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Bargain Books

Fox 23 News/Albany, NY (TV) - 2/20/2010 by Mark Baker
Many of us go the library to get books, but Lynn Dates goes to her mailbox.

Dates is a member of paperbackswap.com.. An on-line service that allows you to trade books with readers all over the country.

"This helps alleviate a little of the cost. Books for kids cost between $7 and $10. Some are even more than that. If they are reading fast it adds up over time," Lynn said.

To get started, you join and register ten books you are willing to give up. At that point.. you'll be given two credits. Credit are like currency.

"Swap one, you get one. It's a point system, one to one," Lynn said.

When a reader requests a book, you print out a postage label and send it off in the mail.

Nancy Bryant has been using paperbackswap.com for almost five years. She says she's saved about $850. But there are limits.

"If it's a popular book, you still have to buy it. The books I like are 2002- 2003. But they're still good books that I like to read," Nancy said.

There are almost 3,000 users and more than 4 million free books for adults and children available on paperbackswap.com.

But free isn't necessarily the cheapest way to go. With paperbackswap.com, you have to mail the book to another club member. The average postage is about two dollars and forty cents. At this used bookstore, I can pick up many books for just one- dollar

" So, she ended up with two books and it cost her $2.14. So, it was easy on the pocketbook," Robyn Ringler said.

Robyn Ringler owns East Line books in Clifton Park. she always has current paperbacks for three dollars, two for five bucks.. That is unless they're on sale for a dollar.

She says in addition to offering a more personable experience and the opportunity to actually look over and feel the book. First-- there are no rules.

" Someone has to want your book for you can get a book. Here's there's no waiting," Robyn said.

Speaking of waiting, while the library is ultimately the cheapest route to reading a book, you may very well have to be put on a waiting list there for some titles.

But whether you go there, choose to hook up with a book lover over the internet.. or prefer the more personal touch there are several ways, with a little effort you can- quite literally-- save big bucks on books.