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Topic: Keeping Bookshelf Well Stocked

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Subject: Keeping Bookshelf Well Stocked
Date Posted: 1/24/2008 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2008
Posts: 24
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Hi! I am new to PBS & totally addicted. Please forgive me if this question has been done before but I searched & didn't find it.

How do you find highly desireable books to swap without spending lots of money? I have already listed everything in my house that I'm willing to part with & want more books to swap. I found a few good books at the thrift store but I want more!


Date Posted: 1/24/2008 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Welcome aboard, Lisa!

Library sales and garage sales are good sources for inexpensive books too -- be sure and check before buying that they don't have scribbles, highlighting, water damage, or other issues which would make them unpostable.

I've heard folks say that cookbooks, of all things, are one of the most popular items here, but I've not done any formal studies myself.



Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 1/24/2008 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Cookbooks are very popular, and get swapped quickly.  Anime/manga books also have extremely quick turnover.  Mass market paperbacks by popular authors tend to have many copies posted to the system and have slow turnover.  (I was surprised by this at first, thinking that because something is hugely popular that it would turnover quickly, not realizing that because it -is- so popular, there would be many people posting it to the system making it very available, so not in much demand.)

As mentioned above, library stores, garage sales and thrift stores are main sources of inexpensive books for trading.  A little more expensive, but still good sources for good books for trading are used (secondhand) bookstores and online sites.  Also, friends and family might be able to donate to your new swapping cause books they no longer want or need so mention PBS to all of them as well...

Have you looked at the Club Wishlist yet for seeing what books many members are seeking? http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/wish_list.php

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Lisa, make sure to check out the club wish list so that you have some idea of what books people are wishing for.  Then when you are at a garage sale or thrift store, you can keep an eye out for those books.  Beyond thrift stores, garage sales and the like, ask around to friends and relatives and see if they have any books that they want to get rid of- you might be surprised how many people will take you up on an offer to remove clutter from their house!

Keep in mind that it's not necessarily the quantity of books on your shelf that is important- you can have few books, but if they are ones that people want, then you will get orders!

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 729
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Newer craft books (and some older ones, too) go fast, as well.  I get a lot of the books on my bookshelf (which is near 600) from my local library bookshop and Goodwill.  Of course, I also have about 30 boxes of books out in my garage  - some are posted and some are not.  I'm hoping to move soon so I will be going through all the boxes in the garage (and that's a lot) and posting whatever hasn't already been posted that I don't want to keep.

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2008
Posts: 24
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Great advice! Thank you!

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2007
Posts: 188
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Lisa - You might try Googling for an FOL sale in your area - Friends of the Library.  Someone here clued me in to those and they have really good deals.  I'm headed for one on Saturday in Orlando, and they're promising paperbacks starting at 25 cents, hardcovers at 50 cents.  Hard to beat!

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Craft books ALWAYS get snatched up quickly - look for those and you won't go wrong!  Also check out www.booksalefinder.com for sales in your area.

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I find a lot of good deals on Ebay.  I only buy books I want to read first though so maybe I don't get them super cheap. I find a lot of WL books at Half-price books.  I found quite a few at Valuevillage thrift store too but you really have the check the condition first.  They put books in any condition on their shelves.

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 7:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2007
Posts: 6,567
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I've always been a book lover so I've just collected so many over the years. lol

I'm only 32 but got married at 18. My husband & I often went to yard sales in early years of marriage and we started buying boxes of books. We'd go at the end of the sale and say "What would you take for this whole box of books?" Sometimes we'd get like $5 for maybe 30 books or more. We did this for a few years.

Also our local library holds a sell every year. The last day of the sell you can pay just $5 and fill a brown paper grocery bag to the top with books. We use to get about 3-4 bags each year!

So as you can see over the years we've collected tons of books. We haven't done this for the past 2yrs and the books have piled up in our basement. So were thrilled to find Paperback Swap.

When ever I need more books to post I just go to the basement. lol I have bad sinus problems and allergy problems so lately my husband or children' will pack a box full of books from down there and bring them up for me to post. At this moment I have 2 1/2 boxes in our bedroom waiting to be posted.

For books that are kind of roughed up or not postable I will post them on Bookmooch.com. I make sure they are still in good reading shape though. With Bookmooch.com you can post the condition of the book which I do in detail so the perosn knows what kind of book they are getting.

Good luck and if you keep your eyes on yard sales, flea markets & library sells you'll quickly have tons of books to post.


Date Posted: 1/24/2008 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,373
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Rummage sales & library sales can be good on bag day.  Especially before you figure out what's popular.

I'll top my bag off with things to list here, but if I have pay for the book that + shipping starts getting close to the cost of just buying a credit--and with no promise that the book will swap anyway!

Date Posted: 1/24/2008 11:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2006
Posts: 568
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I generally buy things that look interesting to me. I also try to review the Top 50 Wishlisted Books list from time to time.  Newer books tend to go quickly.

When I am buying books to swap, I've learned to avoid: Clancy, King, Nora Roberts, any Oprah Book Picks (unless I want to read it).

Happy swapping and welcome to a really fun addiction!

Subject: Where to get book
Date Posted: 1/25/2008 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,448
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You spread the word among all your friends and family....either 1) join PBS  or  2) let me have all the books you are done reading..I'll take care of them for you-and post those.  That is the arrangment I have with my bosses wife!

Date Posted: 1/25/2008 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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I stopped by my library today and they had two huge boxes of paperbacks for $0.50 a piece.  The lady told me if I paid $10 per box, they would sell them to me.  I was a little hesitant to do that, though, because they were *so* used.  I was afraid most of them would be unpostable.  And if $20 weren't such a big deal this week, I might have been more inclined.  :-) 

Is this a good thing to do?  I didn't recognize any of the titles, so I don't have any idea if they would be popular.  Our library is so small, they usually don't have what I'm looking for anyway -- I end up buying most of my books. 

I did come home with some nice hardbound books that I thought people might be looking for, but it turns out no one has them wish listed.  I guess I'm just weird.  :-) 

Date Posted: 1/25/2008 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 1,087
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I go to our Salvation Army thrift stores here in town.  They have paperbacks for 25 cents and hardbacks for 50 cents.  Just a couple weeks ago I went and found 2 books with wishlists of 200+ people.  And I found several other good books too.  I always go in looking for books to post, but a lot of the time, I find more books for my TBR pile  :-)

Date Posted: 1/25/2008 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 1,614
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All the above mentioned places are excellent sources to find books. My area has an indoor flea market one Saturday a month and I usually find several good books there at VERY CHEAP prices....once found like-new hardbacks for $.50 each...that's 50 cents folks!!! Could hardly believe it so I picked up several. I have gotten lots of books at our local library book sale, but be aware that some PBS people don't want  library copies, even if they are in very good condition, which are the only ones I get anyway. But they usually do have the library stamp somewhere in them. Also some PBS people don't want book club editions of hardback books so be sure to check if there are any requirements attached to books that have been ordered from you. I've had to cancel some orders for that reason. Since I'm not building a library of my own, I'm not as particular, I guess. Almost every book I buy, I either buy to read myself and then post to swap or just buy to post if I know it's a popular author but not one I particularly care about reading myself. I've got a stack of TBR books that will get posted when I finish them.

Check out my bookshelf. Lots of good reading and I always consider any request for deals.

So far this year I've read---The Cat Who Had Fourteen Tales - Lilian Jackson Braun, My Gal Sunday -  Mary Higgins Clark, For Kicks -  Dick Francis,  Night Of The Blackbird - Heather Graham, The Ritual Bath & Sacred And Profane - Faye Kellerman, Private Eyes - Jonathan Kellerman, Dear Emily & Free Fall - Fern Michaels, Truly, Madly Manhattan  & Sweet Revenge - Nora Roberts, Devil's Corner - Lisa Scottoline, Murder At The Kennedy Center - Margaret Truman, The You I Never Knew - Susan Wiggs

Reading now---The Future Scrolls - Fern Michaels

So many books, so little time.

Date Posted: 1/26/2008 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 3,430
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I noticed that books with financial and investing advice go pretty fast.


Date Posted: 1/26/2008 10:40 AM ET
Member Since: 8/4/2007
Posts: 389
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I shop at the Salvation Army and FOL sale. Otherwise, I just post books that my family no longer wants.

Date Posted: 1/26/2008 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 556
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If there aren't any good sources in your area, another way to build up a shelf would be to take advantage of the deals here on the PBS book bazaar (under the membership menu, discussion forums).  There are usually a number of offers of 2 books for a credit, 3 books for a credit, even sometime 5 books for a credit.     By regularly taking advantage of these, your shelf will grow.   Even if you can only find one book on the shelf of someone offering a deal, you might go for the deal just to build your shelf up.

Date Posted: 1/26/2008 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 1,614
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Kris M.

In regard to your question about buying books where you're not familar with the author: I've found that if you look on the cover and it tells you something like, 'New York Times Bestselling Author....' or  'A Main Selection of The Mystery Guild', or an endorsement by another well-known author, you can be pretty sure that you have a book that others will be interested in. In fact, I've found several new authors for my own reading pleasure this way. I think, generally, if there is some kind of indication of an author's popularity on the front cover, you're in good shape for posting.

Check out my bookshelf. I'm always willing to make deals.

So many books, so little time.

Date Posted: 1/27/2008 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2008
Posts: 24
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Thanks for all of the great advice! I am sure in time I will learn what is on wishlists & have a better idea of what to keep an eye out for. Now to ask dh for a web-enabled cell phone so I can be sure before I buy!    ; )

Date Posted: 1/27/2008 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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Shirley E. That is very good advice *and* something I can remember! I tried looking through wish lists and all of that goes right out of my mind as soon as I close the page. Thank you!
Date Posted: 1/27/2008 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 9,557
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Something I've noticed, too, is that if the book is newer (like, in the last 5 years) even if it isn't wishlisted, it doesn't seem like its long before it gets requested anyway.  And even some of my older books, you just never know when someone is going to come along and want your book!