Vancouver on the Cheap: Book Exchanges


If you were to create a Venn diagram where one circle was labeled “cheap” and the other labeled “awesome”, the middle point where they cross over could be labeled “Vancouver on the Cheap”. In other words, this is a weekly series on things to do and places to go in Vancouver that fall into that magical category of being both cheap and awesome.

Got a cheap-living tip you’d like to share? Send it in here or tweet it to @andreaxuaxua (#cheapthing)!

You may have noticed one in your neighbourhood, or along your bike route. A small shelving unit, covered in one way or another to protect it from the rain, and filled with books. Their cropping up all over the city: free neighbourhood book exchanges. It’s a beautiful concept! Take a book you’re interested in reading or leave a book that you’re done with. Some are just a shelf or two built into a fence, others are adorned with planter boxes or done up to look like little tree houses or phone boxes. Some even keep updated online lists of the books! Also known as “Little Libraries” these are a wonderful way to promote a sharing economy in the city!


If you haven’t spotted one near you yet, there is now a Google Map of the known book exchange locations put together by Miranda Nelson of the Georgia Straight. If there’s one in your neighbourhood that isn’t included yet, send it in.