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Topic: Minimum number of books to have on Bookshelf

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Subject: Minimum number of books to have on Bookshelf
Date Posted: 11/28/2007 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 745
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I am a new member. I have about 12 books available on my bookshelf for others to request. What is a minimum number of books I should have, on average, on my bookshelf to get about 1 request per 2 weeks?

 

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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It's not that simple. There's no telling who will want which book on your shelf and when. Your best bet is to have a couple dozen varied books at any given time.

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 10:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2007
Posts: 9,682
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Michelle's right Chuck. There's no telling who's going to want what when. No rhyme or reason. Of course if you have books on your shelf that are on people's wishlists or are books that have just come out you have a better chance of requests.

I also agree that it's good to have some varied genres on your shelf as well.

Good luck Chuck!

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I have about 90 books on my shelf and requests are hit and miss.  obviously WL books will go but there are many others that have sat there for months. 

you could peruse the daily wish lists for certain genres and see what people like and if you are hitting a garage sale or used book sale or anywhere you can get cheap books, take a list with you

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 510
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Well, there is some rhyme or reason to at least some of it.

As mentioned, popular, recently released books are likely to be requested fairly quickly.

The demand for childrens books goes up once the school season starts, particularly for books that are likely to be on reading lists (Newbury award winners, for instance).

I've been a member for a little over 2 years (call it 100 weeks) and have recieve about ~1600 credits over that period, so 16 a week.  I'd guess that I've had an average of 1200 books on my shelf over that period.  So a very rough guess would be that 100 books would yield about 1 request a week.   However, unless you are posting popular books, there will be a long lean period while your more commonly available books age their way up the FIFO queue. 

(Some time ago I proposed a unit of measurement called "the Grisham" for the amount of time it took for a title to be requested, defined as the length of time it would take for a freshly posted copy of John Grisham's first book "A Time To Kill" [currently 978 posted copies of just one edition] to be requested via FIFO - most books would thus have a fractional value such as .009 Grishams until requested)

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2005
Posts: 6,182
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It all depends on the books you have posted and how many you have posted. As for the Grisham factor, mine took between 1 - 1.5 years to make it through the FIFO system to me.

So, if all you have on your shelf are books by Grisham, it may be a while before you get a request.

I have had between 130 - 200 books on my shelf since I joined in April 2005. I have sent out 502 books in that time frame.

Diane

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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You may also consider posting in the forum for the genre of books on your bookshelf to create a little traffic as those posters 'check you out!' I think most of us will check someone's bookshelf and wishlist to get to 'know' him/her a little better. The more PBS friends you make, the more traffic you'll get, especially when 'Sally' knows that 'Mary' likes the same genre of books she does!

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I rarely have more than 60bks on my shelf and I get 1-2 requests from it a week.  The rest comes from WL books I post. I post a lot of audio cd's though and those usually get snapped up right away. 

Jenny (Jenny) - ,
Date Posted: 11/28/2007 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 12/13/2005
Posts: 682
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Hmmm... It really depends on the content of your shelf... I'm coming up on my 2-year anniversary-- 115 books sent so that's about 1 per week on average. My bookshelf has had anywhere between 5-40 books on it, but most of my trading these days is via wish lists... (I still have 3 "originals" on my shelf-- never posted a Grisham, but my Perfect Storm unit measure is 23 months and counting...)

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I keep 250-300 books on my shelf, mixed genres, and in the last 30 days I've had 29 requests, with 9 in the last 14 days, and 5 currently in the mail.  Since I've been here, mid July, I've mailed out 220 books.

So as a rule, I'm getting around 5-7 requests a week with 250 books on the shelf.  I'll let you (or Bret) do the higher math and extrapolate what you can from that. 

And - as everyone else has said, it depends on the books.  Even badly written Paranormals usually fly off my shelf, while some very nice mysteries just hang out there forever.  I do also buy and post a lot of new books, so that also skews the numbers a bit, as these are often wishlisted.

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Once Upon a Time......in a Newletter (I think it was a newsletter....)  it was suggested, by R & R, that a 50 book minimum was a good way to keep orders flowing.  Now, there were surely a lot less people then, but that would make it all the more reason to have at least 50.

I agree completely that a variety of genres is important.  I used to have a shelf of about 500 books.  It allowed me to bank a lot of credits . Now I have 200 (and that feels 'comfortable" to me) and that provides a steady flow for me.  My 'balance" stays pretty stable, so I'm sending about as many as I'm ordering at this point. 

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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I usually have between 75 and 100 books on my shelf.  The requests ebb and flow but work out to about one a week.

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I want to add that I think posting regularly on your fave genre boards helps with book orders. I have 2 orders this week direct from my shelf of commonly available books, just from discussing them on the boards. 

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 745
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Wow! Thanks for all the replies in such a short time. So it seems that newer books are more likely to be requested. I checked out a few of the top 50 most wishlisted books, and some were less than 6 months old. Which means they will certainly not be found at a book sale, library sale, or garage sale.

So, which genres are the most popular now? I have seen a lot of vampire type stories requested. Are these vampire/romance type books?

I might just stick with sci fi and romance books. It seems women readers are the majority here.

 

 

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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Yes, the top WL books usually are newer.  But I don't have a ton of newer books on my shelf and yet I still get regular requests.  I've found that classic literature is requested regularly, nonfiction is popular (eg, business-related books), and cookbooks are popular.  I've also had luck with older, out-of-print books where there are only a few in the system.  The slowest movers will be books that were really popular about 5 years ago, mainly because there will be a lot of those books currently in the system.

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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besides the top 50 which is always newer books (or seems like it anyway) there is a daily list that comes out that you can subscribe to for different genres.  it would give you an idea anyway!  I think it is what people post as a WL book for that day

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,351
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History and military history books fly off my shelf. 

Authors such as Chuck Palahniuk, Hunter S. Thompson and Christopber Moore are always wishlisted.

Ooohh... that might be an idea for another thread:  a list of authors who always seem to be wishlisted.

Back to work, the boss is coming down the hall!  :)

 

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Paranormal romances are very popular. Many are WL and the ones that aren't get snapped up quickly.  I'm not really into these. I won a big log of them on Ebay for cheap just to try them out. Most were WL and the ones that weren't were ordered almost immediately. Erotica type books are usually WL and snapped up quick.   Unabridged audio-cd's are really popular. A lot of commuters and walkers like these. Many of the JD Robb, James Patterson and other mystery/thriller type books are WL as CD's even if they are readily available in paperback.  I usually check out half-price books or ebay  for these, listen to them, post and they are ordered right away.   I'm not a good source of cheap used books though. I don't buy them just to post them usually.  I only buy what I read first because I don't have access to any really cheap books to buy. This is not a big garage sale area.  Valuevillage can be a source of cheap books. They do like buy 4 get one free deals and many half-price days. But you have to watch them because they will sell books that are in really bad shape and unpostable.  Last time I was there I found 2 Lora Leigh WL books (a lot hers are WL they are erotica).  They also had some Zane books that were WL but they were all beat up an torn so I didn't get them.  If you can get books cheap you can buy non-WL books and then offer a deal.  It doesn't really cost much more to mail 2 or 3 paperback books then it does to send one.

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Which means they will certainly not be found at a book sale, library sale, or garage sale

Chuck, I just have to say, not necessarily so!  I pick up WL paperbacks, often very new, at my FOL store on a farily basis.  MMPs are 50 cents.  If it's a book I wanted to read *anyway*, it makes for a very good deal! 

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2007
Posts: 120
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I have had about 20 on my shelf and had 13 requested in a week --- thus it really depends.

 

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I found a WL book today at the recycling center for .50.  I didn't know it was a WL book. But it was an author I like (Boris Akunin) and only .50. I figured even if it wasn't WL that it probably wouldn't be available or have that many copies in the system.  Of course I should have left the Rapture of Canaan since there are 250 copies on PBS already.  I posted it before I read it so it can move up the FIFO chain.  I'll have to read it quickly on the off chance someone orders it right from my shelf. I forsee that one getting sold to Half-price books or donated to the thrift store before I move next summer.

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
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I might just stick with sci fi and romance books. It seems women readers are the majority here.

While it's true that women seem to be a strong majority here, bear in mind that many of our shelves are flooded with romance books.   I think that romance is the genre that moves the slowest from my shelf. 

Anything paranormal flies off my shelf and cozy mysteries rarely stick around.  Most non-fiction goes pretty quickly, too. 

And agreeing with Beth, I find lots of WL books at my local UBS (though I'm not always willing to pay what they ask for them) and I picked up half a dozen at my last FOL sale (mostly cozies).

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 729
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I agree that romance do not move very fast.  I have 601 books on my bookshelf right now (my account is on hold, though) and a lot of them are Harlequin-type romance books.  I don't read them, but got a ton of them super cheap (like 4 or 5 flats of books for $1) at an auction I frequest.  I know that when my account is not on hold I get several requests a week, sometimes several a day.  Right now I just cannot afford to send books out - I wish I could so I could build up a stash of credits.  As soon as I get some extra money, I'll take the hold off.

I buy books at my local library bookshop (FOL but open every day) - their paperbacks are 5 for $1 - can't beat that - I always have to get at least 5, and I tend to find wishlist books every time I go in.  Last time they had a bunch of Fantasy, and I bought 10 of them and 7 were wishlisted!  My local Goodwill and Salvation Army are great places to find good cheap books, too.

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 745
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Wow, so paranormal romances go fast? I"ll look for those. I was sticking with well-known authors, like Michael Crichton, John Grisham, and sci fi authors I grew up with in the 1980s like Fred Saberhagen, Piers Anthony, Harry Harrison.

I did just get in "Angela's Ashes", which I thought was a classic and thought people might like to read again. And I have "Lasher" by Anne Rice.

 

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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I would not necessarly think that newer heavily wishlisted books aren't available at Goodwill and similar places.  I got a HB copy of "lean Mean Thirteen" at GW today for 90c----I think there are still >100 wishers for this one, too. 

Anything that mentions vampires or other paranormal things usually goes immediately, though Ann Rice is slower, I find. 

I do shop for WL books in UBS's---write down likely ones's ISBN's, then return to buy them if they are indeed on wishlists.

Ebay is also a good source for unused stamps, especially without gum (so you have to use a glue stick on them) at less than face value----I get most of my postage for about 65-75% of FV---that is why you would get a variety of stamps on almost anything you would order from me.

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