Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: The Bookshelf Black Hole

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: The Bookshelf Black Hole
Date Posted: 1/4/2009 3:14 AM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2008
Posts: 1,122
Back To Top

Total newbie here, so I appreciate everyone's patience if this has been asked 4,295,643 times before....

I signed in for my first 10 books and most of them were requested right away! Great, so I packaged them, mailed them off today and have posted new books. Many of THOSE were immediately requested. So, despite my posting many books, I have a teeny tiny number on the bookshelf. (I tend not to buy bestsellers and mass-market paperbacks; I get those from the library, so the books that I do buy tend to be small-press or special interest books, like legal practice manuals.)

I realize this is kind of like complaining about having no more room to store all of one's diamonds....I am going to accumulate credits, my books are going to new happy homes with people who probably despaired of ever seeing them, etc. On the other hand, it means that it is difficult for me to do BOB swaps because I am uncomfortable canceling requests from people just to have books to offer in BOB, and it is a little dispiriting to have only a few books to offer.

Is this common? Am I being a big whiner who needs a book to the head? Am I making a rookie mistake?

Date Posted: 1/4/2009 3:36 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
Back To Top

I can tell you this much: I'm sure a lot of members would wish for your problem lol.  I can understand how this might cause difficulties in your Box-o-Books swaps, but in general I think you'll find yourself enjoying the security of being prepared for any Wish List offers sent your way, or the freedom of being able to request so many already-available books whenever you feel like it.  I know some people make a point to only post WL books, so I can't say it never happens, but it does seem rare for the fact that it seems to have occured to you almost by accident.  In either case, I don't think you deserve a book to the head, just a full Wish List and a few Reminder List books on deck when the credits roll in!

Date Posted: 1/4/2009 7:56 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
Back To Top


If you want to stop the Box offers, you can put just your box o books membership on hold. I do that off and on when I'm not interested in trading boxes.

Date Posted: 1/4/2009 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2006
Posts: 2,303
Back To Top
Sometimes people pick up cheap/free books from thrift stores, garage sales, freecycle, neighbors, etc so they can have more to post on their bookshelf.
Date Posted: 1/4/2009 9:56 AM ET
Member Since: 4/13/2008
Posts: 129
Back To Top

Our Salvation Army store offers their books for 10 cents a book.  Goodwill stores and Libraries have books sales.  Good cheap places to get current books to add to your bookshelf.  There are also people who are willing to buy credits if you have too many.  Check book baazar under forums.  Lots of people would love to have your problem!

Date Posted: 1/4/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

The only downside to loading your shelf with books you haven't read: the BOB offers that come in will have shelves loaded with those kinds of books.  I love romance but I don't really care for the little series ones.  I used to buy a lot of book bundles from Ebay and had accumulated quite a few of those little series romances.  I also had a lot of older James Patterson/Patricia Cornwell mysteries that I did read and are really heavily posted on here. Almost every BOB offer I had had either shelves loaded with little series romances that I had no interest in or mysteries that I've already read.   So don't go out and buy cheap books just to have a bigger shelf.  Most likely the system will be heavily loaded with them anyway. 

When I go to thrift stores/UBS I look for books I would be interested in reading that I don't think will be heavily posted on here.  Then I'm not overrun with books I don't want to read but can't get rid of on here. 

Just read what you want to read and build your shelf up slowly.   You don't have to have a huge shelf to BOBs.  I rarely have more than 20 books posted at a time and still do BOBS from time to time.  I would probably do more but I don't make any BOB Offers since I have so many unread books.  I just do them when someone offers me.

Another suggestion: take a look in the Book Bazaar-are there some popular, heavily posted books you are interested in reading?  You can probably find some on a deal there, read them then post them and use them for BOBs. 

Last Edited on: 1/4/09 11:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/4/2009 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,429
Back To Top

Last Edited on: 6/5/11 12:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/4/2009 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
Back To Top

I can second the idea that you usually get offers with books similar to what you already have.  When I joined I had lots of historical romance, nonfiction, plays and a good amount of sci fi/ fantasy and paranormals.  The paranormals and much of the nonfiction and fantasy went quickly.  Now I mostly have Nora Roberts, historicals, and plays with some ethnographies.  The offers I get are almost entirely shelves of Nora Roberts and historicals, all of which I've read.  It's a bummer to have to turn so many down, since I'd like to move the Nora Roberts books out of my house, but I can't justify paying postagee for books 've already read or won't read.

Date Posted: 1/4/2009 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2008
Posts: 1,122
Back To Top

Thanks guys!

Date Posted: 1/4/2009 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
Back To Top

Last Edited on: 2/2/15 4:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/4/2009 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,699
Back To Top

Anything you're thinking of posting, you can put on your TBR list too.  That'll tell you if there's a WL for it or not.  The books sit there until you click the "post this book" button.  It's a great way to see if stuff is on WL or not and you only have to type the ISBN once.

Date Posted: 1/4/2009 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

If you're worried about having to mail out so many individual books because of costs - determine by the various ways previously mentioned which of your books are WL'd and hold them back until you can afford the postage.  It's not uncommon for a new member to get swamped with orders because you've brought an influx of new and wanted books that aren't in the system.  There are several ways to determine the most popular and most listed books - go to the Top 50's under the Community Tab and you'll see all the different top 50's.  Until you quit getting orders, check to see if you have any unpostables that you can use as a bundled deal which would cut down on your postage and remove the unpostable books.  I've never done BOB, but I have done deals with 20 books at a time for fewer credits.  It worked out well.  Hope you get this all sorted out to your satisfaction.  You seem to have grasped the system fairly well in such a short time!  Have fun!


ETA - it's so good to see you here on the forums, Buddy!

Last Edited on: 1/4/09 5:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1