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Topic: How long do you keep a book on your Book List?

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Subject: How long do you keep a book on your Book List?
Date Posted: 5/14/2008 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,329
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I'm fairly new, and I'm just curious.  I've seen some books on peoples lists that have been there 2 and 3 years. 

I look to see how many people are ahead of me via the Reminder List and if it looks too long I just don't post the book, as I feel that I could probably post another book with a shorter line. Some books have over 500 copies and even at 30 copies going out a month that's at least 16 months before you get to the top of the list, and with people making deals (2-1; 3-1, etc) it could be even longer, and very few books go out at the rate of 30 per month.

How do others feel?   Thanks   Pat

Date Posted: 5/14/2008 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 63
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You never know what will be in demand and what won't. (Although you can make some educated guesses!) I've listed books that had 25 people in front of me that sold before books that only had 1 or 2. I remember one book that I listed, that had 4 people wishing for it. I thought for sure that it would go. All four people either timed out or turned it down, and it's still sitting unsold on my bookshelf after 3 months.

However, I did a major reduction of my "to be read" collection, and I had too many books to reasonably list all of them here. (And would I want 800+ credits anyway?) So I only listed books that had 25 people in line or less. That has more to do with my lack of space than anything else! I still have 150 books listed. I kept some of the rest to trade at the used bookstore, and the rest went to a happy romance reader from freecycle.

The one time I wish I had more books listed is when I offer 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 sales, because often people will pick books as their freebies that are more popular and have many copies available - books that I might never sell under FIFO. However, I haven't had a lot of luck with my sales (a few sales, but not that many) so I don't want to spend the time listing another 300 books just for the sake of a couple of extra books going out during a sale.

But that's just me - if I had more time on my hands, I'd probably list more books.


Date Posted: 5/14/2008 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't have much storage space and a cross country move coming up so I don't keep them long.  I have a couple posted now that I haven't even read. But they had so many copies in the system already, I posted them to work up the FIFO line.  I wouldn't have done that but my shelf is on hold so there's no chance of them getting ordered.  Plus I figure I can take them with me for hotel reading on our move.  Some times people order direct from your shelf especially if you're a regular on the message boards. 

I joined another book swapping site. One that lets you put in your copy's condition.  I sent out a few there that were just sitting here.   I did a deal the beginning of the year and got rid of some that way. I'm pretty much going to take whatever's left to Half price books before we move.  I have a bunch of computer games to take anyway.  I have a TBR mountain of over 300 so it's not like I won't have books to post later. 

If you have the space, then keep them and eventually they'll get ordered.  If you need some credits or some space you can run a deal on some or all of them.  Generally, it doesn't cost much more to mail  out an extra book or 2 than it cost to mail one.  It's the fastest way to get rid of some of the most common ones and you can use the credit to order other books from a deal.

Date Posted: 5/14/2008 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 2/3/10 9:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/14/2008 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 643
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Last Edited on: 7/1/10 12:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/14/2008 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,329
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Thanks for your thoughts.  I'm like Lisa (LOL) too impatient to leave the book too long.  I've got some that I posted when I first signed up (and didn't know much - not that I know that much more now), and in checking back on them several months later I found that there were a lot of copies posted, but now I'm near the top, so I keep them, but I sort of have a method and if the books on the list don't move, I take them off after a few months, but just wanted to get a feel if that was what others did also.

My space is limited or I'd keep them on longer, but my house looks like a mini-library now.  Again thanks   Pat

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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it all depends....I try not to keep them too long, around a year max.  Some books I did take off my shelf and send to operationpaperback.org, but not everything that was older on my shelf qualified so I still have some from when I joined a year ago.

But I've had fairly good luck between here and 2 other sites in moving books especially since on another site I'm involved with a bookshelf swap and people are requesting older books or ones that there are multiples in the system.  so it is nice to get rid of those

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 2/3/10 9:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/15/2008 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2006
Posts: 368
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I have some books on my shelf that have been there longer than a year, but I'm pleasantly surprised when some of them are requested. Much of how long you keep them depends on the amount of storage space you have. I do wish, though, that there was some way one could feature a book from the shelf, say - "This is an excellently written historical fiction book about the early settlement of the Ohio Valley" or "This mystery series is set near Norman, Oklahoma and the reader will recognize many of the settings." Just a thought!

Leslie ,or anyone else who knows: what is operationpaperback.org? Leslie also mentioned 2 other site that swap books. Not that I'm dissatisfied in any way with PBS, I'm just curious, especially since she mentioned that some of her older books are ordered from those other sites. Is it OK to mention the name of those other sites here?

Last Edited on: 5/15/08 10:05 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/15/2008 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,810
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any time i stack up more than 2 paper bags full of books, i take them down to the local UBS.  that includes most of my bookshelf here at PBS - everything but the things i got through PBS that are repostable or occasionally something else i think will go fast here.  if i'm lucky, they'll take about one whole bag worth of books, but mostly it's only a half bag.  since they will buy things later they didn't take the first time, i run everything down there at least 3 times before i give up.  (so far i don't bother to put my shelf on vacation hold for the few hours i'll be gone, and i always sort through the bags after i get home to remove anything from my shelf that i no longer have.)

last month i made a trip with three bags, and after that anything that had been to the UBS at least 3 times and was not postable got donated.  also donated was anything that was on my shelf and had more than 200 copies in the system.  (Grisham and James Patterson, mainly - but on this third trip they took a whole pile of Nora Roberts.)  it'll take me a while to build up two full bags again, but the credit i got should last me a while.

Date Posted: 5/15/2008 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,359
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At the least, I clear most of them out in May and take them to the huge rummage sale I work at.  This year I mostly had cleared my shelf beforehand, so I'm not taking many from here. 

When my PBS bookshelf gets full I start trying to ship books out by the box. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.  But I generally just leave the books there until either May, I can get someone to take a box, or they get requested.   It's not worth my time to reminder list every book to see how many are in the system.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 5/15/2008 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I just post them, look at how many copies are in the system for fun, then leave them to work their way through whatever line they're in.  I had a few books that had hundreds of copies, and that took a while to get requested.  (Of course, if there are hundreds of copies, I also post to the other site that lets you list book condition, and I've gotten rid of a few of them there, so removed them from here.) But PBS is my main swapping site and if I want to post a book, I'll post it here and let it stay as long as it takes.

Date Posted: 5/19/2008 8:26 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 550
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Mannsb, you can hilight your book in the book baazar.

niffir - ,
Date Posted: 5/19/2008 9:19 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 495
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I'm also pretty new here.  I take a lot of books with me to Mexico when I go down there for work and then leave them there.  After several years, I'm getting a huge collection at the archaeologist house down there-- hopefully some other English-speaker joins the project and gets to make use of them!  Anyway...this year I'm going to be taking only books that are too beat up to post or have insane numbers of books in there already.  And when I had my yardsale last week, I went ahead and donated to charity all the books on my shelf (that didn't sell) that had more than about 10 copies in the system.  My "shelf" however, is a pile of books by my computer, so I can't really let it get too tall anyway.

Date Posted: 5/21/2008 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 413
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I'm a VERY impatient one as well.  Plus someone that just doesn't have alot of storage space for books living in such a tiny place.  BUT I will say this....

if you have a popular title and you list it when you are also listing lots of WL books or other high demand item, there is a likelihood that someone will take a pick from your self and also order that book - that happened to me several times. 

Also, try showcasing your shelf now and then on Bazaar, with interesting and new items you have... or offer the book as a "free" incentive to get another book from your shelf - especially if its a smaller book weight wise and won't add much to your mailing cost.  When you consider that most chain used book stores only give you a few cents for each book, the book credits from interest generated may be more worth it for you!

Last Edited on: 5/21/08 9:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1