LOVE IT: Paperback Swap

Seems like we have a lot of book readers in our midst, so I thought I’d share one of my favorite secrets for accessing nearly free books: Paperback Swap.  Paperback Swap is a website where bookworms can post books they no longer want, for which they get credit to request unwanted books from other bookworms.  The only thing you pay for is the postage–and you pay that for the books YOU send.  So let’s say I’m done with my Harry Potter books (incidentally, this would NEVER happen–I love my HP).

I log into my account and click on the tab to “Post Books.”

The site prompts me to enter the ISBN number from the back bar code.

Then it asks me to confirm that the correct book has popped up.  I say yes, and it then posts my book to the entire PS community as being available.  People browsing the book selections can see it; people specifically searching for this particular book can see it; and if there’s a waiting list for this book, it will notify the person at the top of the list that the book has recently become available.

Once someone indicates that they want this book, I get an email.  Then I log into my account and print the mailing label onto two pieces of regular printer paper.  There are several different options–you can print the postage directly onto the paper (after entering your credit card information) so all you have to do is stick it in your mailbox for the mail carrier, or you can just print it with the mailing address and take it to the post office yourself.  I wrap the book in the paper and seal with packing tape and send it off.

You get one credit for every book you mail to another reader.  Each book you get is worth one credit.  The sender pays for the postage.  In my experience, postage is between $2 and $3 for each book.  And it’s not just paperbacks–hardcovers, CDs, DVDs and even audio books are also available.  Signing up is completely free.  The only catch is that to start a membership, you have to post 10 books right up front, and in return you get 2 “start up” credits.  But after that, the credit exchange is even.  This is a great service for readers–a wonderful opportunity to pass on books to others, and to discover new authors for yourself.  Check it out!

Any other fans of Paperback Swap out there?

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