Ordering Books for Free

Rather than buying new books I tend to purchase used books on half.com or ebay, but of course, I’d rather swap a book than purchase one if possible. So every time I’m interested in reading a book I click over to Paper Back Swap and search for it. Unfortunately, the books I’m interested in reading are almost never available.

Last week as I searched for yet another book I could not find, I thought about giving up on Paper Back Swap all together. Then I noticed the site’s wish-list function, and decided to add two books to my list. In the mean time I thought about ordering the books on half.com but decided to hold off for a little while. I already have a bunch of books on my shelf that I’ve been meaning to read, but haven’t gotten around to yet.

To my surprise I received an email from Paper Back Swap about a week later. Apparently one of my wish-listed books had become available. According to the email Paper Back Swap would automatically hold the book for me for up to 48 hours. If I didn’t claim it within 48 hours the site would allow another member to order it. As soon as I received the email I logged in to my Paper Back Swap account and claimed the book. Just a few hours later I received an email to let me know the book would be mailed by the end of the week.

While I was poking around the site I also found two other books I’ve been interested in reading. I ordered one and it arrived only two days later. I was lucky, the original book owner lives in the same state. The other book has been mailed but has not yet arrived.

If you haven’t checked out Paper Back Swap yet you should definitely consider trying it. If the books you are interested aren’t available try adding them to your wish list. I honestly didn’t think anyone would post the book I was interested in reading, but I can’t be more thrilled that I’ll get to read it for free!

4 thoughts on “Ordering Books for Free”

  1. Just a thought, but have you ever thought about checking for books at the public libary? It’s free and they have a wide selection. Most libaries have a list of their books on the internet so you can search for the book(s) you want in the comfort of your own home before going all the way to the libary. Also you can reserve books online from the libary if they happen to be out at the moment. It saves money and time. Check it out. Note: not all libaries have these features check with your local libary.

  2. I am also a big Paperback Swap lover! It is wonderful. Especially for me since I like to read pulpy mysteries (always in abundance). I have used the Wish List with great success, too. The book I wanted was very obscure so I was amazed when they let me know it was available so soon after my request. It really is a great system.

    As for libraries, I’m all for them. I’m just too lazy to go there. Sad, but true. There is a post office night next to my work so mailing them is actually way more convenient. The cost is so minimal that it would actually cost more to take to the Metro on a special trip to the library than to send off a book through Paperback Swap.

  3. @anon — our local library doesn’t have an online reserve component. if it did I would probably try that in addition to PaperBackSwap. But the other thing is I like giving good books to friends and family after I read them, which is something PaperBackSwap enables me to do that the library wouldn’t.

    @healthy amelia — I’m glad you’ve had a lot of success with PaperBackSwap too. Now I’m hooked!

  4. There’s another web site out there called BookMooch.com. I’ve never tried it myself but it seems to operate in the same way as Paper Back Swap. And maybe they have the books you’re looking for! 🙂


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