Because we don't all know each other and this is our group's first swap, let's not enter valuable books or books we're particularly attached to sentimentally or otherwise. I'm talking about using Goodwill books, like those Reader's Digest condensed volumes that are sitting around moldering in gramps' basement. If you don't have a book, let Dawn know and she will provide you a choice to pick from.
Another sometimes huge issue in swaps is the Smoking Thing. There might be cigarette smoke or incense or perfume or Yanni CDs at one of the other player's houses, and you might get a whiff of that when you first get your book back. If this is distasteful to you, it's fairly easily remedied in most cases by sealing the book up in a ziplock bag with dryer sheets or baking
soda, or by packing it in a box of newspaper for a week or so. If you're extremely allergic and will literally sicken at the smell of smoke, I would recommend seeking out a smell-protected swap on another list, or arrange a private swap with someone else here whom you know never burns incense or smokes at all.
Other than that, it's very much a do-unto-others'-ABs scenario. You
wouldn't want spilled drinks, cat substances, baby or boyfriend
drool, crackpipe burns, or anything generally considered yucky on
your AB, so naturally you'll do your level best to protect other
folks' ABs from that stuff on your watch. Accidents happen
sometimes, and that's just part of life. Tell the owner and ask her
what she wants to do about the damage--cut the pages out, scrap the
book and start over, etcetera. It's not the end of the world, these
are old, reclaimed books we'll be circulating. Sucks to lose work
that people have spent time on, but it's not worth freaking out on
someone (or getting freaked out on) if there's a boo-boo.
It's a good idea for participants to have their mailing address, email, and phone number written somewhere inside their book so it can be returned to you if lost.