Idea of the Day: Multi-coloured Swap Shop

I’m showing my age here by bringing up Noel Edmond’s Multi-coloured Swap Shop but it was a bit of a Saturday morning institution when I was a kid (I still have the scarf in a box somewhere). I soon swapped to the more entertainingly anarchic Tiswas when it finally went national but that doesn’t work as a link into today’s idea of the day.

The Guardian today announced their National Book Swap.¬†As a voracious reader I love this idea. It’s really easy to get stuck in a rut with your reading. I go through phases of only reading non-fiction (currently reading Bill Bryson’s At Home). Then only historical novels (Wolff Hall was excellent). Then it’s all about Sci-Fi for a while. (Neal Stephenson’s Anathem the best I’ve read this year).

The idea of coming upon a book you’ve never read before or swapping books with someone (see Bookcrossing) who has a very different taste in genre is really appealing to me. It broadens your horizons. A bit like the browsing idea from earlier in the week I suppose.

Anyway, it’s prompted the idea of swapping work instead of books. Get someone from another team to take a look at what you’re working on. Especially if you’ve found yourself at an impasse. A dispassionate alternative view is often just what you need to unlock the problem.


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  • Carolyn Watson

    Can I buy this scarf from you please?