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Topic: obtaining books for swapping

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Subject: obtaining books for swapping
Date Posted: 7/16/2010 10:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2009
Posts: 20
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If anyone is interested,how I obtain books to swap, some I buy, read, and trade, and others  I scour garage sales for used books, I usually get lucky with some pretty recent fiction titles, & can pick them up for .50-$1 each.

Once I read them I can post them here on PBS, which gives me credits to get more books, saving the cost of buying at bookstores! Also St Vinnies stores are a great book finding resource, buy cheap, post , and then, well you know the rest.... 

I will often even pickup book titles I am not interested in reading, for the sole purpose of posting them on PBS....there is someone out there, for every book taste!


Date Posted: 7/29/2010 1:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2010
Posts: 161
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The library is wonderful. They order lots of popular titles in hardcover and sell them seven or eight months later (after the demand has reduced) for cheap. My local library sells adult hardbacks for $1. I pick up a stack and then use a computer to see which are wishlisted before I buy them.

Date Posted: 8/5/2010 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,367
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As long as you want to read the books, this works well.  Otherwise, the cost of the book+shipping is more than the cost of buying credits in the Book Bazaar.  It's certainly friendly to buy WL books, but it isn't frugal as credit prices have dropped.

I stock my shelf during bag sales at rummage sales.  If you volunteer at a sale you might be able to take the leftovers home at the end--though how useful that is depends on the size of the sale.  Being left with a bag of out of date books isn't so useful.  For larger sales with lots of book donations there's likely to still be good ones at the end.

Another method is both freecycle and craiglist if you have ones near you.  You can often find folks giving away books. 

Date Posted: 8/8/2010 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/11/2009
Posts: 1
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My sister lives in Chattanooga, TN and every time I visit her we go to McKay's Bookstore. It's full of SUPER cheap books (some new, some used), but they always have these 2 huge bins in the front of FREE books!! We always get a few just to have something to post here. I realize a lot of people don't live near there, but if you're ever in the neighborhood you should check it out!!

Date Posted: 8/9/2010 12:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2008
Posts: 1,362
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The library near my Mom has books for 10 cents each, as does the local thrift store here.  Salvation Army's books are 25 cents every day and every now and then they have a sale and sell them 10/$1 (they had one this past weekend, and I bought 60 books).  Books at garage sales around here are never more than 25 cents each (or at least they never seem to sell if they are).  Goodwill sells them for 80 cents, but I don't buy any there that aren't part of a series I'm collecting, they used to be 25 cents too, but I guess the corperate office in Kansas City thought they were selling them too cheaply and made them raise the price (they don't sell nearly as many books now, I see the same titles when I go in now).

I try to only buy books that look like they are like new (unless they are part of a series I've been hunting).  And I only buy books that I want, I think my mom or grandmother will be interested in reading, ones that I think will go fast on PBS.  Since I get books so cheap, I can also afford to offer deals on my books, which saves on shipping, if I were paying more for my books, I couldn't do that, though. 

Date Posted: 8/10/2010 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
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Check out halfpricebooks.com.  If you have one in your area, give it a try.  They will pay cash for your used books, VHS, dvds, cds, magazines and even LPs in some stores!  Granted, you won't get much for them, but if you have a bunch of books you want to get rid of, it's an option.

 Most books in the store sell for half the cover price, but they also sell a whole bunch for well under that - many as little as one or two bucks each.  I have two stores in my area (Louisville KY).  They also sell magazines, VHS, DVD, CD's and LPs, along with some gift items. 

Mary in KY

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2010
Posts: 16
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Half Price Books is a wonderful resource for us.  I will clear out my bookshelf on here every so often and take to sell. I then use that money (about .25 to .50 per book) to get books for my son, self and hubby.  I only shop on the clearance shelfs there and get books .50 to $3 a book instead of the 1/2 of the face value.

We did this today and I got 4 books from my wishlist for under $4.

They also have a summer reading program for kids. If they bring in their reading log each week they get a $3 giftcard/credit for books. My son cashed his in today and got a stack of books. He picks out books that he sees in the book fair/scholastic flyers that get sent home from the school.

We also share books with family and friends, then when I get it back it gets posted here.

Date Posted: 12/5/2010 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2010
Posts: 17
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I like garage sales for finding books as well.  Can usually get a box full for just a couple of bucks.  Also, cleaning out your friends and familys bookshelves :)  They usually have books on there that are just taking up space and never intend to read in the first place, or they already read them and don't know what to do with them now.

Date Posted: 12/6/2010 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2009
Posts: 91
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I keep my eye on freecycle listings in my area. Often you will find people giving away bags/boxes of used books. After I am done with them, or if there are titles I'm not interested in I post them on the swap. All it cost me was gas to pick up the books. Since I am swapping the books I do not violate freecycle rules, I'm giving them away not selling them. I'm lucky the the area I live in has several upscale neighborhoods. You'd be amazed at the WL books I've picked up. I have a stack right now that my family needs to go through before I post them.

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
Posts: 1,728
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i love shopping at mardel's for my christian books. mine has a fantastic clearance section where books are never more than $5 and are usually more around $1.50-$2. even better, they are brand new books, they just ordered too much for their regular inventory.

Date Posted: 1/2/2011 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2010
Posts: 19
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I just rotate the books I have... For example,  I took a bag of books to a local bookstore and traded them in for credit there. Unlike other stores, you can pay your entire purchase in with credit and then just pay taxes (where as others only let you apply credit to a portion of the purchase.) So I can trade in books I'm done with and get new books. Yard-sales, thrift shops and flea markets are nice too. And sometimes people will give away boxes of books on free-cycle or craigslist. 

Date Posted: 1/8/2011 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2010
Posts: 2
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I buy from the local used bookstore. They have a flat $2.50 fee and the books are always in very good condition. I get the books I want to read. I read them then never turn them back in at the used bookstore, I list them here.  Yes, it will cost me about $2.50 to mail and get credit, but I get a full credit where I would only get partial if I returned them to the used bookstore. It's not a huge savings, but it you read a lot over time it does add up and the edge  shows with time.

Subject: half.com
Date Posted: 1/30/2011 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2007
Posts: 26
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I love scouring thrift shops for books.  They have some great titles.   Thrift shops by us have specials where you can books half off.  So a paperback goesa from .50 to ,25 and hardcover go down .50.   They are always in very good condition.


Above people mentioned halfpriced books?  Do you mean half.com?/   I find shipping is sometimes so expensive.

Date Posted: 2/20/2011 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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Half Price Books is a chain of bookstores that sell both new and used books, as well as DVDs, CDs, etc...Below is the link to their website.




Date Posted: 3/5/2011 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2011
Posts: 88
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Has anyone tried their local Goodwill? I'm pretty sure most towns have one...I mean, we have one and ours is tiny :) All paperbacks are 49 cents, hardbacks 99 cents. Most books are in like-new condition, so these are pretty great deals. Often, Goodwill has sales so everything is 75% off. I got four paperbacks for 49 cents once! What a bargain! Plus, you're supporting a great non-profit cause, which is always a bonus.

To find a local Goodwill store:


Happy swapping!

Date Posted: 3/19/2011 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2007
Posts: 774
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I also support and shop my local Goodwill stores!  I have found alot!! of great books to post to my PBS shelf at Goodwill.

( I even straighten their bookshelves ( if needed ) while Im book shopping.. this gives me a "chance" to volunteer. )   smiley

Date Posted: 3/22/2011 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
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Next to PBS, I get most of my books at 3 Goodwill Stores in my area.  I try to go to at least once a week.

Plus, my niece works at one of them, so I get to hang out with her for a little bit!

MaryF in KY 

Date Posted: 3/27/2011 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2008
Posts: 239
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I try to hit garage sales in my neighborhood, but I typically never hear about them in time, which sucks. I usually frequent the book sale areas of my college and local libraries, the former more because of campus classes I have. I try to stick with books I like and interest me, but if there is one there that I just know will be wished for by someone on PBS, I typically snag it if I've got a few extra cents to spare.

When I get completely done with them (parents and I have read them, if they were interested), I check them out on here. If they have copies of the book already posted, I put it in a box at the end of my bed that I eventually take to Half Price Books. I only go there about once every four or five months (to resist temptation), but I usually bring up three or four boxes of books each time.

BookwormMary's post got me to thinking....I have a goodwill store about five minutes away from my house. I should frequent that more. I've been there only once since it's opened. My area has a few resale shops too, may have to try those when I have a few dollars to spare.

Subject: How I get books !
Date Posted: 4/8/2011 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1
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We go around on Fridays and Saturdays and go to yard, garage sales, estate sales, etc. We shop and then leave flyers with the people that we will pick up the leftovers. When 

they call, we go and get the things, We sort the things. I put them on the Internet for free and then share the books with PBS and pass some on to others in the neighborhood. 

THis way everyone benefits. 

Mary Ann

Date Posted: 4/22/2011 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2009
Posts: 228
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I have gotten *tons* of *free* books from people part of the freecycle.org community.

Good News:  depending on where you live, you will receive occasional emails from those in the freecycle community who are giving away books.  You email the person, arrange for a day/time to pickup the books, and they're yours!

Bad News:  you will receive, on average, 100 emails per day from freecycle members giving away all kinds of stuff.  It's like an online garage sale.  People are actually encouraged to open a separate email account for freecycle use only because of the volume of emails you will receive daily.

Other Bad News:  freecycle members who are giving books away don't always list their titles.  You may end up with books/authors that have a trillion in print:  Harry Potter, Twilight, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, Nicolas Sparks, etc.  But you never know, sometimes you hit paydirt.


Good luck!


Subject: library sales
Date Posted: 6/13/2011 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,525
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Our Friends of the Library (FOL) has a semii-annual book sale (records, CD, VHS, DVDs print music, etc.) that typically numbers in the 400,000-500,000 range of items available.  I always go on a Sunday as Saturday is a mad house AND I hate waiting in line, whereas on Sunday when the doors open everyone gets in right away. Monday is the same and Tuesday is 1/2 price day. Most paperback are already under $1 on S-S-M.

Then on Wednesday it is 10-cent day. I am always amazed at the number and quality of books still remaining.  I pick up a lot of books there that I often end up posting here.

Most of the money earned goes to help the county libraries, but some goes to the Books for Soldiers program. Sevicemen and women overseas can log on to the Books for Soldiers Website and request books. Our county library staff monitors the site and the FOL volunteers then ship the books (chosen from donated books) using funds earned from the FOL sale.

I do my own Movies for Marines too. One of my Viet Nam era buddies was later paralyzed in an accident. He can't read any more but watches a lot of movies. I send him VHS tapes. For example, in the last semi-annual sale I bought 50 VHS tapes for $5.00. I then send him the listing and he (actually his wife) tells me what he wants. I then mail them out to him. Others I watch that he doesn't want, I take to work and give away to others. After all, they are only 10 cents each.



Last Edited on: 9/20/11 8:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Where i get books
Date Posted: 8/6/2011 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,445
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I aquire a lot of books at rummage sales. We also check out the Salvation Army in our town-or any town we happen to be in we check out the thrift stores, if possible. I have a good friend who will buy a book, read it once and then put it on her bookshlelf in the basement. Periodically she will  purge books and I am the recipient of several bags of books. My daughters and I  go through the books and pull out anything we want to read. Daughter #1 and I both belong to PBS, so eventually, some end up here. Which would explain the piles of books on my dining room table!

Last Edited on: 10/28/11 9:56 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/17/2011 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2011
Posts: 25
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Bad News:  you will receive, on average, 100 emails per day from freecycle members giving away all kinds of stuff.  It's like an online garage sale.  People are actually encouraged to open a separate email account for freecycle use only because of the volume of emails you will receive daily.


Freecycle also has digests available.  Instead of getting 1 e-mail each time someone posts, you get 1 e-mail per day with all the posts from the previous day.  Saves a lot on time and space.  Of course, this is assuming you get e-mails for only one area. ;) Happy hunting!

Date Posted: 10/25/2011 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2011
Posts: 4
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Thats a really good idea, I live in Georgia, and we have stores caleld Books for Less. I donated a whole box of books there (before I knew about paperbackswap), and got store points. Now I can find really great books for amazing prices, sometimes as cheap at fifty cents. If the books are oretty recent I post them on here. I look at it as a win win situation.