Recycla and her family are avid readers and every evening the whole family can be found in their living room with their noses deep into books. Because of their bibliomania, the family has stacks and stacks of books all over the place, as well as in bookcases throughout the house. Even though the family regularly visits their library, they still manage to pick up plenty of other books along the way, whether they’re from used book stores or gifts from friends. As you can imagine, shelf space is at a premium and Recycla is constantly trying to figure out how to squeeze more books onto each shelf. (Hint: Go with vertical stacks to maximize all available space.)
Luckily, Recycla has found a way to deal with some of the book chaos and keep the stacks of books from overwhelming the family — PaperBack Swap. Captain Compost wrote about PBS a couple of years ago and Recycla was intrigued.
The concept is simple: People post their extra books at the PBS website. Other people browse the offerings and, when they find something they like, ask the owner of the book to mail it to them. The owner of the book prints out a mailing label, pays Media Rate postage (usually around $2.50), and sends the book to the person who wants it. Once the book is received, the first person gets a credit that can be used to acquire a new book at no cost to them. That’s right, it doesn’t cost any money to receive books, as long as you have credits in your account.
Through PBS, Recycla has been able to share dozens of her books with other people, then use her credits to find new books. Some are books that she had wanted to read for a while, but they weren’t at her library; while others have been serendipitous finds that she discovered while browsing the PBS website.
Swapping books — whether through PBS or a more informal system with your friends and family — is a great way to reuse and share resources!
Tell the Eco Women: How do you get your hands on books — from the library, from used bookstores, or somewhere else?