Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Paperback Swap

**Apparently all my computer needed was to have someone who knew what they were doing glare at it**

As I said in my last posting, on Tuesdays I’m going to talk about a book/series/author/book related product/etc. that I really enjoy.

Today I’m going to talk about a wonderful website that I’ve been introduced to called “Paperback Swap” (There’s a link for it under “Some of my favorite places” and a banner is at the bottom of the page).

As the title suggests, Paperback Swap (or PBS) is a website where you can swap your old books for new ones (any kind of books, not just paperbacks). All you have to do is sign up, and post a list of books that you’re looking to get rid of. Once you post your first 10 books you get 2 free credits (1 book = 1 credit, 1 audio book = 2 credits) and you’re on your way. When someone orders your book you get an e-mail and you have 2 days (though you can get more time through the “I can mail this later” option – then you get 5 I think) to send out your book. You have to pay for the postage, but you can send it however is cheapest (usually Media Mail, which for a book that weighs less than 1 pound like approximately $2.50).

When you want to order a book you just find the book you want (I find that ISBN numbers work the best, though title and author searches usually work, too) and click “Order this Book.” An e-mail gets sent to the person who has it and they send it to you free of charge. If no one in the system has the book you can put yourself on the “Wish List” which puts you in line to get it when it comes in. If you see a book that you want to remember, but that you don’t want to order right then you can put it in your “Reminder List” so you can find it easily later on. If you find yourself short of credits and desperately in need of something new you can also purchase credits through the website (I think they’re $3.50 each, still way cheaper than most books). No money actually changes hands (unless you buy credits - and then it’s only with the company) and no one has your address unless you order a book from them (and I suppose if you’re really worried about it you could take out a PO Box). And best of all, it’s free to sign up and free to be a member (at least so far).

As well as these wonderful book swapping features there are other great aspects to Paperback Swap, such as “The Eclectic Pen” where you can post things you’ve written for others to read and comment on, there’s a system for Book Reviewing (both good and bad), there are forums on just about everything, both book- and non-book-related, and even an optional public profile where you can have as much or as little as you want on there (I used to post blogs on there from time to time, and I’ll probably recycle some of those old thoughts on Thursdays).

If you’re the kind of person that only reads books once, this is a great site because you can get new ones. If you’re the kind of person that reads books over and over, this is a great site because it allows you to get rid of books that you’ll never read again, making room on your shelves for new great books. Also if you somehow end up with more than one copy of books it’s great because you can get rid of the extras (It’s slightly shocking how frequently that happens to me).

If you decide to sign up, and you click on the banner at the bottom of the page it’s supposed to be linked to my account so it knows that you found out about it from me (I say supposed to be because I know nothing about computer programming, so when it comes to code I copy and paste, not much else) and it gives me a free credit for referring you :P.

And it’s free.

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