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Topic: 3 days in....

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Subject: 3 days in....
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2009
Posts: 7
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and I'm not liking what I'm seeing.


I've shipped 8 books, and spent over 15 bucks to mail them.  And 2 books have been mailed to me.  All the books I want are not available except for 4 (and 2 I haven't heard back on yet).  I have about 200 on my wishlist but I have a feeling I'll never see them.  So I'm a bit underwhelmed.

I'm not sure I want to pay and pay and not get much back.  If I wanted Dan Brown's Digital Fortress I'd be in pig heaven.  Ohterwise, not much in a way of selection.  I have 5 more book requests but I'm not thrilled to send them out just to get credits that I'll sit on.... and I'm feeling bad about not shipping them out.

I'm also feeling like Im giving away good books in good condition - and they'll never be shared again.


I usually donate old books to the public libarary and probably will again. 


Date Posted: 1/8/2009 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2007
Posts: 9,682
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Hi Steve,

First of all, welcome to PBS. I've been a member of PBS for years and I can tell you it's well worth it. Just be patient and you'll see that you'll easily get back what you put into it. I've received literally thousands of dollars worth of books here and a lot of them on my wishlist. You may not get them right away but I'm sure you'll get quite a few over time.

The books we swap here on PBS should meet PBS guidelines which you can find in the Help Index above under the heading of Posting Books if you haven't already read it. What I'm saying there is that most of the books you'll get from other members, although probably not new (as this is a used book site) are usually in pretty good condition at the least. I've sent out new books or next to new books or books in very good condition too and I usually get the same in return.

Most of the PBS members who have been here awhile are addicted to the site because not only do we get tons of books here but as we surf the site, we see more books we want and can order, and we also make a ton of new friends on the forums, chat rooms etc.

My advice to you Steve, is to stick around awhile, give PBS a chance and hopefully you'll really enjoy it as much as the rest of us do.


Date Posted: 1/8/2009 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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Welcome.   I understand your frustration at this point in your membership.   I think you will be pleasantly surprized if you hang around for a few months.    Some wish listed books move fast.   Others are unique and so don't get posted often.     I DO think most - certainly not all - of the books ordered through here get posted again.     

Once I got the first few books I wanted from PBS then the urgency of wanting a book NOW went away.   I have never lacked for books I want to read since the first month of joining PBS.    One great bonus, to me, is finding books here that I LOVE but would never have found if someone on PBS did not recommend the book or give it a great review.   

Hope you enjoy your time on PBS.

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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This is the decision you need to make:

1.  Spend more money to get your books right away (through Barnes and Noble or wherever) OR

2. Spend far less money and have to wait awhile on your books.

Some people are the instant gratification types (no judgment, just an observation) and need their books right now - if that describes you, PBS isn't the place for you.  If; however, you are able to exercise a bit of patience, you'll find that you will eventually get 99% of your wishlist books.  I say 99% because I have one book that's been sitting on my wishlist since I joined.  But also, in that time, I've received over 150 books.

Hope you stick around!  This is a great place if you give it a chance.

Last Edited on: 1/8/09 3:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,195
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Stick around! Stick around!

One recommendation is, if you're looking at a book and it's not available, of course add it to your wish list so you get in line, but also check out the "if you want this book, you might like these books" recommendations at the bottom of the screen. You can get click happy that way jumping from one recommendation to the next, and many of THOSE may be available while you wait. And yes, the WL books come and go. Have you checked your position in the line? To do that, just hover your cursor over the little gray exclamation point. You may see you're really close to the front of the line. That doesn't always mean something (I've been #1 for a book since May), but you just never know. Give it a chance! Books (and reading) rules!

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Ditto to what everyone else said.  I also suggest creating a public profile so that people can add you as buddies and they might post directly to your WL.  Also frequent the forums, people tend to order or give books to people they recognize.

your WL has some unique books on them, if there is a forum for that genre, get involved in that forum.  I like mysteries so I am over there and have gotten WL books posted directly to me and I post directly to others.

You need to give it a bit more time.  What if all of your WL books were available now?  You wouldn't have enough credits and would either have to buy or pass and put it on your RL until you have more credits.

The site does work, you just need to exercise a little patience!

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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Hi, Steve -- Relax.  It will be fine.  :-D 


When new people come in and post their books, they get a lot of requests from people who have been waiting for them.  Then you have to wait awhile for the credits to come in because sometimes media mail is so slow.  So it seems like a big initial investment, but it really does all work out.  Each book is different, of course, so you never know how long it will take to work through the line.  But I'm offered probably one or two WL books per week -- and I have some pretty weird ones on there.  So -- if it's a book you can wait for (and I would imagine if you have 200 on your list, you aren't going to need all of those this week <g>), then just sit back and wait.  Otherwise, just buy the "must haves." 


I think, of my first ten books, probably five or six of them were snapped up right away and I, too, thought, "Holy cow!  What have I gotten myself into?!"  :-D


It all works out.  Really!  And welcome!  :-)

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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If you have a ton of good books people want... and you have sent out as much as you feel comfortable right now, you can put you bookshelf on hold (keeps folks from seeing and ordering your books)... and put each wishlist book on autosend.  That way, you can slow down the initial cost while you wait for some benefit.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Steve, please listen to what everyone is telling you.  PBS does work, if you give it a little time.  I felt EXACTLY as you did when I first joined up and had 12 manga books to mail out right away, and NOTHING that I needed/wanted here.  So, I filled up my WL and waited...

I've since had almost 200 wish listed books come to me, and most of them are a very specific sub-genre so not commonly posted here at all... yet they've come to me when I waited. 

So, I hope you -will- stick around!  Happy swapping!

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Welcome, Steve! Being new can be frustrating, but it does pay off in the end. I've received and sent about 1200 books in each direction since joining over 3 years ago, so I can honestly say that I find PBS very worthwhile. Of course it depends to some degree on your reading tastes. If you only read brand-new releases, then yeah--you probably will be disappointed because you're going to be closer to the end of the line for those. I have eclectic tastes and have found plenty of good reading in-system, and my wishlist kicks up books several times a week as well.

Hope you stick around a bit and give it more of a chance!


Date Posted: 1/8/2009 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've always wanted to try one of those Noir type books.  How are they? 

Get involved in the forums-I know a lot of people on here that post directly to regular forum posters intead of FIFO.  They do this because they know the person is on regularly and won't let the request time out. 

And just be patient. If you don't want to send any more books out for awhile-put your shelf on vacation.  Put your WL books on autoreuqest.  You won't get anymore book orders but you'll still get WL offers for the books on autorequest.  It can take a while for the WL offers to come through but they will. It's just because you are new and at the end of the line.  But the lines do move pretty steadily-except for maybe out of print books which move a little more slowly. But this week alone I got 2 WL offers for hard to find/out of print books that have been on my WL since I joined.  So even those get posted. 

I think I was here about a month before the WL offers started coming to me.  But I looked around and found other books to order.



Date Posted: 1/8/2009 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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HI, Steve - Welcome!  I have to agree with the Dan Brown books statement you made!  LOL!!  I think everybody has at least one of his books!  Have you explored the PBS site?  You can go to the Top '50's file under the Community tab and find what is most posted, most requested, and most wished for there.  If you want to know all the Club WL books - you can go to The Club Wish List under the search tab and see what all is really wanted and how many want them.  That will give you an idea of what's going on.  This is helpful to you because you can see that even though there are a huge number of Dan Brown books here - they are also frequently asked for!  So there's a lot of movement here.  There are 50,000 + members with public profiles - and no one really knows how many without profiles.  So it's a huge membership who all love books.  I have a lot of weird books WL'd and I get a fair number of them along with my sci/fi WL's and requests.  I'd hate to tell you how many credits I've had to buy. 

One thing I would suggest is that if you don't have a TBR (to be read books) pile at home - go buy a couple of books to tide you over until the media mail or first class mail can get your starting PBS books to you.  And don't send out more books than you are comfortable with until you do start getting them.  It'll sort of be the "Proof in the Pudding" for you.

As others have said do find a forum or 2 that you can participate in - even minimally because it will get you known and familiar and people will check out your WL because people don't always post everything they have.  Do fill out some public profile so you can get on the homepage which will get you more exposure so long time members will check you out.  And you'll probably find some books there to request because I can hardly ever go to the homepage without there being a book I'd like to have.  My TBR is so high now I'll never read them all in my lifetime. 

Not everybody here is into the Romance/ chicklit stuff.  And lots of people do go shopping or keep an eye out for WL'd books at sales, thrift stores and FOL (library) sales to post here.  It is nicer to have books people want than wait for the FIFO line to work. 

I hope you enjoy being here once you get acclimated - and please explore the site.  There are tons of great people here!


Date Posted: 1/8/2009 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Hi Steve, I joined in September of 2007. I received my first wish listed book almost exactly a month after I joined (and that is the received date, no the date it was offered to me). Since then I have received around 32 more wish listed books, and ordered several that I just thought looked interesting. Very few of the books I've ordered were ever available in the system when I went looking for them. Some of the books on my wish list have been there since I joined, but if I needed them right away I would go out and buy them. These are books I am willing to wait for. Your mileage may vary, but unless they are really obscure or heavily wish listed books, I'd be willing to bet with a full list you wont have to wait long. Just looking at the first page of your wish list (and I didn't go through all 50) it looks like you are first in line for at least 14 of those books. Another five you are second in line for, and there are four that you are third in line for. You might want to go through and take a look at this. Personally I like to put a little note (visible only to me) on all of the books that I am first in line for. I don't think you are really giving a site like this a fighting chance if you give up after only three days, that's not even long enough to order and receive a single book. As an aside, I wouldn't donate books to the Public Library if I were you. I work at a library and all the librarians I know talk about how the majority of donated books go straight into the recycling. That may just be my area, but you might be better off bringing them to a thrift store, or trading them on here!
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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 Hi Steve!


  I feel like we are in the same boat! Normally I just buy new what I want but times are changing and I am trying to be more patient and enjoy the hunt for books worthy of my time. I do believe they will find me here if I wait! So I will keep adding books and mailing them  as I can, and I will keep looking for books I want and adding to my wish list.

PBS is a different world and getting a feel for the gravity is taking me a few days. But I am happy when I come here, rather than overwhelmed with thngs to ship and books I want to find like the first day and worried I would never find what I want here.

 I am not certain I will find some loved books here, and certain it will be an adventure!


 I hope you find what works for you Steve!


 Bright Blessings,


Date Posted: 1/8/2009 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2009
Posts: 7
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well, thanks for the advice everyone.  I did make a profile.  Also, it seems like many here had to send lots of books at the beginning but it may level off.  Hopefully, that's the case.  I'm sending 5 or 6 more books tomorrow.  So far, I've recieved my first one and I was happy with the book's condition.  Stay tuned I guess.  Hopefully, all this shipping will balance out.


I'm horrified to think that my books are getting recycled at the public library!  Tell me they sell them or give them away instead!  My public library is horrible so I was hoping to help them fill the shelves! 


(Now if I could figure out how to block mrslefty's signature photos... :)

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Seriously out of 477,141 unique titles you only found 4 you wanted? Id suggest browsing the listed books in the genre's you prefer. You may not find something you knew you wanted before hand but you will probably find something you never knew you wanted until you stumbled across it on here.

Date Posted: 1/9/2009 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2009
Posts: 7
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I did stumble and find a few I liked. 

I found a Cornell Woolrich book that's not even listed by his name.  How in the world am I going to find these books - especially ones without ISBN numbers?  http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780373600724-THE+BRIDE+WORE+BLACK

Time will tell but right now I'll continue to ship my books out.  18 requests right now.  At least I'm decluttering!


Date Posted: 1/9/2009 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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As for the donation of books to the library- I too work for a library and the only time we ever throw out books that were donated is if they smell like a bodily fluid, they are badly falling apart or have water damage.  The rest get put in the system at one of our branches or else get sold at the FOL sales.

Even if we get loads of books, they will be offered to someone before it is thrown away. Smart thing to do for any donater is to search the library catalog the month after you donate and see if your book was entered into their system and look at their friends of the library sale table.   I cringe when I hear libraries throwing out books that are in good condition, what a waste. Plus when people leave things in our library and they dont come back for it in 8 weeks, they are donated to the salvation army.

Date Posted: 1/9/2009 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2009
Posts: 7
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oh... I just figured out how to edit a book's data.  Thanks

and it's good to hear that my old books may still be at the library.  I'm going to check on them.

Date Posted: 1/9/2009 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2007
Posts: 3,773
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i used to work in a library too, and the books that got donated almost never went into the library system. either they were donated to the friends of the library or thrown out or we got to pick it for ourselves. there was this one time, I myself donated brand new autographed copies of books to the library and they went to FOL b/c we currently didn't have a person hired to manually put them in the system. this was before i found out about PBS. *sigh*

Date Posted: 1/9/2009 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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So far all the libraries I've lived near (alot since we're military) have had little sale stands where they sell the donated and withdrawn books. So that's probably where they go first.  THen most have big sales once or twice a year. 

And what's wrong with my siggy pictures?  Mine are tame-check out some of the ones in the games forum.  They make mine look tame.

Oh and you can block them by going into settings and unchecking the show signature pictures box.  But it'll block all not just mine.

Last Edited on: 1/9/09 2:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/9/2009 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 284
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I also work at a public library. The director here personally looks thru all donations, if she is away, someone else like me gets that task.

We accept all books except Reader's Digest condensed, textbooks, computer/business/nursing/health books that are more than 2 years old, encyclopedias that are more than 5 years old, water damaged, musty books, paperbacks with the cover ripped off or magazines. Say that 10 times a day in one long breath. LOL

Any books not added to the collection then go into the FOL booksale. The Friends sometimes through out books because they have limited space and they don't always know the value of a book. Sometimes they keep a book but if it doesn't move, it gets thrown out. I was looking at your shelf and some of what you have wishlisted looked old to me,  the cover art had that feel, I didn't check the dates, but I'm pretty sure that our FOL group would toss those. A lot of folks at these sales are looking for newish book.

We try not to throw any out but it isn't always possible.


Last Edited on: 1/9/09 2:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/9/2009 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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Also, it seems like many here had to send lots of books at the beginning but it may level off.  Hopefully, that's the case.


Well, just remember any time you post a bunch of new books, a good portion of them will get snapped up right away. The downside is, if you aren't expecting to put out that much in postage all at once, it can be tough.  But it's great if you are running short on credits!  :-) 


I second the suggestion to post in the forums.  I check out people's wish lists and post books to them if I can.  I did look at yours.  But there's another "downside" -- I don't have any of the books you're looking for, but they sure look interesting!  So I end up adding a lot to my own WL after getting ideas from other people.  So -- BEWARE!  :-D

Last Edited on: 1/9/09 4:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/9/2009 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2006
Posts: 2,110
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I agree with everything already said, but also wanted to suggest that you can also transfer credits to swapacd or swapadvd if you'd be more interested in that.  Or, worst-case-scenario, you can sell them in the book bazaar.  But I've received some books from here that I never thought I'd receive, so have some hope!  :)


Phooey on long wish lists

Date Posted: 1/9/2009 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 770
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I just wanted to pop in to say Welcome!

You are in the right place to get your questions answered.  :)  I remember being new, and being bombarded with requests.  It settles down rather quickly.  However, I usually have at least 1 book a week on the average that I'm mailing out..  I've been here since April and I've sent out 152 books.  It's a lot...but I've gotten almost that in new books.