Help Center - Managing your PaperBackSwap Bookshelf

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Your PaperBackSwap Bookshelf is the list of books you have Posted to offer for swapping.  It also contains books you have received from PBS (these go "on hold" onto your Bookshelf when you mark the books received, unless you choose not to do this at the time of marking the book received).  

You can get to your PBS Bookshelf from the menu under My Account on the main toolbar at the top of the site, or by clicking the My Bookshelf tab when you are in the My Account view.

Icons on your Bookshelf:

The  symbol appears to the left of items on individual Hold.  Items on hold cannot be seen by other members looking at your Bookshelf.  Books get onto your Bookshelf on hold when you mark them received, or when you apply the Individual Hold to them.

The symbol  appears to the left of items that are listed as available for swapping.  These items can be viewed by others looking at your Bookshelf.

You can convert a book "on hold" to an "available" book by clicking to place a checkmark in the box to the far RIGHT of the item on your Bookshelf and clicking Post at the top of the page to post the book. You can do this at one time for multiple items on one page of your Bookshelf if you like.

W means the book is currently on another member's Wish List.

  • A PALE red W means that the book is on another member's Wish List, but the other member has her account on Vacation Hold and the wish is NOT set to auto request - OR - has her account on Vacation Hold and the wish is set to auto request, but the member does not have the Book Credit to request it.
  • The PALE red W means that when a wisher takes her account off Vacation Hold (OR gets the Book Credit to auto-request the book), the book will be offered to the first wishing member.
  • The PALE red W on a listing for an available book on a Bookshelf does not prevent anyone from requesting the book without using the Wish List.

WA means the book is currently on another member's Wish List, set to auto-request.

means the book has a request in process (it takes an hour to be submitted to you - this "buyer's remorse" period allows requestors to change their minds and cancel with a minimum of confusion for the sender)


Star ratings - these are very helpful to other members who are browsing books.

  •   blue stars = the club average rating
  •   yellow stars = you have rated the book
Stars allow you to rate a book from 1 (Hate it) to 5 (Love it) stars.  Just click the star that you are choosing - if you want to give a book a 4-star rating, click the fourth star from the left. You can clear your rating by clicking the .  The star rating that will appear on the Book Details page for a book in the database is an average of all ratings members have given to the book.  Yellow stars are your ratings of a book.  Blue stars are the average rating of all members in the club who have rated this book.  If the stars on a book listing are grey, that means no one has yet rated the book.

Bookshelf Basics

  • Books that appear on your Bookshelf as available should be able to be sent out when they are requested.
    • If you can't send books out for a period of time (if you are plan to be away from home or from Internet access for more than 5 days), you can put your Bookshelf on Hold.
    • If you give a book away or it gets damaged, you should delete it from your bookshelf before it gets requested.
  • Books appear on your Bookshelf immediately after you post them into the system. 
    • If you post books while your Bookshelf is on Vacation Hold, the newly posted books will also go on Hold.
  • When you mark a book received, the book will go onto your Bookshelf on hold, unless you choose for this not to happen at the time of marking the book received.

    • This way, they are easy to repost when you have finished reading them.
    • Books you mark received with a problem will not go onto your Bookshelf automatically.
  • You can choose how you view the list, by choosing from the dropdown View menu at the top of your Bookshelf.
  • Choosing "All Books" (default view) will show all items
  • Choosing "Posted Books" will show only active items
  • Choosing "Hold" will show only those items on hold
  • You can ReSort your bookshelf by Author, Title, Date Posted, or Posted to see all items in corresponding order See below for more details
  • You can repost any item(s) on Hold easily by checking the box to the right of any item on Hold that you want to repost, and clicking Post.  You can do this for multiple items at a time.
  • You can delete any item (on Hold or active) easily by checking the box to the right of any items you want to delete, and clicking Delete.  You can do this for multiple items at a time.

Note: When you view the listing for a book in the database that is currently posted to your Bookshelf, you will not see the button.  Instead you will see the option to mail the book to a friend; this is to prevent members from requesting books from themselves.  Others who view the book listing in the database will see the button, and will be able to request your book.

Tour of Your Bookshelf

Top Left: ,

allows you to edit the "Header" at the top of your Bookshelf where you can write a message to those viewing the Bookshelf.  Read more about the Bookshelf Header in The Bookshelf Header.

allows you to see what your Bookshelf looks like to members viewing it - you can see how your Header appears to others using this button.

Top Right: View menu, , , , Mark , Mark ,  and function buttons: , , .

View menu: This dropdown menu allows you to show or not show the books currently on Hold on your Bookshelf.  The options are: All Books (= posted + on hold); Posted Books (= only posted books); Books on Hold (= only books currently on hold)

: This will download your bookshelf as a CSV file to your computer's hard drive.

:  This will take you to a printable view of your bookshelf, with the book title, author, ISBN-13 and ISBN-10 listed.  Book cover images will not be on the printable view.  Click Print at the top of the printable view to print.

Allows you to sort (display) your bookshelf in various ways.  The default display is alphabetically (A-Z) by title.  To sort your bookshelf, click this button and make your choice from the options that come up.  Your new Sort will remain until you ReSort again, even if you log out of your account in the meantime.  Sort options include:

    • By Title: This will show your books alphabetically by title.  Choosing ASC means that titles that begin with numbers will be listed first, followed by titles from A->Z.  DESC means that titles will be listed Z->A, and titles beginning with numbers following Z.
    • By Author: This will show your books alphabetically by author.  Choosing "ascending" means that authors will be listed A->Z.  "Descending" means that authors will be listed Z->A. Note: sorting your bookshelf by author might cause some of your books to "disappear" from view.  This happens if you have posted books that have no author on the book listing.  You can supply an author's name for your booklisting using the Edit Book Data link accessible from Member Tools at the bottom of any page on the site.
    • By Date posted: This will show the books in the order that they were posted to your Bookshelf.  "Ascending" shows the earliest-posted books first; "Descending" shows the most recently-posted books first.
    • By Posted: This will show the books grouped into Posted/available and On Hold.  The  Posted/Available books will be listed at the top of the list, followed by "on hold" books. There is no ascending/descending sub-sort for this. The default sub-sort is by title.
    • By Wish List: This will show all the books on your Bookshelf that are currently on other member's Wish Lists.  With this sort, books on Wish Lists (either posted books with inactive wishes, OR on Hold books with inactive/active wishes) will be shown at the top of the list. Again, there is no "ascending" or "descending" sub-sort for this. The default sub-sort is by title.

:  Allows you to search your Bookshelf.  This is a keyword search; you can put in  author, title,  ISBN, booktype, genre or subject.  Click this button in the yellow bar at the top of your bookshelf and enter a keyword in the field that comes up, then click Search.

Mark :  Allows you to check the boxes next to ALL of the items on the current page of your Bookshelf.  Once you have marked items on your Bookshelf, you can then apply actions (Hold, Post, Delete) to them.

Mark : This removes all checkmarks you may have applied (= lets you start over)

: This will post (meaning UnHold) any checked books that are on Hold on the Bookshelf page you are viewing.

: This will put any checked books on that Bookhelf page on HoldPlease note that this is NOT the same as applying a Vacation Hold to your Bookshelf.  This "individual hold" will unpost the book and change its "posted on" date; when you repost, the "date posted" will be the date of the reposting. Using a Vacation Hold will not affect the "posted on" date of a book.  Once the"posted on" date has been changed, it cannot be undone.

: This will delete any checked books on that page.  Once deleted, the book can be restored to your Bookshelf only by reposting them. Note: If you have clicked "I cannot mail" on a request, or have clicked "Cancel Order" on an active outgoing transaction, or the system has canceled your transaction for failure to mark a book mailed by the deadline, the book will have been automatically removed from your Bookshelf.


Function buttons on the right of each book listing:

  Allows you to write a Review of your book for other members to read.  This is particularly helpful to requestors if the listing in the PBS database does not include a synopsis of the book. Even if the book information on the listing includes a synopsis, requestors often really like to hear what another member thought of the book!  Information about your particular copy of a book should not be included in a review--there is no guarantee that the requestor of your book will see your Review, and the Review is attached to the Book Details page for a book, and NOT to a particular copy.

  This allows you to send a suggestion to one of your Friends in a Personal Message - if the friend orders the book from the Personal Message, your copy will be the one requested (even if your copy is not first in FIFO). Read more about this feature in Suggest a Book.

: This feature allows you to send a book to a friend in a not-for-credit transaction.  Click this button to generate a PBS wrapper for a book, even if the recipient is not a PBS member.  You enter the recipient's name and mailing address; the book will appear on your bookshelf in a special tab.  You can print the wrapper as usual (you may use PBS-DC or PBS Printed Postage if you choose) and mark the book mailed, then mark it received when the recipient tells you that it was received.  You will not get a credit for sending a book this way.

Allows you to add a Book Tag to the book.  Remember that Book Tags are NOT for comments about your particular copy of the book . You can read more in Book Tags.

Allows you to add a Book Note to the book.  Book Notes are viewable only by you - they are great for making personal comments about your book for your eyes only. You can read more in Book Notes.

Related links:

How to remove a book from your Bookshelf
I got a request for a book I don't have
I got a request for a book while my bookshelf was on Hold
How to post a book
How do I post a book without an ISBN?
How to put your Account on Hold/vacation
I have two residences with books in both places; how can I manage my PBS account?