Okay, so like many of you, I have enormous numbers of old books laying around. Books that I bought and read and enjoyed (or didn’t enjoy) but don’t need to keep around the house anymore. After all, my bookshelves are nearly crumbling under the massive weight of the books that I do want to keep.
In the past I’ve tried to sell some older books to used bookstores, but that never seems to net much profit. In fact one time it cost me $5. I drove to downtown Colorado Springs and parked at a meter in front of a used bookstore there. I popped my quarter into the meter, figuring 15 minutes would be plenty of time. I dropped my box of books at the front to be considered. Then began strolling the aisles. Being very fond of books, I somehow got lost among the tomes and ended up returning to the front of the store about 30 minutes later. They bought 5 of my books for $5 total. I figured it wasn’t a complete waste. Until I got back to my car and saw the $10 parking ticket. The long-sense expired meter had done me wrong! And I ended up owing $5 more than I made on my books. Bummer.
So this week, I decided to see if I could figure out a good way to pass my plethora of used books along to other readers, who might also want to read them, without the threat of another parking ticket.
Enter the PaperBack Swap–or PBS. Turns out this handy little website allows you to swap your old books with other people looking to clear off a little space on their shelves. You pay to ship your book when someone requests it. But you don’t have to pay for shipping when you request a book. Shipping one book = 1 credit. And each paperback or hardback book you order will cost just 1 credit. (Audio books are 2.)
It’s easy, it’s simple, and if you’re anything like me, you may find it saving you a bit of money. 🙂
Now, there are a couple tips that I feel I should share:
- This is not a great place to look when you’re in a hurry to get a new release. Likely there are 40 other people looking for the same new release and only a couple readers who are offering it.
- Patience is key to using this site not only in the afore-mentioned situation, but also in waiting for your books to arrive. It can take almost 4 weeks for books to arrive at your home. It can also take a long time for someone to order one of your books, which means you’ll be waiting a while before you can order the next book you want.
- Look for books other than novels–PBS has a great selection of nonfiction and textbooks.
- This is a great place to look for out of print or older titles that bookstores may not be carrying.
- Please! Don’t abandon your favorite local bookstore. Whether you’re a Barnes and Noble, Borders, Family Christian, or even an Amazon fan, these stores offer a certain guarantee of selection and prompt service that PBS just can’t.
Happy swapping! Clearing off new space on my overflowing shelves until next time … -LJ