Lorelei Books begins free book exchange

Published 9:46 am Monday, July 31, 2017

Each summer parents are forced to buy classic books such as “Lord of the Flies” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” for their children to read as part of their summer reading requirements. Then when the summer ends, the books are placed on the shelf to collect dust and never be touched again.

As summer comes to an end and students throughout Warren County prepare to put their required summer reading aside, Kelle Barfield, who owns Lorelei Books in downtown Vicksburg, has devised a plan to give these books a second life and save parents a little money down the road.

Lorelei Books is offering a free required reading book exchange, where students can turn in their finished books for credit they can spend the next time they need an assigned book.

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“The way it works is that they can bring back a required reading book that they have read this summer and we’ll give them a credit,” Barfield said. “We will keep a database. We will note that he or she has credit for one book.”

As books come in, they will be listed alphabetically on the store’s website at loreleibooks.com/featured-titles. When students see a book they need on the list, they can come back and exchange their credit or a used book for the one they need.

“It becomes a self-sustaining book exchange,” Barfield said. “That way, they don’t have to wait until we have the book they need to make the exchange. That way we get books in the inventory. We are trying to jumpstart this with basically nothing.”

The goal is to give students easy access to books they need for a short time and then allow them to trade the books back in instead of the books collecting dust on a shelf unread. 

“I am also aware for budget strapped families that can be a problem,” Barfield said of buying book every summer. “I also remember from my kids growing up, especially if you’ve got multiple children you end up with stacks of books they will never read again. A book is a precious thing. I hate to see it gathering dust in the corner somewhere.”

Lorelei Books only recently launched the book exchange and they only have a couple of books currently available. Barfield said her hope is that as students return to school and don’t need their books from this summer anymore, they will bring them in and build the inventory.

“I am hopeful it will eventually be a robust resource because so many of these of are classics,” she said. “Some teachers are putting books on their required reading lists without being conscious of the fact that at some point you can’t get that book very easily.”