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 email@example.com and if we run your item, you could be the proud owner of a free Brokelyn tshirt!