In My Mailbox: Loot from Singapore Book Exchange 2012

Two days ago, I blogged about the Singapore Book Exchange: Give A Book, Get a Book initiative which is spearheaded by the National Library Board. The event happened yesterday and I thought that it would be awesome to share with you some of my book finds as part of our In My Mailbox contribution – a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren. This is a perfect space to feature the books we discovered, found, fell on our unsuspecting hands during the week. And it brings me such great pleasure to share not one, not two, but twenty books I got in exchange for the old, unloved, tattered ones I used to have.

To say that it was a madhouse yesterday would be an understatement. We arrived a little past 9 am (the event started promptly at 8:30 in the morning), and it was jampacked – the NLB Plaza was filled with book-hunters. Yet despite the sizable crowd, it was all very orderly and efficiently-organized, that’s Singapore for you.

On to the Books: Novels for Adults and Young People

I exchanged twenty of our old book titles (mostly my daughter’s old books that she does not enjoy any longer and a few adult novels that were given to me, but didn’t really resonate with me that much). I thought it would be great to begin my book finds with a Neil Gaiman title: Neverwhere. I was also glad to find Lyra’s Oxford by Philip Pullman. I am a huge fan of His Dark Materials, so this is a fabulous find for me. I also have a copy of Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City, so I thought of giving his Thunderstruck a try. I am also slowly collecting titles by Alexander McCall Smith, and how could I possibly resist this title: Friends, Lovers, Chocolate.

I also found Jostein Gaarder’s Maya, Cynthia Voigt’s Tree by Leaf, and a book that I have been quite intrigued about for awhile now: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.

My eyes were immediately drawn to My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk primarily because it won the Nobel Prize in Literature. I thought that it would be a great add-in to our Award-Winning-Books Reading Challenge (do sign up here if you haven’t joined us yet). Foundation’s Edge by Isaac Asimov is also a perfect fit for the AWB Reading Challenge as it won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. I became interested in Asimov after seeing quite a number of group reads and group discussions online. For Asimov fans, do let me know though if I should begin with this book, or if there is any other book you’d recommend.

On Picture Books and Scary Stories

My ten year old daughter claimed that she wanted to give Mr. Midnight a try. Since this is technically cost-free, anyway, I thought that I might as well indulge her, and so she got James Lee’s My Creepy Computer There’s a Ghost in my Photo and Scary School Bus to Nowhere: Revenge of the Goldfish. She was also pretty happy to find a Goosebumps book: R. L. Stine’s Secret Agent Grandma. 

Because I am crazy about fractured fairy tales, I was happy to find Once Upon a Princess and a Pea, story by Ann Campbell and illustrations by Kathy Osborn Young. I was also excited to find a picture book by Michael Morpurgo: Joan of Arc with illustrations by Michael Foreman – seems to be perfect for our bimonthly theme on Girl Power and Women’s Wiles. For those of you who may have been following our blog for awhile now, you would know how absolutely crazy I am over Raymond Briggs, so I was beside myself when I discovered The Man just lying there unloved. I immediately grabbed the book and put it in my bag.

And my favorite book finds… saving the best for last…

I swore my heart nearly stopped beating when I saw all five books by Jasper Fforde at one go: The Eyre Affair, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, The Fourth Bear, and The Big Over Easy. What is even more amazing is that I just found Lost in a Good Book by Fforde a few days ago in Bras Basah (will be posting that for IMM next week). What are the chances of finding all five books in the Book Exchange? Wow. I just hope that they do this event again at the end of the year. Truly a highly successful event and an inspired idea.

How about you? What’s in your mailbox this week? Any book exchanges in your part of the world?

34 Comments on In My Mailbox: Loot from Singapore Book Exchange 2012

  1. Terrific books, some I’m familiar with, some I’ve read. I remember liking Voigt’s Tree By Leaf, but don’t remember anything about it. What I am doing is cleaning out my professional books, which are wonderful, but just sit on the shelf, with the exception of a few well-used ones, & a few I use parts of. So I didn’t acquire anything this week, but am giving, so could have used a swap for sure!


    • Hi Linda, I was extremely excited when I discovered all Jasper Fforde books in one corner! Literally a treasure trove. I’m looking forward to knowing more of Voigt’s writing this year, will let you know once I read Tree by Leaf – I’m looking forward to reading the Tillerman cycle first though. Book swaps are wonderful. 🙂


  2. Oh, wow. this book exchange sounds awesome though I’ve yet to hear about it in Malaysia. Or maybe I’m not aware of it?!
    The titles looks great although I’m not very familiar with them except for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Lol.
    Happy Reading =D

    My IMM


  3. I wish we had a book exchange here in Portland, OR. That would be incredibly fun and exciting to see what books you might find! I had no idea there was a Lyra’s Oxford and will have to look that one up! Happy reading.


    • Hi Mel, I’m pretty amazed at the sense of organization here, so it was a good thing, because it could have very easily gotten out of hand. Do let me know if there’s any upcoming book exchanges in your part of the world.


  4. I love the idea behind this event! I wish we had something similar in Hungary 😦 It looks like so much fun – thanks for sharing your photos with us! And I hope you’ll enjoy your books as well 🙂 Happy reading!

    Here’s my haul for this week.

    Vicky (:
    Books, Biscuits, and Tea


  5. The Book Exchange sounds like so much fun! I love Jasper Fforde what a great find – The Eyre Affair series is fantastic 🙂 Have a great time reading all your new books!

    My IMM for the week:

    Happy Reading!


    • Hi there Philippa, I’m halfway through Eyre Affair and I have yet to really get into it and sink my teeth into the story. I’m starting to like Thursday Next though. 🙂 Hades is a fascinating character.


  6. I would have loved your Book Exchange! Sounds like my idea of heaven. The Joan of Arc book (natch) and My Name is Red are ones I would have picked too. Have a great week!


  7. Awesome books! Book Exchanges are always fun 🙂 Enjoy your books & Stop By My IMM Post


    • Hi there Molly, this one is a massive book exchange. I was apprehensive at first, not knowing the type of books I’d find when I go there, but it proved to be more than worth my while.


  8. WOW! This is such a cool idea!


  9. OMG, that was a LOT of people looking to exchange books! What a fantastic idea… although I hate parting with my pretties!!

    Here is this week’s Mailbox Post

    Also, don’t forget to enter the AWESOME giveaway (ends today)

    Happy Reading!
    Lindsay @ Turning the Pages


    • Hi there Lindsay, I know what you mean about it being a painful experience parting with your books. I made sure I selected those that didn’t resonate with me that much and the ones that my daughter has obviously outgrown. It was a pretty great deal. 🙂


  10. Wow, that is an amazing haul that you have there! So many wonderful books to read.

    Thanks for sharing!

    My IMM
    Renae @ Rolling with the Moments


  11. Sony The Booklover // April 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm // Reply

    That a really amazing cause and helps give books a new life, you what they one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And you got some great books in return. Click on my name to see what I got in my mailbox.


    • Hi Sony, very true what you said about one man’s trash being another’s treasure – precisely the reason why I love book exchanges, book bargain bins, and discounted bookstores – makes me feel like a real book hunter.


  12. That looks a great event! You did very well!


    • Hi there Booketta, nice to see you drop by. I think I did. 🙂 The Jasper Fforde books are fabulous finds. I was ready to go home as soon as I found them.


  13. A Book Exchange sounds awesome. I wish they would have them here. I hope you enjoy all of your books. I hope your daughter enjoys her books as well.
    Nancy @ The Avid Reader
    My IMM


  14. That sounds like such a fantastic event! I can only imagine if they did something like that around here, how popular it would be. Great haul!

    My IMM


  15. Goosebumps!!! I loved loved loved those when I was younger, oh my gosh. I owned them all and read them so much they fell apart. Great books this week!!

    Check out my IMM?

    Enjoy your reading!


    • Hi Danie, I often feature quite a number of Goosebumps books for IMM because my daughter’s crazy about them and she keeps on finding great deals when we go to discounted bookstores. She’d be happy to read your comment. 🙂


  16. Looks like you had a yummy week!!

    Thanks for sharing,


  17. Wow you got some great books! I’m also a huge fan of His Dark Materials and I do own Lyra’s Oxford but I haven’t read it yet. I should get on that!

    Enjoy your books! It looks like they should last you a while!

    Here’s my IMM


    • Hi Ashley, I’m pretty excited to read Lyra’s Oxford too. I was pretty disturbed by Philip Pullman’s books but they remain favorites of all time. I hope I could get to read Lyra’s Oxford soon, it’d jog my memory about the trilogy, hopefully.


4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. An April Round-Up: Reading Challenge Updates, Progressive Poetry, April AWB Winners and More… «
  2. In My Mailbox (46): Bargain Books and Library Loot «
  3. Singapore Book Exchange 2013 |
  4. [BHE 54] Loot from the Singapore Book Exchange |

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