Many, many years ago I visited a Renaissance Faire in California. Though I had a bit of money in my pocket, I wanted to enjoy being a part of the whole spirit of the time. Having nothing else to barter with, I told stories in exchange for food, libation, and a few very simple baubles. Certainly one of my best day's work as a storyteller I'd say! Later that night I met another storyteller who asked if they could "pay" me for one of my stories so that they could use it themselves ...and they paid me indeed with a story of their very own.
Most everyone I know has taken part in a story exchange at one time or another. It is what we do when we gather around a camp fire and tell tales. It is what always seems to happen at one time or another at family reunions. Storytellers have been doing it for ages, swapping one story for another, and it's so much fun!
I would love to exchange stories with you, and you could plan a story exchange of your own...just gather folks and set a theme! Before you know it, you'll be a storyteller yourself!
Occasionally I particapate in used book drives not only by donating books, but also by promising to read one story to the group for every so many books donated. When I began this, it was one story per fifty books. Wonderfully, the program has been successful enough that I have had to place a limit on the number of stories I will read in one day at five, as often hundreds of books are brought in! If you would like me to read at your book drive, please contact me for my availability as I am always happy to volunteer my services at book drives.
Another wonderful reading exchange takes place along with the "Young Storytellers" who have completed my workshop, as they offer to read to the youngest children who are just learning to read themselves. The Young Storytellers often adopt a weekly library storytime or kindergarten classroom to read to,and in exchange take one of those weeks a month to hear the children read to them. Others read to children in hospitals, and some visit nursing homes.
I encourage these kinds of reading exchanges for everyone...it will enrich lives!