This post will change your life…

…or at least it changed mine.  And I’m telling you, if you love books and haven’t heard of this before it’s gonna be like you’re a kid in a candy shop. Trust me.

What is it? Since this post has been so long in coming, I’m not going to leave you hanging Ryan Seacrest style.

The name of this delightful paradigm shifting website is www.paperbackswap.com. Maybe some of you savvy people already know about it. I myself was introduced to this gem of a site by my lovely and savant-like roommate, Liz.

Here’s what it is: PaperbackSwap.com a website that allows you to post books from your shelves that are in good condition on a community website to trade books with other members.

Here’s what it means: That book that you got as a gift that you already have? Swap it for one that you want. The book that you read once and have no desire to read again? Trade it to get something that you’ll love.  Want to read a book but you’re not sure if you’d like it? Swap for it, give it a try and put it back on the site if you don’t like it. This site is a great way to expand your reading horizons without emptying your wallet. Have a book that borrowed from a friend or read from the library that you want to own but you don’t really want to spend full price because you’ve already read it? This is the perfect solution.

Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up and log in at www.paperbackswap.com
  • When you send a book and it’s received by the person you sent it to, you get a credit.
  • All books (hardcover or paperback) cost 1 credit, audio books cost 2.
  • If you can, post 10 books that you want to trade and this will give you 2 credits to start out
  • If you can’t post 10 books, that’s okay, you’ll just have to wait for someone to request a book before you’ll be able to “shop”
  • All books (hardcover or paperback) cost 1 credit, audio books cost 2.

People will request a book from you and you’ll pay to ship it to them media mail, which usually costs about $2.23. The site provides the shipping label that you can download with the person’s information on it. Then you can browse the site for books you want and use your credits to “purchase” books that other members will pay to send to you.

Here’s why I love it:

  • Well, I love to read (duh.)
  • I’m usually very particular about what books I read because I don’t want to buy something if I don’t know if I will like it. I’m kinda like that at restaurants, too. What can I say? I stick with what I like! This site allows me to try things for a minimal cost and I’ve discovered some pretty awesome authors that I never would have picked up otherwise.
  • I love to re-read books. I know not everyone does, but I do. So, those books that I’ve borrowed from friends/the library? Now I can own them and re-read them for a fraction of the cost.
  • I’ve made my overflowing bookshelves work better for me – sure, I have roughly the same amount of books that I had before, but all the ones that I didn’t care about that were taking up room have now been replaced with books that I genuinely want to own. Case in point? The Emily series by L.M. Montgomery. I read the series when I was younger and LOVED it, but never bought it.
  • The site has cookbooks, medical books, novels, non-fiction, children’s books…etc. Sure, it doesn’t have everything, but they have a “Wish List” option where you can be on a waiting list to receive the book you want when it comes available. Even if you don’t have any credits at the time, you’ll be able to purchase credits for less than it would cost to buy a book in a bookstore.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m a girl on a budget. This just makes good cents! (lol)

Now, I’ve painted a pretty picture for you, but let me share with you some harsh realities that I’ve had to come to grip with after joining this site.

  • I’m never going to catch up on all that I want to read. If all the books on my “to read” list were stacked in one towering pile, well, first of all I couldn’t or it would fall on me and I would be no more. But if I did, it’d be way taller than I am and that’s pressure I just don’t need in my life. I’ve had to let it go, and if you join the site you’ll probably have to let it go to. In the words of the Black Eyed Peas, I’m just bein’ honest.
  • It’s probably not a great idea to post 30 books at one time unless you’re prepared to spend a LOT of money on shipping all at one time. Ahem. Maybe that’s a story from my personal experience and maybe not. But it’s real advice and you’d do well to heed it. I’m just sayin’.

So, there you have it. Hope it was worth the wait, but I have a tendency to exaggerate so maybe I’ve let you all down. That’s just something I’ll have to live with. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “This post will change your life…

  1. Dad says:

    Hey M!

    That was a very informative post! Ya better tell me what books of mine you want, so I don’t put them out there in cyberspace for credit. (Maybe I can no charge them to family???) 🙂

    You said don’t put 30 books because of the shipping cost, but put 10 books for 2 credits…hmmm. I think the key here is LOVING books enough to put up with the hassle of processing…but your dad is going to try it out! PURELY based upon your recommendation (they should pay you for the advertising on your blog). I have 3 books I want right now! I’ll keep you posted on how it goes my sweet daughter!

    Dad

  2. CJ Robinson says:

    … psst.. to go along w/ your dad’s comment. “they should pay you for advertising on your blog”. If you go to paperbackswap’s spread the word page you can earn credits for referrals. Make sure your link to PBS has the (r_by=username) code in it.
    -enjoy!

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