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A Reading Revolution

Georgia Magazine (Magazine) - 9/1/2006 by Charles Durden
Book lover and Atlanta businessman Richard Pickering was tired of paying outrageous shipping fees from online retailers just to have books to read while he traveled. During a speaking engagement at Berry College, he met Robert Swarthout, a computer repairman who wanted to organize book trading among Berry College students.

The two teamed up in 2004 to create PaperBackSwap.com, a popular online trade-based library that is now approaching 670,000 books with members in all 50 states.

Currently a free service, members receive credits when they list at least nine books they'd like to trade with others through PaperBackSwap.com. They can browse the site's vast number of thrillers, beachside novels, home and garden books, children's books and even books for home-school services, to request a title, which is then mailed to them, the postage being paid by the sender. After the member receives the book, they log on to the site, and the sender receives a "credit" to their account, good for one book.