La Belle Vie
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Book Exchanges

Here in Québec, as elsewhere in many places around the world, we have our own little quirky thing: mini book exchanges/libraries—gaily coloured boxes on a sturdy pole. As Christine Poulson pointed out, this may be a quirk of the French, as she too had seen something similar on her recent travels in France. A Gallic tradition? Who knows. Maybe readers can comment on whether they too have seen something similar in their neck of the woods, or not.

Here, our small book exchanges are in boxes on poles situated at various junctions with a lot of foot traffic. Hopefully, they’re weather and waterproof given the legendary long winters we endure here. I presume so because each times I have past one, there are staked with lots of dry looking books. And yes, I see plenty of people using them, swapping out books and replacing ones they take with something they’ve brought in return.

I’ve even donated a book or two to this, our local book exchange, just around the corner.

What quirky things do you see on your travels around your local area?


  1. I really like the idea of those book exchanges, Alex. They may be quirky, but they work, and they make a place distinctive. To me, that’s part of their appeal. The fact that it’s books just makes it all the better 🙂

    • La Blonde says

      Oh, I know, Margot. They are such a fun feature, and I love trawling them to see what I can find. I get a few free books from publishers, which I usually recycle through these little libraries, along with any I did not finish and or will never read again. There’s only so much room in the apartment, and several hundred books take up a lot of space! 😉

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