August 25, 2015

It's a paper thing

Hi, all,

I hope your Tuesday is going well. We were pleasantly surprised with rain in the early afternoon, always welcome. 

Do you have a problem with the accumulation of books and magazines? Even with my 60+ year library membership and constant use, plenty still make it into the house bought at thrift shops, library sales or given as gifts. Many fall into the category of a title that's good, but unlikely to be reread. Non-fiction has the issue of timing. Wedding planning, pregnancy, health, job search  and repair manuals don't always have a long shelf life. You need it for a period in your life, but then it's no longer relevant. You can swap with friends or donate to the FOL, but there is another way to make your books enjoy a second life by using an online exchange site. There are two I subscribe to, but one is much better (imo) so I'll tell you about it. 

BookMooch works this way. After signing up, you list all the books you want to get rid of. When another member wants a title you own, they make a request.  You either agree to send it or not (more about that later) and put it in the mail, paying for postage. It works the other way, too. You can search the whole site for books you want to read, and when you ask for one, that owner pays the $$ to mail it to you. The books can come from anywhere, not just in the United States. Some people don't like to ship to other countries, because of the cost, but others will agree to mail anywhere. 

You can set up a wish list and put anything you ever wanted to read on it. At some point it will usually become available and you're notified. Have a look at mine:

The other site is called Paperback Swap. I don't use it much because encounters with members there have often been unpleasant. People who want a book and write multiple abrasive messages in advance trying to ascertain every detail of the condition are a pain. Plus, they now charge a fee for each transaction, so again, BookMooch wins my vote. 

I keep all the books in a separate area away from our personal shelves and things to be sold on eBay. It's usually fairly easy to get it ready to ship. I like to read a lot of old mysteries from the 1930s and 1940s. Often they are small and thin and able to be mailed with just two or three stamps, so simple to do. It's a good way to find new authors, and a really nice feeling to have a book another member has been dying to read you have available to send them. It's painless to search the site and there is a way to look through Amazon, too, in case the title you want isn't on BookMooch then; you're still able to add it to your wish list. It's a great way to keep books moving around to other readers and out of the landfills, so check it out, readers!

Stay dry!

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