, etc don’t count towards the items so I still had my full budget to work with. I also got this cute little cassette tape coin purse here.
But the very first item I wanted for the box was a Rubik’s Cube, which is an iconic symbol in Ready Player One. Other icons I wanted to add this box was the Iron Giant and the Delorian from Back to the Future (remember that?).
Alas, there is absolutely nothing available for the Iron Giant anywhere online (locally – I didn’t check international sites) which really bummed me out… then I started searching for the Delorian and the most reasonable thing was a DVD: and inspiration struck.
Because the prices were really low, I decided to add both Ready Player One & Back to the Future DVDs to the box; but I still wanted to represent the Iron Giant in some way…
As you guys already know, I’m all about the DIY life but I couldn’t come up with a single DIY idea, not one. But there should be at least a bookmark in book box, right?
So after some deliberation I found a couple images on Google and then I just tweaked them a little, lol, and then had them professionally printed as a bookmark and 2 prints; they came out really well and the printing didn’t cost me an arm and a leg either.
Of course, the box still needed a couple of finishing touches…
Since there’s no such thing as a book lover who does not also love stationery, I added a pack of Neon Gel Pens; I use these pens on a regular basis and I just happened to have a spare pack on hand, so into the box it went.
I also had this lovely notebook which I’d bought originally as a prop and I added it because Stella loves the colour blue; and a little Avon Far Away solid perfume just added a little feminine touch.
And there you have it; I’m actually quite proud of this box.
Book Swap #4 will be happening on 13 December and the theme is : Baby, It’s (not) Cold Outside. Because we have Christmas in summer! Get it?
In case you missed it, or just want to compare, have a look at the boxes I put together for book swap 1 which didn’t have a theme and book swap 2 : Loadshedding Survival Kit. Which box, so far, is your favourite? Until next time…