Posted on: 19 June, 08

We are too busy for spring cleaning, so after school is over, we do summer cleaning.  Today, we tried to corral all the books roaming around the house back onto the bookshelves in the boys’ study.  Hubski innocently tried to help by putting some books away by simply putting them in the open spaces on the shelf.  The boys screeched, “Dad, they go in a certain order.  You can’t just shove them in there willy nilly.”  Yes, the books are organized like a real library.  We have too many for it to be random.  We also have too many for the bookshelves.  Time to purge.  I would love to keep every book, but then we would need a bigger house.

A couple years ago, I stumbled across PaperBackSwap.  You post books that you no longer want.  Another member requests it.  You mail it, paying for postage, and you get a “credit.”  You can use your credits to request books other members have posted.  When you request a book, the other member pays the postage.  For your average paper back, media mail postage is $2.41.  You can set up an account to print postage from your computer.  There is an extra fee for that.  I just stick a bunch of stamps on it and call it a day.  Yes, I pay a tad too much in postage, but it is cheaper than the gas I would burn driving to the post office.  My time is also worth a few pennies.  Not a bad deal. 

PBS has given me access to books that are never available at my woefully under stocked public library.  The books have all been in good condition.  They arrive promptly.  Media mail is not much slower than first class.  I love that our books are going to people who want to read them.  I love finding books that would probably never make it the shelves of the public library.  There are lots of sewing books!

Tonight, we posted 35 books to PBS, books that the boys have simply outgrown.  Now the boys are busy adding books to our wish list.  As soon books get requested from our posting, then they can start requesting books….so we can fill in those empty spaces on the shelves. 


4 Responses to "PaperBackSwap"

First, I think it is so incredibly cool that a) your boys like to read and b) they know how to order books like a library. I used to know how to do that, but have since forgotten. Is there such a thing as a hardcover book swap? I have tons of those. I purged three boxes of books down to one before bringing anything back into the house. Now I have to take those books over to Half Price Books and see what they’ll give me for them. Maybe I should post them on my blog first…

Reply to LittleMiss: With PaperBackSwap, you can also swap hardcover books, CDs and DVDs. Hardcover books are counted the same as paperbacks, one credit per book. They do cost a little more ship, but not much. When a book is posted, it lists whether the book is soft or hard cover.

The CD and DVD credits are tracked separately. Which reminds me, we have some CDs of kids’ songs that no one would miss. I bet we have a few DVDs that could go too.

Can you tell I want to clear out everything we don’t really use?

Wow, I will have to check this out. . .as soon as I can convince someone to part with a book. 😉

I belong to Bookmooch (.com), which is a similar swapping site. I like BM because it’s international (I don’t think PBS is) but both sites are great ways to give your books to people who want them and get some new reads back.

I discovered PaperBackSwap this spring. It was exciting at first, but now I have a bunch of credits, and no desire to clutter up my life with other books (bearing in mind that we have bookcases in every single room of the house except the bathrooms, and even more books in boxes downstairs, so there are still hundreds and hundreds of books here).

But, hey, this mood won’t last forever. By next year I may have a pile of things I’m wishing for.

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