SA Bookswap 101

The SA Bookstagram community is fairly young in comparison to the other international communities. But like the other we are all very passionate about reading and anything that will enable us to read more. One of the favorites among the bookstagrammers are the SA Bookswap.


Several times throughout the year, the amazing Tams (@bibliobookwolf) takes it upon herself to help us partner up and gives us a theme/guideline for each swap. To keep it fun and fair you don’t get the same partner twice. You create an awesome box for your partner and (probably lose a little sleep in anticipation) wait patiently for yours to arrive. Then in the ultimate test of self control you wait for UNBOXING DAY. You set your timer for Midnight and tear into your box and share the book love with the world on Instagram.


Everytime Book Swap comes around more and more people join in the fun. But as a new Book Swapper you might experience some insecurity and anxiety as to what to add to your Book Swap Box. So here is a little guideline to SA Bookswap.



  • Get to know your partner
  • Have a wishlist of what you want in your box
  • Keep the theme and budget in mind
  • Talk about likes and dislikes
  • Plan ahead – shipping can affect your ability to participate in unboxing day
  • Make sure you follow the SA Book Swap IG account for amazing deals that are available only to bookswappers
  • Make sure your IG account is public. We all want to share in the amazingness that is your box.
  • Add snacks and treats – Just remember to talk about allergies and lifestyle choices (vegans/gluten free etc)
  • Read the rules carefully
  • Do have fun with the packaging



  • Go over budget
  • Open before unboxing day – it spoils the fun
  • Follow to unfollow – it’s hurtful and you will wind up losing an amazing future friend
  • Blame anyone for missing out – there will be many more swaps in the future. Use this one to get some cool ideas
  • Give a box that you are not proud of. – You will be tagged in the posts so love the gift that you are sending
  • Buy books on your preference – you don’t have to read them, but your partner will.
  • Humiliate other swappers – everyone’s box is great and we all love what we get.



Every swap has a unique set of rules but the following list remains consistent:

  1. Every Box MUST INCLUDE at least 1 Book
  2. Shipping is on your own cost
  3. Boxes must arrive before unboxing day
  4. Unboxing giveaway entries must be a post tagging the sponsors as well as #sabookswap
  5. No opening before unboxing day.
  6. Public accounts only.


What to put in the box:

The below is just a guideline of what you can add to your box.

  • Book/s
  • Reading accessories – Book sleeves etc
  • Sweets, treats, coffee and tea
    • Brew Etc is running a special for Bookswappers to get a little something extra.
  • Stationary
    • Check out Yolk for some great goodies to help take your box to the next level
  • mugs/cups
  • Fandom Merchandise
    • The Ravenclaw has amazing stuff for all your Fandom wants and needs.
  • Bookmarks
  • Spoils – Bubble bath, Bath bombs, body lotion etc
  • Instagram Props

Here are a few more AMAZING shops you can support:



Magical Lit Crate

Lizelle Smith

Check out some of the amazing past boxes Bookswappers have sent and received:

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Photo credit goes to the follow Bookstagrammers, go check out their amazing profiles:


Budget Ideas:

Pinterest has awesome ideas that are budget friendly and easy to DIY for Book Lovers. Don’t be scared to get creative and make some awesome gifts for your Book Swap Partner. Go check out some of my previous blogs for a few DIY ideas

Fun paperclip bookmarks

Invigorating Body Scrub


Not comfortable asking the difficult questions? Use one of these amazing downloads to help get you started:

Not part of this swap? Don’t fret, the next intake will be around soon. Keep your eye on Tams Stories and the SA Book Swap IG page.

Interested in doing something similar in your area? Send your questions to Tams on IG.

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