Monday, March 17, 2014

Paper Back Swap

A few weeks ago I heard about an awesome way to get books. It’s called Paper Back Swap and I am totally addicted.* Since I feel about books the way that a dragon feels about shiny things this isn’t surprising.

The concept is this. You know how you want to read a book, but you don’t necessarily want to buy it? Well, Paper Back Swap connects you to other people in the US like you. They’ve got millions of members and a copy of just about every book known to man comes through their eventually. You sign up, give away your books, and get an equal number of books in exchange. It’s not a direct exchange- you get credits from swapping a book out that you can redeem by requesting a book from someone else.

Technically of the site is to save you money on books you’ve never read before. While a nice idea, it’s not what I’ve been using it for. I’m a book hoarder. I love books and having them around makes me happy. Some people still carry around that stuffed animal from childhood. I get the same happy happy safe feeling from having books around. What tripped me up is that I also love to loan out/give away the books I love so that other people can appreciate them like I do. Then I can’t get rid of the books people give me in return that I hate. Somewhere along the line I ended up with a lot of books I couldn’t care less about. It was kind of like a dragon stuck with a hoard of tin foil. The site has been allowing me to find homes for books I just don’t love and get the books that I adore. Any bets how long I’ll hold on to them this time?

If there’s a part of you that’s screaming SCAM you are not alone. I was really worried that it was a gimmick when I first came across it. From what I can tell they get their money from having links to Amazon EVERYWHERE. Not ones you’ll accidently hit and spend money. It’s more along the lines that if you ever have a moment of weakness and want a book right now that Amazon button is there for you. Considering I already shop for books on Amazon it’s not a big deal. My other worry was postage, since that seemed a good way to gouge you. The way it works circumvents that problem. Instead of paying to get your book, you pay postage to send a book out that earns you a credit to get a book. In other words, you are never putting your financial information into the site’s system for the basic services**. There were other worries that I had that didn’t pan out but I’m pretty sure you can figure it out on your own.

So that’s it. I love it, if you’re book addicted you just might love it too. Now let’s see if I can’t bankrupt myself mailing all these suckers off.

*Disclaimer: I am in no way being rewarded/renumerated/anything-else-beginning-with-r for this post. In fact, I’m pretty sure the company has little to no idea I exist. So I’m speaking from the power of awesome, not the power of money.

**There are non basic services that you can pay for but there’s no requirement to use them.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds pretty cool :) Goodreads used to have a program like that but they discontinued it. Sigh.