Originally created 03/30/03

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Trading media

Can't get enough of Trading Spaces the dozen or so times it's on TV each week? Then you'll want to check out the new book Trading Spaces: Behind the Scenes.

The book gives readers just what it promises: an inside look at the hit decorating show. You can find out what goes into the making of an episode, learn the lingo and read biographies of the cast members. (Bet you didn't know Paige Davis' full name is Mindy Paige Davis Page, did you?)

Make no mistake; this isn't a how-to decorating book. It's strictly a fan read, filled with trivia, inside scoops and even poster-size portraits - so if you can't afford to make over your whole room, you can at least put Ty Pennington on your wall.

Trading Spaces: Behind the Scenes is published by Meredith Books. It's priced at $19.95 in paperback.

Building skills

If the children are too young for poker or blackjack, try dealing them a hand of "Build it!" - a card game that tracks house construction, from hiring the crew to getting a certificate of occupancy. Whoever finishes all the steps first wins.

Players are dealt eight cards to arrange face up in order - crew, site work, roof, plumbing - as they draw additional cards from the deck. To add reality and tension, rivals can delay construction by trumping another player with a card calling for health- or building-code inspections.

The National Association of Home Builders introduced the game at its annual trade show in Las Vegas in January as a way to teach kids about the family business. But anyone interested in the joys of having a home built can play along.

Alas, there are no reality-based wild cards: Contractor pitches a fit, subtract 20 points; blizzard halts construction three weeks, deduct 10 points.

"Build it!" is $15 and can be ordered at (800) 223-2665 or from www.builderbooks.com.

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Contact Features Editor Tharon Giddens at: 823-3347 or tharon.giddens@augustachronicle.com.