Paperback Swap: a great source for cheap paperback and hardcover books

I know e-readers are growing in popularity, but I still enjoy reading a book the old-fashioned way. Plus, paperback and hardcover books can be considerably cheaper than electronic ones if you take advantage of a service called Paperback Swap.

This Web site allows you to make available to others books you no longer need and to get books posted by other site users. The only cost involved is the fee you pay to mail your books to those who request them. If you use the media mail shipping offered by the U.S. Postal Service, you can mail most books for $3 or less.

Books must meet several criteria to be posted on Paperback Swap. They can’t contain any writing, highlighting, water damage or stains. The book must have its front and back covers, and no pages can be loose or torn. The book’s binding must be intact, and any CDs that came with the book originally must be included. Textbooks and former library books are allowed. In addition to listing hardcover and paperback books on Paperback Swap, you can also post and find audiobooks.

Each time a member receives a book you posted, your account receives a credit. Requesting a regular book from another member requires one credit; audiobooks require two credits. You get two free credits for listing your first 10 books, and additional credits are available for purchase.

Categories on Paperback Swap include cookbooks, children’s books, fiction and nonfiction. Paperback Swap offers a variety of search tools to help you find the books you’re interested in. If a book you want is not available, add it to your “wish list,” and you’ll be put on a waiting list for the item. If you only want books from nonsmoking or pet-free homes, you can create a list of conditions for your account.

The site assigns a “tour guide” to new members. This fellow member can help you navigate the site and answer your questions.

If you decide to sign up, please use this link so I can get a free credit for referring you. Look for the grey “Sign up” link near the top left side of the page to get started.

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