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Topic: Books Available?

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Subject: Books Available?
Date Posted: 4/23/2014 7:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/4/2008
Posts: 1
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Last Edited on: 11/4/17 9:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/23/2014 8:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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Yikes only 818 online at the moment.  I had not noticed before but have been aware that traffic is CMT has been low. 

Date Posted: 4/23/2014 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
Posts: 754
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I'm sure ebooks are not helping the number of books available here. 

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 4/23/2014 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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Numbers have been going down for over 3 years now. Here are some stats I gathered last time we had this discussion: http://www.paperbackswap.com/Book-Count/topic/285607/?l=25&ls=0#p6242418

Date Posted: 4/23/2014 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2010
Posts: 2,409
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Something to consider. In just the 3 or so years I have been a member the number of TSPBs has trippled. Most of them tip the postage into the next price range. Then remember that postage rates have gone up three times in as many years and that increases our shipping costs considerably. It used to cost an average of  $2.23 to ship a book. Now it is $2.69 or $3.17. It's a budget strainer. I'm shipping less these days. My bookshelf is leaner these days too. I used to maintain a varied bookshelf to appeal to more people. Now I stick with just my favorite genres. My requests are down, but I'm staying within my postage budget which was the goal. 

Date Posted: 4/23/2014 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It's ebooks & postage increases.  I know when I first joined and slim MMPs could be mailed for less than $2 and thicker ones were only $2.24, I mailed out a lot more books.  $2.69 doesn't seam like a huge difference from $2.24 but that extra .45 adds up quickly. That's an extra $4.50 every 10 books mailed.  I have a Kindle now and between the freebies and library ebooks, I just don't need that many paper books anymore.  (I also have asthma and allergies and ebooks don't give me breathing issues but that's besides the point).  I still love to read paper books and do trade some. But when I factor in paying to acquire a book then it costing me $2.69 to mail it out to acquire a credit for another book, I usually opt for library or ebook first unless I it's too expensive or unavailable that way. 

I'm sure the economy as something to do with it as well.  When I joined I had a Naval Officer husband and home daycare business and the 2 of us brought in just over 6 figures combined.  Now I am divorced and my household income is a third of what it used to be and no one to share expenses with me.  Which means mailing a lot of books out just isn't possible anymore. I've read a lot of posts here on the CMT about members losing jobs, having medical problems which cause lots of medical bills, divorces etc...,  So I know I am not the only one who has had to greatly reduce their postage budget.  I have gone from mailing 20-30 books a week to only mailing 20-30 a year or whatever I need to cover the WL books I get.

Date Posted: 4/23/2014 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Also, I think there's been a lot of inactive accounts weeded out over the last few years. There were some big membership pushes in the first few years, and over time a lot of those 'available' books were requested and never delivered.  People would post 10 for their free book then not come back, but their books looked like they were available. So the books have been pulled because of member non-responses.

And I think some people aren't posting a book if there's a ton of duplicates. "Available" doesn't mean unique, so if people decide they don't want to post the 1,000 copy of any book and do something else with it, then that drops numbers as well.

And ebooks may explain some of it. But for those like me who are switching over, I've posted 'keepers' that I replaced with ebooks. So those were extra books I listed and sent out that I wouldn't have otherwise posted. Then when those were gone I don't post as much since I have fewer physical copies. So a lot may have hit the PBS market all at once instead of over time as they usually would be. 


Date Posted: 4/24/2014 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I never had many keepers so I didn't do exactly what Cindy did, buy ebook editions of many keepers and then post them here.  But I did post a whole bunch of WL books awhile back that my library has and a couple dozen of my TBR books that popped up as freebies or .99 ebooks.  But like Cindy said, that happened in a cluster when I first got my kindle and then after that it became a trickle.

Also I switched how I use my WL.  I used to use my wish list here for a lot of commonly posted fiction books and then they just collected dust on my shelves because I had so much to read. Now if my library has even just 1 copy of a book, I don't wish for it here. Same if it's available on ebook for less than $4 or a book I am pretty sure will be easy to find if I decide to read it down the road some time.  In other words, I no longer feel the need to spend my credits as soon as I earn them on any book that looks even a little bit good to me.  I just don't have the space or the postage budge. So ordering a lot less books means I don't have to earn many credits which means I don't really need to post any books. Not all of us have the space or the budget to keep a huge bookshelf and stock pile credits. Plus the older I get, the less I like clutter.

Date Posted: 4/25/2014 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2010
Posts: 67
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I am an audiobook fan.  If I can't find something I want, I purchase it then post here.  Lately, I noticed that folk say "thanks, it will be a nice addition to my collection".  That was not my intent when I posted it.  I wanted to add to the variety the club offers!  

I realize I can't control what others do once I send it to them.  I am deciding to go the ebook route.  I won't feel so frustrated.  I send out 20 books a month plus purchase additional selections so the offerings are important to me.

just sharing my thoughts.  

Date Posted: 4/26/2014 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,057
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I also know the new glue and paper they are using is making MMPBs last a much much shorter time as "postable" so many books aren't lasting through 10 or 12 trades.  It is common for me to get books that are 20-30 years old that are still in good, readable shape.......they just weren't traveling around.

Date Posted: 5/3/2014 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
Posts: 754
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I remember when it was a big deal when they passed 5 million books. 

Date Posted: 5/3/2014 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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but have been aware that traffic is CMT has been low. 

I'd noticed this as well. It's the same "few" posters - give or take a new one or two. Used to be the posts would fall off the front page rather quickly if not posted upon regularly. Now they seem to hang around at the bottom for a few days.

I've long noticed the genre forums are dead in the water. Even the ones that used to be busy (paranormal, mystery and romance) have only a couple threads that are regularly posted on.

And right now, only 1,030 online.

It's ebooks & postage increases.

Have to agree with this as well. I haven't ordered a book other than a WL book being posted to me in a long time. I finally also took my shelf off hold after a couple months - aside for a 24 hour sale in the BB. I'm debating doing it again (or posting a bunch in BB WL thread) and then holding my shelf again. I just don't want to have to send out a dozen single books for $3 a pop but I am getting low on credits.

I am active in the games though and I realize this does nothing to help the book count for PBS.

And although I have both a Nook Color and Kindle Fire, I still read paper books as much as ever. Other than the games and my WL, I just don't get them from here. In fact, I don't get them from much of anywhere because I'm trying desperately to pare down my hundreds upon hundreds of unread books I have at home.

Date Posted: 5/4/2014 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,512
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I think it matters a lot depending on the variety of books in your bookshelf. Many bookshelves I've looked at are dominated by one or two genres. No one could ever accuse mine of that. I am still shipping books every week, often five or six or more.

I almost reached 400 on the bookshelf once, but am down to the 350s now, as I took off some of the really heavy books (2 lbs and over) and donated them to my local hospice resale store for a tax credit. 

Date Posted: 5/5/2014 12:19 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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Thomas, I don't think it's the individual bookshelves at issue. I only have a few genres on my shelf but I have nearly 300 books so prior to my shelf mostly being on hold, I was sending out an average of half a dozen books a week - I chose not to spend my money like that. That's a lot of postage. My shelf has been off hold for about 24 hours and I already have 3 requests.  ... I'm closing it again soon because, again, I don't want spend that much money on postage. It's not that people aren't getting the orders, they're choosing not spend their money on postage. ( And there is the e-reader thing too.)

Date Posted: 5/5/2014 8:21 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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That's me. I am choosing not to spend my money on postage. I have no problem getting book orders.  I do have a problem using credits (no space, prefer ebooks). So it no longer makes sense for me to mail a lot of books out which in turn means I no longer feel the need to keep much of a bookshelf.  I am sure this is true for a lot of people.  I have 13 credits and 2 books to mail and I already feel like I have too much money tied up here.

Date Posted: 5/22/2014 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2011
Posts: 708
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I have a pretty small shelf too. Before I post something, I add it to my reminder list to see how many copies are in the system. If there are more than about 15-20, I generally don't post it again. I just don't have room on my shelves.   My husband's work has a book shelf, and since I have taken a couple WL books from there to post, I donate my extras to them :)

Also, my job started a new incentive pay-program, but we only get the incentive pay once a month. I'll save up books I know are wishlisted for when I get some extra money and post those at once, using my gold key and the people's wish lists to see if I can send out multiples. (Plus, with only getting 2 weekdays off a month, this makes going to the post office easier).


Date Posted: 5/23/2014 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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I'm with Stephanie--I only post books with fewer than a couple of dozen copies in the syetem.  Anything with more goes to the Friends of the Library book sale.  I am posting new stuff, because we're weeding out our books, but it's almost all wish-listed stuff that never sits on my shelf.  I've sent about twenty books out this year, and I think they were all wish-listed items.

Date Posted: 6/2/2014 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2006
Posts: 12
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I have stopped posting books due to postage costs and the fact that my small town has 7 Little Free Libraries (with 10 more to come). I just put all my read books in there and take any books I want. Also, I check out tons of free ebooks from the library.

Date Posted: 6/3/2014 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,769
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For me anyway ,because I'm on a limited budget the  heavy books I really cant afford to send so I trade them at the ubs. and also since a lot of my books are not moving I've been taking them to the UBS, and finding  books from my reminder list there as well. so I haven't been ordering much form here ,except WL books.

Date Posted: 6/18/2014 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2005
Posts: 478
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I recently redid my online bookshelf and almost anything that had over 20 books in the system was removed.  I added a bunch of children's books that I had not offered up before to see if I could move some of them. I plan to close my shelf once my BOB expires for awhile.  Since our income has dropped, I can't afford to continue to send out FIFO much and multiples wishlist is easier on my wallet.