Monday, February 11, 2013

Book Bartering: Literature On A Budget

I've recently had a chance to take advantage of a free service a friend recommended to me, and I've been so delighted I just had to share my new addiction: PaperBack Swap. The idea of online book clubs wasn't new to me. But two factors spurred me into finally trying one out for myself: money and time. (Or rather, a decided lack of both. >.>)

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge proponent of libraries. (When I was a teenager, they were like my very own publicly-funded sanctuary.) But now that I have kids to tote around and don't have a library within any convenient driving radius, it's not feasible for me to use one with any frequency. Aside from that, I have a lousy memory. A 2-week deadline was almost too much pressure BEFORE my life got this complicated. >.> So for a while I begged and borrowed from my patient friends--occasionally blowing too much money while trying to combine shipping from one of the online used book dealers like Thriftbooks or Better World Books. But I tell you, NO MORE! For I have found a new resource to satisfy my mild case of Bibliophilia...

  (Note: I am not being paid or otherwise encouraged to talk about this. I just make a habit of endorsing anyone and anything I happen to find awesome.)

                  "We help avid readers Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free."

How it works:

  •     List books you'd like to swap with other club members.
  •     Once a book is requested, mail it to the club member.
  •     In return, you may choose from nearly 5 million available books.
  •     No late fees. No hidden charges. (Pay only media mail shipping when someone requests  one of your offered books.)
  •     Books you request are mailed to you for free. (PaperBack Swap even provides a printable mailing tag to save on time and confusion.)
  •     Sign up now, list ten books, and receive 2 free credits.

And despite what it's name may suggest, PaperBack Swap isn't just about paperbacks. They also enable you to trade out your collections of unwanted:

*Audio Books

In addition, they provide free networking communities for reviews, recommendations, discussion forums, and live chat. (Authors, if you haven't already, sit up and take notice!)

I realize this won't be a solution for everyone. (You do have to wait on the postal service--and some books are so popular, they have to que you into a waiting list until a copy comes available.) There are some things that still demand the instant-gratification of an ebook, or the comforting return policy of a brick-and-mortar bookstore. But for some of you, this could be as interesting an option as it is was me. :)

 You can check out my PaperBack Swap profile here:

I encourage you to poke around and see if it might be for you. :)

Tell me what you think about book bartering! Anyone else been using PaperBack Swap (or something like it) already?