Friday, September 12, 2008

PaperBack Swap for Frugal Book Readers

Image by Steve Wilhelm

I love to read, even though I don't have much time for it. Since I'm on such a strict budget right now I tend to not have the money for it either. I also have a lot of books on my bookshelves and don't really want to add more until I have cleared some space. 

I've heard about PaperBack Swap before but I never really paid much attention to it until a week or so ago when I decided that I wanted to start reading and reviewing Personal Finance books for this blog. 

PaperBack Swap is a site that allows you to list books that you own and send them to people that want them, earning you credits which you can then spend on getting other people to send you books that you would like. 

When you join the site, you list all of the books you don't mind swapping. When you list your first 10, you get 2 credits. Then you can pick books that you want sent to you. There is an excellent selection of books.... nearly 2.5 million available. 

I listed 16 books from my bookshelf and then picked two Personal Finance books that I decided I wanted. Soon after, I received a notice that one of the books I had listed had been requested. I went an mailed that book a couple of days ago. I have already received one of the books I requested. 

Every time you send someone a book and they mark it as read, you receive another credit that you can then spend at the site. 

I really like this system because it allows you to get rid of books and then to get ones that you want with minimal expense. Because you get two free credits after you list your first ten, you start out ahead already. 

They say to allow a month to receive your books, but I got my first one in about four business days. 

So if you are looking to get rid of some books or trade for new ones, I highly recommend checking it out. 


Pinyo said...

The the site account for the value of the books? For example, if I send a $20 book in excellent shape do I get more credit than sending a $5 that's in poor condition?

ReddH said...

No, it does not. But if you do have a $20 book you would probably be better off selling it on or anyways.
This works well for people who have a lot of books that they like to read, but aren't really collectors of pristine books.
I think it's really a judgement call as to what you choose to put up there. In a lot of cases, though, you would have a tough time reselling a paperback book for more than two or three dollars anyway, so it works well in that situation.

Until Debt Do Us Part said...

I like this idea. Too often I have found myself with lots of books that I had bought but selling them on Amazon was too expensive and with little return.

I understand the point that Pinyo makes about the value of the books and how many credits you get but I imagine that if you use the service often enough that you will eventually get the value of the books that you have submitted to the swap.

Kelly from Almost Frugal said...

Good idea! I'm part of BookMooch, which is basically the same idea. If I'm not mistaken however, Paperback Swap is for North America only.