If you have a pile of old books you don’t need, trading them for new books is an ideal solution. You get new reading material, and others get to enjoy the stories you loved.
PaperBackSwap.com is a site for doing just that — all for only the price of postage.
How does PaperBackSwap work?
When you join PaperBackSwap.com, you list the books you have that you’re willing to give to other users. The site allows users to browse these listings.
When another user requests a book that you own, you ship it to them. Then you get a credit for that book, which you can use to have other users send books to you.
Once you’ve received a book, it’s yours to keep if you want, or you can list it again and keep exchanging it for other books. The site also helps users find friends to share books with and even includes a tool for printing out exact postage.
And it doesn’t just take paperbacks. “Enjoy trading hardbacks, audio books, textbooks, and more,” says the site.
Why swap old books?
Thanks to Media Mail shipping through the U.S. Postal Service, books are often cheaper to ship than other objects of the same weight. This helps keep costs low for PaperBackSwap.com users. You can send heavy textbooks for just a few dollars and get any used book you choose in return. You can even trade site credits for a discount.
Not only do secondhand books save you money, but they’re also good for the environment. Buying an existing copy instead of a new one means fewer books need to be printed, so companies use less wood for paper, and old books stay out of landfills. Finally, shipping a secondhand book creates less heat-trapping gases than manufacturing and shipping a new one.
According to the site’s Member Savings counter at the top of every page, users have saved more than $80 million to date. “Just mailed three books for less than $9.00 — you can’t even buy a paperback book for that price,” says user Geri B. in a testimonial.
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