The Book Swap

How to Participate:

1. Donate pre-loved books to isle of ARTisans.

Arrange a book donation via your workplace and we will collect them from you, or make a personal donation at our store.

2. Come in and enjoy a good read with a coffee and a snack.

3. Swap a book from our existing collection for one of your own.

Contribute Rs 100 towards sponsoring an artisan, and take your new-old book home to read.

You can always swap it out for another when you are done!

Gone are the days of old, when you could happily reply to that standard ice-breaker, “What is your hobby?” with a self-satisfied, “Reading.” In today’s busy, modern world either no one asks that question, or your answer is no longer the same. Yet, you never forget the warmth and pleasure your favourites brought you, and perhaps they lie in a dusty pile or a sacred box in your home – too dear to assign to an untimely death, but to remain forever untouched.

At Isle of Artisans (IoA), we follow the creed of Virginia Woolf, “Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack,” and invite you to give your ‘old friends’ a new home and add the ‘soul of books to an empty body of a room’ in our premises (to paraphrase Cicero).

The Book Swap is set up to provide a space of caring through sharing – your donated books will grace the shelves of our lounge room, for another avid reader can relax and enjoy with a warm cup of turmeric latte. As we fill our shelves, we hope you too can find a masterpiece that has escaped you and gently pull you back in to that world of quiet company in solitude. If you get too attached to a book, you are encouraged to “swap” it out in exchange for another book and a donation of Rs. 100 towards supporting a rural artisan to advance their enterprise, as per our overarching mission.

All excess books will be donated to libraries and other points of “book swapping” around the country. Join us in our effort to ‘listen to the art’ and defeat that most terrible of ‘dragons’, boredom, while helping to maintain Sri Lanka’s artistic heritage, create stable small enterprises with export potential, employment opportunities and the development of the rural economy through continued access to sustainable markets.

Contact us to organise a book collection via your work place or to make a personal donation towards our incentive.