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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Best Little Book Swap Around

As you have probably figured out from looking at my book shelves, I have a lot of books. A few years ago I came across a fantastic way to get great books without spending a fortune. It’s called Paperback Swap. All those lovely books above came from that site.

It's the best way I've found to get wonderful books AND to move out the books I no longer want.

First… it’s not just about paperbacks!!! ANY sort of book can be swapped. Instruction books, spiral bound, hardback, oversized coffee table books… even audio books. Just has to have a ISBN number (and even that can be worked around). There is a minimum standard for acceptance to swap (they have to be in GOOD condition and absolutely NO water damage). You can also set standards for your request (like “from smoke free home”).

Here’s how it works. People join the club (it’s FREE) and have listed the books they have available… MILLIONS of books. A book equals one credit. I think audio books are 2 credits.

You join the group – which is FREE. If you list up 10 books you would like to swap, you’ll get two FREE credits to use. Everything is by credits.

When someone requests a book, you get a notification that it has been requested. You then log in and accept the request. From there, you have 5 days to mail the book and mark that it has been mailed. The site has a mailing label that you print off to tape onto the package. You can even buy credits to use for postage. PBS has made some sort of agreement with the postal service and you can mail directly from your mailbox (though you may have to educate your mail carrier). There is even delivery confirmation available. If you use this method, you get your credit as soon as you mark it “mailed”. (I guess they figure if you’ve paid for the postage you’re not going to stiff someone the book!)

When the book arrives, the requestor will log in that they have received it. And then you get a credit added to your account that you can spend anywhere. (I know, you’re thinking “what if they don’t mark it received?” You’ll still get credit when you mark it “lost in the mail”.) In the 4 years I’ve been a member, I’ve never been ripped off.

By having the credit system, you don’t have to make a direct link-up with anyone. It’s all handled thru the system. And your little scrapbook instruction book can equal a beautiful National Geo coffee table book! How great is that?!

There is a feature that I LOVE. It’s called the “wish list”. If there is a book you want that is not available, you can “wish” for it. Your name will go on a list (first in, first off) to get the book. You pick one of two options – receive notice it is available (you have to respond that you want it within 48 hours) or have ‘auto request’ which means the site will automatically send it to you (you’ll receive notification it is coming).

Shipping costs are paid by the person mailing the book. So when you send, you are paying. BUT when you request a book - you don't have to pay for the shipping. So it balances out perfectly.

Interested? Click the link below to go to the site.

I do have one request… it’s a “please”. Another way to get credits is to invite people to join. For each person who joins, you get a credit. So if you like what you see, would you please list me as the person who referred you? My user name is: ocicat

You’ll find the referrer link on the page that says “Congratulations, Your Registration Has Been Completed!”

If you go down that page a bit you’ll see a section called “additional info (optional). Click the “yes” dot and that will open a place on the form to put in my user name of ocicat

I appreciate it!

Happy reading!!

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.


  1. What a great idea. It might be fun to do something similar on a small scale with members of my book club. Maybe a one night thing where you bring your books and everyone can swap. If cocktails and snacks were involved, I think this would be a really fun event!

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. What a terrific idea! I'll check it definitely, and yes, I'll credit you with the recommendation.


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