Press & Media » The Viginian-Pilot


Paperback Lovers Hit Millionth Trade Jackpot

The Viginian-Pilot (Newspaper) - 3/16/2007 by Eric Feber
For avid readers/bibliophiles Mary and Matt Stinnette, it was akin to winning the Mega Millions jackpot.
The Hickory couple won more than $300 worth of credits and shipping services from Paperbackswap.com, an Internet book trading service they've used for about a year.
Actually, Matt won by predicting the exact time the service would reach 1 million books traded. Based on figures determined by looking at daily trade averages, Matt predicted 10:38 a.m. March 2. His wife predicted the day before.
"We were amazed, " said Mary Stinnette, a Webmaster for Chesapeake Public Schools. "When I found out, I couldn't concentrate on anything."
"We couldn't believe it," said Matt who works as a network architecture analyst for the Dollar Tree headquarters in Greenbrier. "I've never won anything before in my life."
No matter who specifically won, the family was elated, including the Stinnettes' 15 year old daughter, Jessica, a freshman at Hickory high and a voracious reader.
"She already has an amazing collection of books, " Mary said. "She loves fantasy like the Harry Potter series, which she has read and re-read, but she also enjoys the normal teen-scene books too."
Matt said he enjoys the "Dan Brown-type thrillers" and action books while the wife devours whatever genre comes her way.
"I have more eclectic tastes," she said. "They vary from romance to vampire tales to nonfiction."
The service that bestowed this biblio-fortune on the Stinnettes attracts thousands of book-swappers nationwide. It's free. Members only have to pay for the books' postage.
To join requires at least nine book titles a person is willing to swap. When an interested reader contacts the bookholder, requesting a title, the owner then ships the missive in question to the interested party, paying the postage. The shipper then earns a credit, which allows him or her to request a book from another member.
For book lovers who haunt used book stores and thrift shops, the service is a dream come-true.
"My family lives and breathes Paperbackswap.com, " Matt wrote in an e-mail to members. "There isn't any other site as awesome as this one and we, especially my wife and teenage daughter, visit it nearly every day."
For their win, the Stinnettes won 100 credits and other Internet book shipping services.
"Ever since we won we've gotten so many requests for book," Mary added. "We have to print more mailing labels."
Matt is pleased at his literary fortune. Now he's hoping to turn that luck elsewhere.
"I wish I could be that accurate in predicting the lotto jackpot," he sighed.