Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Finding New Homes

I have recently made a wonderful, useful and fun discovery!

The background: Don’t we all have shelves full of books that we have read and enjoyed but, sadly, will probably never read again? Not because we wouldn’t want to read them again but because there are “so many (more) books, so little time.” What to do? Of course we can donate them to the library or other worthy organizations but that seems so impersonal somehow, like abandoning an old friend. But what if someone came to you and specifically asked for one of these “old friends” that you weren’t going to read again? Wouldn’t you give it up…and be glad to do so? And what if you found someone who had a book that you wanted to read…and was willing to give (not just lend) it to you for free? Sound impossible? It’s not. It’s the online Paperback Book Swap (PBS).

That’s really a misnomer because it is not limited to paperback books but also hardcover books and even textbooks.

Without going in to all of the details which you can find on the website, you register online the books that you are willing to give up. If someone wants one of them, you are notified by email. From the site you print out the mailing label. You can even print out the postage so no trip to the post office for postage or mailing is ever required. (With the preprinted postage no matter the weight of the book, you can just drop it in a mailbox or give it to your postal carrier.) Yes, you pay for the postage but that is all that you ever pay. Once your book is received, you get a credit to “spend” on getting a book from someone else – in which case that sender pays the postage to send it to you. And on it goes. For every book you give away, you can get one free in return.

I have been on the sending and receiving end several times now. It is very efficient and well organized…and fun! You can also set up a “wish list” so that you are notified if that book is posted for swap at a later time. I recommend that you go to the website and look at the books offered. It won’t do you any good if your books are claimed but there are no books there on which to “spend” your credits. For people who live in more remote areas I think this is particularly useful. You'll be sending your books off to new homes - and making room for more for yourself. Try it…you’ll like it!

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