06 March 2010

March of the Tools: PaperBack Swap

PaperBack Swap is an online service that hooks up people that are done with books with people that would like to read those books.  You begin by listing books, if someone would like one of your books they request it, you agree to send it, then post it to them (you pay the postage, usually $2.50ish).  In exchange, you get a "point" which enables you to request a book from another member (for free).

Because the system is based on using the USPS's media mail, you've got to be living in the U.S. or a territory/commonwealth or have an APO/FPO address to join.

There are a few online services that organize used book swaps, but PaperBack Swap is my favorite because
* you create a wishlist of books and are notified if someone adds a listing for that book. Unlike other services, you get dibs on the book if you've been wishing for the book for the longest!
*they have paperback, hardcover, and audiobook listings.
*books are all supposed to be mailed within two days...I like things to be speedy!
*you can buy the postage for sending the book through the website
*all of the books are "used," but everyone agrees to only send those that are up to a certain standard (have both covers, no water damage, no writing within)

Here are some of the books I recently received via PaperBack Swap:

You can see they are a bit banged up, but nothing major.

While I'm a big fan of the library, I rarely read novels quickly enough to avoid library fines.  My library doesn't allow you to renew a book if someone else has requested it and this always seems to happen to me!

If you are interested in this free service, go to the main page to sign up or here to read more (they even have an explanatory video).  If you want to list me as a referrer, my account is under the email address rossiebug@yahoo.com. I think I get some points if enough people are referred by me, which would be awesome because the last few times someone has added a book I was wishing for, I had no points to "spend" to get it!  : (  Oh well, I do have some lovely novels just waiting for me to read them!

This Amazon widget shows some of my recent favorites.  This is the easiest way to display these since PaperBack Swap doesn't have widgets, but you can wish for them on the swap website!


  1. oh thanks - I've been looking for something like this - I'll sign-up later today and list you as a referrer!

  2. I love PBS! I actually just got, read and swapped the Oscar Wao book (loved the flow of the language and very interesting story)

    I think you can buy credits if you run out (around $2-3 each)


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