Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: How long do you leave book on your shelf?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: How long do you leave book on your shelf?
Date Posted: 3/28/2009 5:21 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 78
Back To Top

I am wondering if people ever give up on a book being requested. I have quite a few books that have been on my list for way over a year. This are not really common books that  have large numbers of copies in the system. I am running out of room for all my books that I want to keep and feel that these are just taking up valuable space and should just be donated. I usually donate any really common fiction books anyway. Do any other folks have a deadline for requests? Opinions welcome.


Date Posted: 3/28/2009 7:18 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
Back To Top

I don't have a deadline per se, but I have in the past decided to haul a bag of books to the FOL sale to donate and to a local UBS. Those were mostly hardcovers that had sat for more than a year and a half and I was having a really tight budget at that time and even the few extra dollars I would have needed to mail the hardcovers would've been a strain. However, I just recently had a paperback ordered that was the last of my original books posted, which would have been about 3 1/2 years ago!! So it does happen....

The issue for you seems to be space, and you always have to weigh that against the benefit of a potential credit. The problem with removing books that have been on the shelf a long time is that you might be next in line to have it chosen and someone might want it tomorrow. If you can live with that (because really, you'll never know!) then I'd say go ahead and donate them.


Date Posted: 3/28/2009 8:40 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 316
Back To Top

I give them 6 months to move. If they don't, they get schlepped to the used book store or get donated to an FOL sale. I need the space.

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 8:43 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
Back To Top

I don't use a deadline, either, and have fairly recently had 2 books requested that were on my shelf more than 2 years.  As Cheryl said, though, you really have to weigh your space against the potential credit as that request might come today or in another year.  (or never, I suppose, lol) I was going to suggest that you might consider offering a deal in the Book Bazaar.  This might move the books for you while still getting you your credits.  You don't have to offer everything on your shelf, or you can say "order 1 book, get one that is over a year old as a freebie", or whatever you decide.  Just a thought!

I see you are in La Mesa...we're in the Spring Valley/ Lemon Grove area....small world! :-)

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 9:06 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
Back To Top

I just mailed a book this morning that was added to my shelf the day I joined- almost 2 years ago. So, no deadline for me.

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I don't have a deadline either.  I had 5 books requested recently that were heavily posted and some had been on my shelf for months.  When I had a move coming up I donated most of my shelf to the thrift store.  I posted a few heavily posted books from myTBR and took them with me to read while moving cross country-my shelf was on hold.

Now-I have some unposables piling up that weren';t wanted in the damaged books box and no one is ordering at Bookmooch.  So those might go to the thrift store or the FOL rack.  They are all perfectly readable just not postable by PBS standards.  I have them in my signature but no one seems to want them.  I haven't hawled them off yet because I have a lot of heavily posted books in my TBR that I thought I'd try and read first and donate them as well but I never get around to reading them.

Have you considered being a boxer?  I haven't looked at your shelf but maybe there's a boxer out there who'd trade books for htem.  I've been able to get rid of books that way that probably never would have been ordered. Of course that's because they were heavily posted. 

You could also try running a deal-say 2 for 1 or 3 for 1-then you'd earn some credits and free up some shelf space.

Also try reviewing them.  Review one a day and maybe you'll get lucky and one will show up on the main page where they highlight a review.  You might get some ordered that way.

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 10:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
Back To Top

I don't have a deadline either, however I once had over 160 books on my shelf, then deleted them all because I needed to get them all in one or two copy paper boxes (getting books together is like herding cats.....) before posting so I could absolutely be able to find them.

Don't have many on it right now as I'm also culling for the FOL weekly sale and getting some bags together for the local shelter. I'm tempted to put books on that I haven't read yet (as opposed to those I *know* I'll never get around to reading - but just this week one of those books (unread) was requested so I had to really hustle to read it because it was one I really didn't want to swap without getting to it. At least it gets one book read and one credit, slow and steady, I guess.

I notice that when an author is discussed in one of the forums there's a hunt for their backlist; I posted about a particular author and received a number of PMs asking if I had any of the author's books on or going on my shelf. So it's like advertising as Mary said, however it's done; reviews work because I saw a review but had to get the book from the library (!!) because there are no copies available here. So it can backfire.

Currently reading the Blackbird Sisters mystery series.


Date Posted: 3/28/2009 10:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,372
Back To Top

I tend to let mine sit for about a year.   May is the start of book sale season and if I have noticable books left in the basement I get grumpy looks about bringing more home.  So I try very hard to have them gone by then.  Some books hang around but I clean them back to being less than one shelf on the bookshelf by then.

I'm pushing it this year. I still have several piles plus the 300 on my shelf here and it's nearly April.   Maybe it's time to see if someone wants my entire shelf...that worked once before...hmm.

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,730
Back To Top

I don't have a deadline.  Been here 2 years now, I've never cleaned off my bookshelf.  Never know what someone'll want.

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 304
Back To Top

You could always post a deal. 4/1 - 3/1 etc. I know I look for deals far more often than I search for a single book.

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
Back To Top

So far, all the books that I enter into the system just sit on my shelf.  I have neither the time nor inclination to remove them.  I also find that eventually, the books move.  At some point, I'll probably do a purge and donate some books to the church tag sale or something but for now, my shelf is what it is.  Some books stay and others move quickly.  It works for me.

Last Edited on: 3/28/09 11:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/28/2009 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
Back To Top

I don't have a deadline but I recently took about half off my bookshelf to take with me to the used bookstore next time I go. They just weren't moving and were hardcovers to boot so that's just extra wrapping and postage I'll save by selling them at the used bookstore for store credit.

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,451
Back To Top

I usually give a book a year.  Having said that, I keep track of the books, and if a book hasn't moved up in several months (I usually give it 3) then I pull it.  I don't have room and I keep finding books to post, so those that don't move go to the UBS or the FOL.  Pat

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/26/2006
Posts: 318
Back To Top

No deadline for me either.  But I did go thru my bookshelf this morning and noticed that some of them have been on there over two years.  I guess if space becomes a problem, I will pull them and donate them to the Goodwill or something.

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2006
Posts: 4,994
Back To Top

I recently became frustrated with waiting for books I posted when I joined to be requested, so i deleted many of the books on my shelf and donated them to my local FOL.  I think I have 4 books left on my shelf now.  I feel so much better, having that space back.  (I'm on a decluttering kick.)  I have a few WL books that I need to read and repost, but they should go pretty quickly once I list them.

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
Back To Top

Like Janelle, I just sent a book that was one of the first that I posted when I joined PBS.  Once I've posted a book, it stays on my shelf until it's requested or something happens to it to make it unpostable. 

Lately, I've been more particular about what I will post.  If there are copies in the system, I'll check how many there are.  I decide to post or not post based on the number in the system, the condition of my book, and the direction that the wind is blowing at the time. 

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
Back To Top

I really don't care how long they sit on my shelf. I figure they will get requested sooner or later!

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
Back To Top

Last Edited on: 2/3/15 6:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/28/2009 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
Back To Top

Well, I did some 3 for 2 deals recently, and between those and the regular FIFO system, most of my originally posted books (and all but one of the ones I've posted since) are already gone. So, I recommend a 3-for-2 deal if you're having trouble getting rid of books. The extra postage on one more book is cheap, so you basically end up getting two credits for well under three dollars in shipping.

I don't have any way to get rid of books locally, unless I want to hold a garage sale, so if they don't go then I guess they just sit on my shelf until they do. That's also why I'm so open to deals, because my house is way too full of books, and if I can mail them out within a short time of posting them it's much preferred over waiting endlessly.

Date Posted: 3/29/2009 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2008
Posts: 370
Back To Top

I just gave you more room.  ;) 

I don't have a deadline but then I have't been a member very long. 

Date Posted: 3/29/2009 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,372
Back To Top

Do think about it before offering a 2 for 1 or 3 for 1.

If you only involve 1 credit you will end up spending more in shipping for that credit.  Some folks don't care.  Others (me included) think deals should benefit both sides, so I insist deals involve more than one credit.

I've noticed people shopping for deals don't always appreciate it, even if my asking books/credit is lower.   Oh well!  They can shop on someone's shelf who finds books here cheap.  I don't buy new books so postage matters to me!

Date Posted: 3/29/2009 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2008
Posts: 1,362
Back To Top

I usually offer deals once every three months or so.  I have a lot of books and am always getting more, so I will offer 25 or 30 books for 5 or 6 credits to clean off my shelves (the last time I did this was in February for Valentine's Day).  Since I only pay 10 cents for the books, and it only costs $6 or $7 to send a box of paperbacks, I get quite a few credits and someone else gets a good deal (normally comes out to a 5 ofr 1 or better).  I just don't have the room on my bookshelf to hold all the books I want to read and all the ones I've already read.  My poor bookshelves are already overflowing.  I also am always running a 3 for 2 deal, so that helps too.  If books have been on my bookshelf for awhile and nobody wants them in a box deal, then I sell them at a yard sale.  Any leftovers get donated to the library or a local outreach store (their profits go to the food bank).  I just have to make sure to mark my used books so I don't wind up buying them again at the outreach place...I read so much I have a hard time keeping track sometimes. 

I agree with Kayote, I don't offer any deals for one credit.   If I'm going to spend more on postage, then I want to get more credits out of it.  I can't afford to spend more money on postage than I already do without getting some benefit from it.   (I'm already averaging more than $10 a week in postage).   

Subject: Time limit?
Date Posted: 3/29/2009 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,448
Back To Top

I don't have a time limit. I have book on my shelf from the original 10 I posted in  November 2005 when I joined.  I store my bookshelf book in two plastic tubs and when they are full I hold off on getting more books, but someone is bound to want the books that have been there awhile.