I’m the kind of person that rarely rereads books; too many books, too little reading time, I say. I’m also the kind of person who hates to waste things. Sometimes when I watch Hoarders, I’m like – “Yeah, I can kind of see why you want to save those leftover pill bottles, lady. You might store something in them someday!” But, the reality is that I live in a little NYC apartment and saving a book that I’ve already read makes about as much sense to me as saving a leftover pill bottle. Yes, yes, there are the few uber-faves that will never leave my shelf (three editions of Ghost World, anyone?), but the vast majority of my books need to go after they’ve been read. In the past, I’ve left books in subway stations, on the subway, on the street or just plain foisted them on friends who may or may not have had any interest in said books. I had a dream that someone would appreciate the book I’d left behind, but in reality, they were probably just getting rained on or tossed in the end.
Enter Paperback Swap. While the site design leaves everything to be desired, the concept is genius. Take that stack of books that you no longer need and post them on their site. From there, another swapper will request it and you will mail it to them. Once that swapper receives the book, you get a credit for the book of your choice which will be mailed to you by another swapper free of charge. When you first browse the site, you may find that it’s saturated with mass market best sellers, ______ for Dummies and kids’ books, but trust me, once you build out your wish list with books you want to read, you may be surprised at how many of them actually get posted. I’ve gotten an amazing haul in the years that I’ve been using PBS and I’ve given an amazing haul as well. The best part is that my cast-offs are in a new home where they are wanted and loved. No sad street corner box for them!
Check out Paperback Swap and sign up if you’re interested. It’s free!