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Help Center - How to request a book

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It is very easy to request a book from another PaperBackSwap member! 

You will need a Book Credit (or 2 if it's an audio CD book). If you are NOT a Standard Member, you'll also need a Swap Fee (or a Free Swap that replaces a Swap Fee), as well as a Book Credit.

Then all you have to do is find the book in the system, click on the book listing, confirm your mailing address, and submit the request! The system will do the rest.

Also note: New members who are the first account for their household get up to 2 free Book credits for posting their first 10 books to their Bookshelves.

And: If you don't have Book Credits you can buy one in our Kiosk, to request a book.


PBS How-To:  How to Request a Book

Basic Steps:

  • Find the book
    • See How to find books to request.
    • You will need 1 credit (for a bound book or an audio cassette book) or 2 credits (for an audio CD book), and one Swap Fee ( = 49 cents in PBS Money) or a Free Swap (which replaces a Swap Fee -- you earn Free Swaps by using Printable Postage) per shipment.
    • Book Credits (and the Swap Fee or Free Swap) are deducted when you submit the request.
  • Request the book
    • The request will appear on your Books I've Requested tab on your My Account main page; you can check its status there by clicking
      • When you have successfully submitted the request an email will be sent to you letting you know this - you can opt out of getting those "request accepted" emails in your Account Settings.
    • When the book is marked mailed to you, you will get an email notifying you of this and the request will move to your En Route to Me tab.
  • Mark the book received when it arrives
    • This is done from your My Account page (on the En Route to Me tab there)
    • The sender gets credit when you mark the book received.

Detailed information:

Before you request:

  • First, you need at least 1 credit. You'll also need at least 49 cents in PBS Money, or at least 1 Swap Fee, OR if you are enrolled in Standard Membership, you do not need either of those. Standard Membership allows unlimited fee-free book requesting (using only book credits).
    • Each bound book (paperback, hardback) and audio cassette book "costs" 1 credit; audio CD books "cost" 2 credits.
    • The credit(s) and swap fee for each book order will be deducted from your account balance at the time your book request is submitted.
    • If a book is currently available to request, it will have on the listing. 
    • If a book is currently unavailable, it will have on the listing. 
      • There will also be a button on any book that is currently available new in the PBS Market, to add it to your shopping cart if you can't wait for it!
      • At member request we also have buttons - which will take you to Amazon if you want to buy the book there. (commission earned)

When you have found a book you want:

  • Click    on the book listing.   
If you are trying to order the book from a specific member's bookshelf:  you will need to click the button ON THE BOOKSHELF (and nowhere else) in order to be sure the request goes to that member. If you have clicked the book cover on the bookshelf to read more about the book, use the back button on your browser to GO BACK to the member's bookshelf and click "Order This Book" there.
  • The Order a Book page will come up.  
If there is a message telling you to confirm your email address from the link in your Welcome email, you need to do that first. If you did not get that email, or do not have it anymore, click the link on the message to have it re-sent to you.  If you do not get the email, contact us.
  • Click if you want to browse the sender's bookshelf for other books to include with your request.
    • Add as many books as you wish (or add none) to your order from the member's bookshelf.
  • When you are done selecting books, click on the right
    • If you need to change the ship-to address, you will have this option here.  You will need to have received 3 books from PBS before the option to select an alternate mailing address becomes available to you.
  • Click on the bottom right of the page. Do not refresh your page or click the button again while the button says Processing, or your request may go through twice!

That's it!

Additional Notes:

  • you have 1 hour before your request is submitted to the sender
  • If you want to cancel this request, you can do so by clicking on the request
    You can cancel ONLY up until the sender prints the address to send the book
  • If you want to contact this sender, click  on the request to send a Personal Message 
    if you do this, the 1-hr waiting period will be eliminated, and the book request will be submitted to the sender immediately.
  • You can expect your book to arrive in about a week.
    • MediaMail transit times are variable; USPS says to allow 2 weeks, but PBS allows nearly 4.  The average transit time for all books at PBS (including those coming from military addresses outside the US and HI, AK, PR and GU) is 9 days, but most books will arrive much sooner than that.


Related items:

Do we have to send the books back?
What if a book I want is not available?
How do I buy credits?
I can't order a book! It says I have to confirm my email address first?
Why can't I order a book in the *Books Posted Today*?
What if the sender does not respond to my request within 5 days?
What if the sender agrees to send the book, but doesn't mark it mailed before the deadline?
What if the sender is taking too long to respond? Can I cancel and reorder from someone else?
old Postal Rates Effective January 17, 2016

After you request:
Why did the *Requested on:* date change on my request?
The sender canceled, but the request is still on my account page!
What happens after you submit a request for a book
What if I want to cancel a request I made?
When will I get my book?
I haven't received my book yet. Is it lost in the mail?
What are the differences between the Reminder List and the Wish List?
I got a book I requested, but I can't mark it received!
A book I requested is lost in the mail. What now?


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