Recently, I’ve had to cut my  book buying from a few new ones a month to just a few a year. Then I  came across a new web site called www.paperbackswap.com—and it’s great. Basically, you sign up and post books you are willing to send out. For each book you send out, you get a credit you can exchange for a book from another member.  To start, if you list 10 books, you even get two “free credits.” Your only cost is the postage for the book you send out  (so don’t list the Oxford English Dictionary!)The system will let you print out the mailing label. The site has some  surprisingly sophisticated features (for example, you can set up a “wish list” that notifies you if a book you want is entered into the system), and so far, all the people I have requested books from have actually sent them. The selection varies, but I’ve been able to get “The Social  Transformation of American Medicine” as well as Nero Wolfe mysteries.

Because of the postage, it’s more expensive than the library (unless, like me, you tend to rack  up overdue fees), but for books you would like to own, it is  cheaper than Amazon’s used books. And you can give the books you don’t want anymore to someone who does want to read them.  So, it’s a really sweet web site, it’s cheap, and kind of environmentally friendly.

This week’s reader tip comes from Joan Peters of Park Slope. Got a lead on a great shop or service you want to share? Send it to tips@brokelyn.com and if we run your item, you could be the proud owner of a free Brokelyn tshirt!

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8 COMMENTS

  1. There’s a long-time site called bookmooch that works the same way for all kinds of books — paperbacks, hardcovers, kids’ books. A lot of charities and non-profit groups like the amazing Books Through Bars have accounts on bookmooch, too, and you can also donate your points to those groups if you’d like as well.

  2. I heard about this site from someone I was in the waiting room with at Workforce 1. (I was wishing I had a book to read.) The postage can be expensive, so I would suggest posting only a few books at a time.

  3. I have been a member of paperbackswap for about a year and have turned so many folks on to it. most of the books that I get are almost new and in excellent condition. It’s a much bigger buzz than Amazon used books – There’s a great thrill in getting an email telling you that a book you put on a wish list is in and is being held for you, it’s like a personal shopper for the budget minded book lover.

  4. The name is misleading, as PaperBackSwap.com allows you to swap hardcovers and audio books in addition to paperbacks. I also have been a member for over a year and have been completely satisfied. You can ship Media Mail, today I mailed Shampoo Planet, from NYC to SC, for $2.37.

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