An experiment in book swapping
As you may have observed already, I am a pretty avid reader, and while I greatly appreciate the services of my local public library, I find sometimes that either don’t have a book that I am looking for or I prefer to own a copy. As someone on a rather limited book budget and severely lacking in shelf space I need to find a way to obtain books as well as get rid of books.
I’ve gotten quite a few suggestions on how to go about this- donate and purchase from library book sales, donate and purchase books from Goodwill, visit used book shops, or solely utilize the local library. I’ve done alot of those things. I’ve even swapped books or borrowed books from friends, as well as loaned a few copies out. But I find that for acquiring specific books it can be a little challenging. I don’t keep a mental list of the books I am looking for in my head and no matter how hard I try, I don’t always have my list of books to find in my head. Or, as I mentioned, occasionally the library doesn’t have something I’m looking for…so what then?
One of the alternatives that I have found is paperbackswap.com. After you enroll, you list 10 books that you’re looking to get rid of …er…swap, and then you get two credits just for signing up. Every time you send a book to someone and they confirm they receive it, you get points, which you can use to get books back. I only had four books handy, but immediately after posting them I already had two of the four requested. I confirmed that I could mail them in the next 48 hours (one of the rules), printed the mailing pages, and I’ll go by my local post office this afternoon to mail them.
The cons as I see it so far:
- They may not have any of the books that I am looking for.
- The site is a little confusing to navigate.
- I may wind up with more books than I started with.
- I have to pay for postage.
The pros as I see it so far:
- I’ll be getting rid of a few books that have lying around too long.
- I can get a few new books to read.
- There’s a review site if I want to post reviews. (Although I do most of my review posting here and on Goodreads).
Once I’ve explored the process a little more and have had success or failure, I’ll be sure to report back. Have you given programs like paperbackswap or bookmooch a try? Do you like them? How do you manage your reading habit and your budgeting issues?