I like to read. A lot. Not as much as some people, but I still manage to read somewhere between 30 and 40 books a year. As you can imagine, that gets a little bit expensive if you’re paying full price for all of them. Swapping and borrowing books only gets you so far if you limit it to the people you know directly. But, that’s where a fun site called PaperBackSwap comes into play.
Here’s how it works. You post the books that you want to trade away. Other users request those books and you ship them off. You can either print the postage directly through the site, or buy it anyway you like. Personally, I use paypal shipping because it’s slightly cheaper, and, I already have the account at paypal to do that. Once you’ve shipped the book, or books, off, you merely wait for them to be received. Once received, the person you sent them to marks them as received and you get a credit.
With your credits, you can then request books from other members. (note: the first person from your household to sign up for PaperBackSwap gets two free credits when they list 10 books) Then, it’s just the same process, but with you being the receiver rather than the sender.
I’ve been a member since 2009. I’ve sent 71 books out, and I’ve received 59 books. I’ve only had one of the books that I sent disappear in postage, and one other that was damaged in postage. Every other book I’ve sent has safely gotten where it was going and was accepted by the receiver. The same is true of receiving books. I’ve never had one get lost, and only had one that was damaged. It’s a great community of readers, and a great source of books.
The selection of books is usually pretty good. As you would expect, most of the newer books are a bit hard to get, but you can throw them on your wish list and the system will email you when one becomes available. If one on your wish list becomes available, you’ve got two options. The default is that PBS will put it on a 48 hour hold while it waits for you to either request it or decline it, or you can put it on auto-request which will automatically request it from the other member as soon as they list it.
If you’re an avid reader (or, really, even a more casual reader) you really should check out PaperBackSwap. It’s great, frugal, way to get books to read, and a great way to share great books with others too!
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Although I use the library a lot, this is a really good idea. My wife received a Kindle for the holidays, so she is downloading a lot. Older copies are cheaper, but it can add up.
That’s a pretty cool business idea. I’d imagine that the company would start offering ebook services soon. (unless the privacy rights are difficult to deal with).
Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer says
I use this site and just got a book from there last week. The biggest problem is that there’s quite a wait for new popular books.
Kay Lynn, and others, if you’d like to add me as a contact/friend at PBS, please feel free! My profile: http://shaneede.paperbackswap.com/profile/
PaperBackSwap is a great site, especially for those of us living in rural areas with a very small or no library. I’ve swapped hundreds of books and have requests coming and going every week. It is true that new books have the longest wait, but there are over 5 million books listed on the site. The key is to have a good mix of old & new on your wish list. That way, you always have something to read while waiting for those new books. And searching for books always gives you other suggestions too, so you can always find an author that’s new to you.