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Web Site Lets Avid Readers Swap Works

The Piqua Daily Call (Newspaper) - 7/25/2007 by Maria Hartley
PIQUA - Do you have bookshelves overflowing with dusty novels you will never read again? Is there a book you want to read but can't seem to find at the library, or don't want to shell out cash for at the bookstore?

You're in luck: PaperbackSwap.com, a fairly new Web site that allows people all over the United States to swap books for nothing more than the cost of shipping, is becoming even more popular and its selection of titles is growing.

Piqua resident Jennifer Dunham has been participating in book trading through the Web site since she came across it while browsing the Internet one day, and has received 54 books so far.

"I thought 'this is great!' and wound up increasing my book collection to now where it's over-filling my bookcases," Dunham said.

Beginning the program is simple: just take nine books you want to give away (they don't have to be just paperbacks), post them on the Web site and get three free credits towards requesting the books you want. You can even create wish lists for new or upcoming releases. Paperbacks, hard covers, as well as books on cassettes or compact discs can all be traded on the site.

In Dunham's experience, it usually only takes around two weeks to receive your free book. At any given time there can be thousands of people on the site with more than1.3 million titles available.

While the program is free except for shipping costs, some members prefer to put more money into their purchase to wrap books in materials other than the printable wrap provided on the Web site to prevent rain damage. There are conditions for books that have to be met, such as no mold or water damage, however some people will still accept a book even though it's damaged if you contact them through the Web site's personal messaging system.

Also, individuals are allowed to have restrictions on the quality of books they can receive due to medical reasons, such as books that come from non-smoking homes or haven't been around pets.

While the swapping service is only available right now within the United States, members of U.S. military are encouraged to join if they supply APO/FPO addresses. Books can also be shipped to Guam, Puerto Rice and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Since becoming a member of the paperback swap, Dunham has referred her husband and a friend to the Web site. If you're interested in joining paperbackswap.com, the Web site will ask for a referral in which you can put in Dunham's e-mail address: jen.wantsme@gmail.com.

"It's a great way to recycle paperback books without throwing them away," Dunham said. "I've always been someone who spends a lot of time reading. By the time I hit 13, I was reading adult level novels, and (the program) has really increased my reading."