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Thursday, February 16, 2006

A new way to exchange books

I had planned to blog about a couple of days ago when I first read about the site, but am only now getting around to doing so - for good reason. Premise of the book exchange: members sign up, list at least nine paperbacks they are willing to trade and agree to cover the postage of mailing out the requested books. They in turn earn three credits for the nine titles they submit. Accumulated credits allow them to subsequently search out three new paperbacks that other members have submitted. It's a simple plan ideated by founders Robert Swarthout and Richard Pickering, book aficianados who had tired of fees for trading books on Ebay.

Current members have submitted as few as 10 titles and as many as 1,000. Overall, members mail from 1,000 to 2,500 books a day. The more popular genres: romance (of course), mysteries as well as home and gardening and home schooling. Christian books are a big trade, also.

The site provides its members a community to interact with others across the country. This network proved pivotal during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Informed that two Mississippi county libraries had been totally demolished, members eagerly sent in tons of books. So many books were shipped that eventually the libraries' personnel had to ask the donors to stop because they had no more room in their warehouses.

Again, I'm inspired to write about the exchange site because first, it's interesting news in the book industry. But also, because today I Googled myself (yes, I do that) and wondered at the new site where my name was popping up. I didn't immediately get the connection between this PaperBackSwap listing me on its Book Wish List and the site I had just read about two days ago. Talk about your coincidences. What's so interesting is that my book hasn't even come out yet and two members are already asking for an exchange. I'm flattered and at the same time wondering if I'm losing out on a couple of sales.

No matter. Sounds like a good idea and a good way to clear out your overflowing bookcases.


Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 2/16/2006 09:35:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


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