Books · Shelf Control

Shelf Control at Sarah’s Vignettes: The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon

Shelf Control, Bookshelf Fantasies

Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies.  It is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves.  Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.


I love this idea of celebrating books on our book shelves that have been published for a while and we are yet to discover. I’m not choosing in any particular order. I’m just perusing my shelves and seeing what stands out for me at that moment.

This week, I have chosen:

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon

It was published in the UK by Weidenfield & Nicholson in 2014.

~ What it’s about ~

Imagine a world in which books, libraries and newspapers are things of the past. A world in which we spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication but have become so intuitive as to hail taxis before we leave our offices and even create and sell language in a digital marketplace called the Word Exchange.

Anana Johnson works with her father, Doug, at the North American Dictionary of the English Language, and they’re hard at work on the final edition that will ever be printed. Then one evening, Doug disappears and Anana discovers a single written clue: ALICE. It’s a code word Doug devised to signal if he ever fell into harm’s way.

Joined by Bart, her bookish colleague, Anana’s search for Doug will take her into dark basement incinerator rooms, underground passages, secret meetings, and ultimately to the hallowed halls of the Oxford English Dictionary – the spiritual home of the written word. 

~ When I added it to my book shelf ~

I bought The Word Exchange back in January after a little trip to Waterstones Piccadilly. They had a very good sale shelf from what I remember.

~ Why I want to read it ~

I was first attracted to The Word Exchange by it’s cover. Then I read the blurb and I knew I had to buy it. I hope we never have to live in a world where the written word is a thing of the past but I am intrigued by this story. I like the fact that there is a mystery to be solved too.