Monday, January 5, 2009

Book Swapping

It was so sweet of you ladies to comment on my last post about books! Amanda brought up an idea that I decided to run with. She said "I wonder if there's a book swap site out there where people can swap books just like there's makeupalley for those people that swap makeup."

I remembered I met a girl last year who said she was a member of some website where she swapped books! At the time, I thought it sounded like a dorky online version of going to the library or buying cheap used books (yes, I can be such snob, can't I?) so I didn't give it a second thought until now. My book collection has grown like wildflowers in my room, not just from my own handpicked beloved selection and books from college courses, but also books people gave me, books I don't have a need for anymore (like CBEST prep and computer books), and books that I've outgrown (that were fun reads for me five years ago but silly for me to have now).

Well, I immediately googled "book swap" and tons of links appeared! I went with the top three that I noticed (smart enough to pay for advertising or smart SEO and marketing), which were,, and

When I checked out those three sites, I immediately liked SwapTree. The site is well made, nicely designed and with technology, it had a tour of the site and told me before I signed up that all I'd have to do was enter my books' ISBN numbers and then find what books I wanted. So I signed up, entered ISBN numbers, and then realized that what the site's algorithyms do is match me up with a list of books I could pick based on the book I entered. So it's a literal trade, I have X book, person with Y and Z books want my X, I can swap for Y or Z. It didn't take long for me to see that some of my unwanted books are also unwanted by others or wanted by those who don't have what I want.

So I jumped ship (haha) and signed up for PaperBackSwap (oh, after glancing at the three sites I decided Bookins looked the least interesting, not well designed, and you pay a flat shipping rate of $4.49 per swap whereas the other two sites said the average shipping was about $2.29 or so per book). PaperBackSwap works differently in that you receive credits for the books you list, and then you use credits to get the books you want (one credit = one book, two credits = one audio book). You get two complimentary credits by listing 10 books (so I took down books from SwapTree that didn't have any books I could get or any that I wanted) and listed those here. Yay, 2 credits! But...what the hell? No Haruki Murakami books? Oh wait, there's Vietnamese! *sigh*

To be honest, I really like getting books from Amazon and Borders. I especially like supporting current living writers like Haruki Murakami, Alice Sebold, Lisa Glatt, David Hernandez, Kim Addonizio, etc. I'm not sure how it works with book swaps but I know that at least when I buy their books from Amazon and Borders I am supporting their sales and popularity. However, I do have books that I want to get rid of so that's why I decided to try the book swap. I used to just pass them on, give them away, or give them to my mom's church to sell at their garage sales but they sit and take up space in the meantime.

On a happy note, my three new Haruki Murakami books have arrived from Amazon and Barnes & Noble! So I'll be reading After Dark, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, and Murakami Diary 2009. Pics later when/if I have time.

Will let you know how the book swap goes! =)


  1. yay! i'm glad you took the time to try out the book swaps :] i need to get to some reading before i set up my swaps...i really don't want to give any of my books away :[ but they are eating my money! good luck!

  2. OOo this looks like a gem of an idea, cuz i have a tropical closet avalanching full of books, and cookbooks, and crap I need to let go of, might as well do with some payback...

    around the corner from my house is a lil mom and pop book shop called "the book swap" - and it's just what it says, where you go and take in your books to swap for whatever they have in stock as a trade in or store credit.

    good way to get rid of the CLUTTER right!?!??

    and glad the pckg arrived safely hunny buns! have a fabulous productive week!


  3. ohhh do share how this turns out, i need to rid some books (even though I collect them lol) but my apt is running out of shelf space at this point...

  4. That is interesting!! I never knew these types of site exsisted, even though the internet has EVERYTHING now days!! LOL!

    I take my old books, and donate them to the library. It's easier for me, & I know that they'll either get use or be sold in the bookfairs for fundraising..

  5. that sounds like a good idea to swap. when i buy books, half price books is a good place =) nice blog, by the way.

  6. Oh you got After Dark!!! Splendid!! I can't wait to know what you think about it.

    Right dont fling a hard back at me BUT I am so precious about my books. I cannot help it!!!! Swapping is waaaay to scary for me. The only time I get second hand books is if they are super rare signed limited editions....... Maybe I should try a swap just once to get over my dumbo self!! haha

  7. book swapping sounds interesting, although I don't think i would have the time to sit down and read everything i get XD

  8. I'm not sure where you live, but I'm in NYC and donate books to Housing Works ( They sell the books and use the money to help AIDS patients. It looks like they also accept mailed donations.

    It's a really great place and I totally support the cause. I don't even swap, I just donate, and that way I can keep supporting authors with the money I spend on their new books. :)

  9. Ohhh a book swap!!! I'm ♥ing it. Especially for paperbacks that were ok and I don't really want to keep. I ♥ bookstore browsing. I need to save $ and take my a$$ to the LIBRARY! Books are FREE there... But it's not the same as going to Borders or getting a brown box from Amazon......

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