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Virtual Book Club

WHDH-TV Boston (TV) - 6/21/2005 by Caterina Bandini :: Media Content
Do you have boxes of old books sitting around? Now there is a new way to swap those books for something you haven't read yet. It's a virtual book club that promises to save you money.

Kimberly Kirkwood loves to read.

"I'll read three books in a weekend depending on the book," Kirkwood said.

She reads so much; she's filled her son's room with boxes of books.

"He called me a book pusher. When he came home from college he said I turned his room into a used bookstore," Kirkwood said.

Besides the storage problem, buying books gets pretty expensive for this self proclaimed ‘book pusher.'

A new website called paperbackswap.com allows this Marshfield mom to trade books for free with readers all around the country.

"I sent a book to Puerto Rico two weeks ago," Kirkwood said.

"We have basically have taken the idea of having a local book club and expanded it to a national basis so people from all other the U.S. can now trade books including all the U.S. territories," Richard Pickering of Paperbackswap.com said.

The book swapping website is run by two avid readers in Atlanta, Georgia.

Here's how it works: to get a book you first need to post one of yours. Then you can choose from 26,000 titles. When you find a book you want you simply click on it and your request is sent to the book's owner.

The books you receive are free; the only thing you pay for is roughly $1.48 in postage when you send one out.

"We actually calculate the postage for you so you don't have to go to the post office. You simply hit the print button on your computer and it spits out a wrapper which has the address pre-printed on it," Pickering said.

Kirkwood has sent out roughly 56 books, and has received almost as many in return.

"Amazing, absolutely amazing reading all of the brand new novels that I wanted to read," Kirkwood said.

The website also allows members to swap hard cover and books on tape, but in this case you do need to go to the post office.