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Book Swap Going Well

Cumberland Times-News (Newspaper) - 6/9/2006 by Jennifer Raley
Cumberland Times-News : Book Swap Going Well CUMBERLAND - Without spending a dime, readers can sit at their computers, pick out books they want, and have them shipped to their homes.

"We now have over half a million books," said Lynn Pickering, public relations marketing assistant for PaperBackSwap.Com.

Richard Pickering and Robert Swarthout began the Atlanta, Ga.-based Web site in November 2004.

"It's a good way to share books with people who really want them," said Richard. "It's a tremendous opportunity for readers."

Richard, who used to purchase many paperbacks at airports during business trips, wanted to create a forum for readers to trade their already-read books.

Members simply choose books from the massive listing, and the books' owners mail the books to their homes. When the books are received, the senders earn credits that allow them to order other books.

"Members save hundreds of dollars a year just by trading books," Lynn said. "More than 2,000 books are traded every day."

Sitting in the kitchen, shopping for books- and getting them for free -is much more fun than spending money driving to book stores, said Lynn.

"At any time, more than 20,000 books are in the mail," said Richard.

Shipping a book using media mail costs about $1.59, he said.

Books on the site are listed by author, title and genre.

"Some people have found books they haven't been able to find anywhere else," said Lynn.

"We just want everyone who loves books to join the site and have fun," said Richard.

The site also features discussion forums and live chats.

Currently, membership is free; however, Richard is considering charging a membership fee to cover operation costs.