Press & Media » The Best times


A Paperbook Swap-and It's Online!

The Best times (Magazine) - 4/1/2007 by Ellen Arden Stucker
Ever fear you'll open your hall closet and be whacked over the head by a cascade of tumbling paperback books? Tired of tripping over those boxes stacked one-on-one in the garage, or trying to cram just one more volume onto your shelf? Then, the online PaperBackSwap.com (PBS) is your solution.
I found PBS from a short mention in our local newspaper last year and fell in love right away. Membership is currently free, though the club is considering charging a nominal fee to belong in the near future.
The basics of this book swap are-to become a member, one must agree to post nine of the books he is willing to swap with others, and automatically, receives three credits for this. Each subsequent book mailed out then equals one credit banked. For each credit you earn, you may choose a book from someone's list, and some enrollees literally have hundreds of books posted. Should you run low on credits, you may purchase them for $2.75, a good bit less than you would spend at a used bookstore.
One may start his shopping spree immediately perusing the million-book library of the swap. Included are books in thirty-two categories: cookbooks, romance novels, mysteries, children's books, large print volumes, as well as, a huge number of non-fiction titles.
The only charge to you comes from mailing the book out to another member. Most people choose a mailing option through Media Mail, which typically costs $1.59 per book. There is even a book-tracking option, available for a small fee through PBS. You may even opt to print the cover on your printer to send the book this way.
But the club is so much more than just a place to swap paperbacks. You may also participate in exchanging hardbacks and audio books, as well as a division which swaps CD's. Here, too, you'll find games, a chat room, user forums and a place to publish poems and members' short stories with an interactive feedback option.
Included in this innovative book club are members reviews and a wish list, where you may post what you would like to own, if you don't find it listed. PBS will then notify you when it becomes available.
PBS maintains a store: offering items such as t-shirts and mugs imprinted with their logo, great for promoting the site to others.
The website is found at www.paperbackswap.com and is fun, savvy and constantly trying to improve its participants' experience. Since you get a complimentary book credit for signing up another member, please feel free to mention my name!