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Topic: Understanding PBS

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Subject: Understanding PBS
Date Posted: 11/13/2009 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2009
Posts: 34
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ok, so I'm new and not too smart, Please help me understand some things.

When I check my bookshelf page, what does all that stuff mean. ie: the stars, the numbers, review, suggest, tag, note .

I've used my 2 new member credits, is there a way to get more books before someone asks for mine. Unfortunately, just two weeks ago I took most of my books to the library, so the few I had left when I found out about PBS are not likely to go. Will I have to buy and read more new ones then post them?

I really need to get a stockpile in before bad weather. We had that bad ice storm last year, couldn't get out, lib. broke pipes and flooded was closed for almost 3 months. 

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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The stars are book ratings.  The ratings come from PBS members who have rated the book.  The number next to the stars indicates how many people have rated the book.  Tag and note are for tags or notes that you can add for your own reference.  You can read up on this more in the Help Center.

You can buy credits from PBS to order more books- just go to the kiosk.  Also, a lot of people go to garage sales, thrift stores, etc. to pick up books for cheap to post on PBS.  You might want to browse the club wish list to see what books are wish listed- then if you can find WL books for cheap, you know they will be requested right away.  Just keep in mind the book condition guidelines when shopping for used books to post at PBS, and make sure they are in postable condition.

Welcome to PBS, and I would really recommend reading through the Help Center to learn more about how everything works.  It's a great resource and explains everything very well.  After 2.5 years here at PBS, I still refer to it regularly!

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Hey, Vivian!

Stars are used for members to rate books. If you've read a book you like, just click on the amount of stars it deserves. Stars you give will be yellow. IIRC the number after the stars is how many people have ranked the book to give it the average amount of stars shown for that book. Reviews pretty much are just that, review members have left. 

Tags are small remarks that members can use to add information to a book so other members can see them. For example, Urban Fantasy is one of those genres that dont' have their own listing here, so can be sorted under "Horror", "Romance" or "Fantasy". People can tag the ones they know to be Urban Fantasy to make it easier for other members to find them. Tags can be used for personal use, so you might not understand what all the tags mean. Some people may tag a book with the future date it's being released, or tag it with a tag that reminds them they sent a copy to Aunt Mary. Some you'll never figure out, but someone found it useful for their own use.

You can add "notes" to a book, like the tags, only you will ever see it. It'll pop up for you every time that book gets pulled up.

And you can buy credits to get books from a couple of places. The first is the site Kiosk. At the top of every page you'll see the row that says "Browse, Search, My Account, Community, Help Center, Kiosk." Go to the Kiosk and you'll see you can buy various things from the site, including more credits.

Or you can go to the Book Baazar, (in the list of forums) ...


And there's usually a discussion about selling credits. You can buy credits from other members, (mostly by Paypal but some do accept checks) usually cheaper than the club price. The Bazaar offers a lot of deals that members have on their shelves, and can be a really great way to stock up on books. But be aware that some books may not meet the guidelines for condition and the site doesn't get involved in the deals between members.

And in case you haven't seen it yet, the site has basic guidelines for book conditions. They're at...

Book Conditions for Swapability at PBS


You'll want to make sure the books you send out meet the basic guidelines. Anyone getting a book from you that does can ask for their credit back from you. But the same goes for you. If you get a book that doesn't meet guidelines you can ask for your credit back. Doesn't mean you'll get it, but it does put a flag on the members account and if they're sending out books they're not supposed to then the site can tell. The goal is to keep really bad books out of the system so everyone knows what to expect when they order a book.

The help documents have a lot of interesting stuff in there. Well worth checking out to get to know the site better.


Subject: thanks
Date Posted: 11/13/2009 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2009
Posts: 34
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TY Cindy and Lesley,

Qs answered very helpfully.

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 11:15 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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The Help Center - found right below the bright blue banner at the top of the page, is your new best friend!  Go to the browse part and put in almost any word and up will pop an answer.  It even has a section called, "How To Get Started."   

This is a great site but reading the way it works saves you a ton of frustration.  The people on the boards are great about answering but many, many questions are answered in the help center.

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If you don't want to buy credits from PBS or another member than yes you will probably have to go out and buy some WL books to post.   I would look up some newer books you want to read and see if they are WL-then buy maybe 1 or 2 to hold you over and earn you a couple of credits.  You can make a credits stretch further by going to the Book Bazaar forum and looking for deals.  My TBS is so huge in part from getting books for 3 or 4 books for 1 credit.  These are usually heavily posted books. 

If you are going to check out the thrift stores and garage sales for books just to post: avoid the mega authors like Nora Roberts, Stephen King, Danielle Steel, Debbie Macomber, Janet Evanovich, John Grishom, James Patterson-these authors are so popular that their books are usually very heavily posted into the system.  The last 3 Nora Roberts books I posted each had over 1,000 copies posted ahead of mine.  I was finally able to trade them in a BOB deal.  I'm not necessarily saying don't do this. If I see a book for a .25 that I want to read and I know it's heavily posted-I will still buy it-but I do it with the expectation of it not being ordered quickly.  Just don't buy a whole bunch and expect them to move pretty quickly. 

I used to do what someone else suggested and studied the WL of my favorite genres. After awhile I got a feel for what's likely to go quickly and what's likely to sit around on my shelf for months.  I have a lot of book storage space so I don't care if they sit for awhile.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 11/13/2009 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Hi Vivian.  Welcome to PBS!  The members here in the Discussion Forums are very helpful and they've already given you a lot of responses and a lot of good advice.

Just wanted to point out to you that when you joined, you were listed with a Tour Guide, who can also help answer your questions.  If you have questions, you can ask your PBS Tour Guide, who is on your Personal Messages tab on your My Account page or you can reach any online Tour Guide by clicking on the Help Center tab at the top of any page, then clicking on the Live Help link to bring up a list of currently online Tour Guides.  We love to help out!

Also, Cozette's advice about checking out the Help Center is good advice.  There is a wealth of information about the site there, and you can learn a lot perusing the pages there. 

Here is Help Center link useful to get started:   http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=166

Last Edited on: 11/13/09 1:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/13/2009 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome Vivian!

Subject: WOW.
Date Posted: 11/13/2009 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2009
Posts: 34
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I've found a home...since I started computing less tha a year ago, I've joined about 8-9 sites and left them all because I never felt welcome..I should know that readers are an entirely differant breed.   Thank all of you for all the input. Now I'm going to spend the rest of the day surfing around.. Thanks again    Viv

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Now I'm going to spend the rest of the day surfing around.. Thanks again    Viv

You're welcome! Hope you find lots of good deals in the Baazar. I know I did!

Date Posted: 11/14/2009 3:57 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Hi, Vivian, welcome to PBS and love your name. My favorite cousin shares it with you, makes you a good person right off the bat in my book! hahaha

I don't know if you found your Tour Guide yet, but if you won't mind terribly, I'll give you a little bit of help that I always give my new members as a Tour Guide. This is my standard advise to all new members that haven't already explored the Help Center on their own.

I always recommend they go to the top of the page to the gray bar and hold your mouse over the HELP CENTER tab, but don't click right away. A menu will appear.

The first item to click will be the "HOW TO SWAP BOOKS?" link.

After taking the tour, then come back to the Help Center tab and click "BROWSE HELP DOCS" link.

Once on the "BROWSE DOCS" page, read the articles under at least the first 5-6 topics on the LEFT.

In the future, come back to the page and use the search slot for a key WORD or PHRASE to find answers within the HC. Occasionally, you might have to try a couple times before finding the key word or phrase that holds your answer, but it's generally amazingly good at finding sentences that match your question or problem.

But, anytime you do not understand, or can't find, the answer to your question please feel free to PM me, your own Tour Guide, or any other Tour Guide listed under the LIVE HELP section under the HC tab.

Again, welcome to PBS and I hope you come to enjoy it as much as I have over the last 4 yrs!!!

A PBS Volunteer Tour Guide Member

Subject: Welcome
Date Posted: 11/17/2009 12:18 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,441
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Welcome to PBS Vivian Prepare to be addicted! You have a good start on your bookshelf...add to it. ENJOY!