Often called an FB. Most swappers are speaking about a
regular FB when using this term, though this term can also be used
in more general sense to refer to any/all of these types of
books. A regular FB often (but not always) is a few sheets
of paper with a decorated cover, usually stapled together, to make
a small book. Typically FBs will fit in a regular envelope,
so that several can be sent at one time for relatively little
postage. One person will make the FB and include on it
information about who the FB is for including their address and
who they are. They will also include who they are as the
creator of the book (these can be created by and for the same
person). The book is then sent to another FB
collector/signer. The recipient will add their personal
information: name, address, and sometimes additional information
such as whether they're looking for new pen pals, new swaps, date
of birth, or anything else they choose to include. The book
continues to be sent to other people until it is full.
Typically whoever fills it up will return to the person for whom
it was made.
As the name implies, they are nearly the same as Friendship books,
but they are made on a single sheet of paper or stationery.
Decos are similar to FB's, but are often larger in
size. The cover is often decorated with interesting
materials like magazine pictures, rubber stamps, decorative
papers, and other embellishments. Each person who signs decorates a full
page in the book. Sometimes the book has a theme, for
example cats. Then, each person decorates their page
following the theme. As with FB's, when these are full, they
are sent home to the person for whom the book was made.
Lyrix are much like decos except that each page is decorated using
lyrics from a song. Some are more plain with the words
simply written in them, others are as artistic as decos with
pictures and other ornamental adornments.
Quotz are like Lyrix, but instead of song lyrics they contain
quotes from movies. These can also be themed, such as Brad
Pitt movie quotes. Quotz can be plain text or decorative.
Slams can be themed or regular. Typically they are usually
small like a standard friendship book. Often they have a
"sign-in" page where you put your label or name, then
each page will often contain a question which you answer (i.e.
When was the last time you said "I love you") and the
signer would write the appropriate response. At the end
there is often a sign-out page as well where it's dated.
Slams have many variations and can be "sign if" slams
(you sign only if the statement or question applies to you).
These are handled in a number of ways, but most of them become
more clear when you have it in-hand.
Crams are like friendship sheets or book, but no one includes any
personal information. The idea (as the name implies) is to
"cram" as many names and addresses into the provided
There are many abbreviations used
in swapping to help save space and time. Some of the most
common are listed below.
A/A - Answers all (in regard to pen
A/M - Answers most
A/S - Answers some
Addy - Address
BD - Birthday
DOB - Date of Birth
Envie - Envelope
ICR - I can return (meaning when the book is full, this person is
willing to send it to the person for whom it was made)
LLP - Long letter pals (meaning they are looking for pals that
will send lengthy letters)
NPW - New pals wanted
NSW - New swappers wanted
SAHM - Stay at home mom
SASE - Self addressed stamped envelope
SNNP - Sorry no new pals (person can no longer accept new pals,
usually this is because of having a number of established pals and
not enough time to devote to more)
WAHM - Work at home mom