Avid readers horde books like a squirrel hordes nuts, but even the most relentless pack rats can run out of space. Garage sales and half-priced bookstores can be a great way to clean out those bookshelves, but you aren't going to get back the money you put into it.
That's where book swapping and book exchanges come into the picture. Instead of selling your book back for a fraction of the cost, you participate in a book exchange by mailing your book to someone who requests it and receiving your own request in the mail. Your old book finds a reader, and in return, you get a book to read.
Book exchange websites make the process of trading books easy. Most are free to use, and some even pay for the postage needed to exchange books.
The Book Exchange is Good for the Environment
One neat aspect of participating in a book exchange is the benefit to the environment. According to Greenpeace, one Canadian Spruce tree can produce only 24 books. This means with only a couple of dozen exchanges you will have saved a tree. Participating in a book exchange also saves on ink and leaves a smaller environmental footprint than printing a book.
A List of Book Exchange Websites
- Swaptree. Trade books, music or video games.
- WhatsOnMyBookshelf?. Create book lists, categorize books by tag, meet people with similar interests and exchange books.
- America's BookShelf. A full service book club that lets you share your books online.
- BookCrossing. Register your book and then set it free by leaving it on a park bench or in a gym allowing it to find a new owner and perhaps create a new book lover.
- Bookins. Trade and exchange books and DvDs for just the cost of postage.
- BookMooch. Mail your books to someone who wants them for points and then use your points to buy books from other users.
- BookSwim. The Netflix for books, BookSwim is a book rental service where you create a pool of books and have them mailed to you.
- PaperBackSwap. Exchange books with other readers for the price of postage.
- Read It Swap It. A UK-based book exchange service.
- Socialbib. A book exchange service focused on helping students get college textbooks for free.