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The Genius Of (Website) - 3/14/2010 by D'etta Brown
A few years ago, one of my friends told me about a site I might enjoy, since I'm always reading and trying to find cheap books. The site was, and after one visit I was hooked.
The premise of the site is simple: Everyone has books on their shelves that are just collecting dust. They're of use to no one because they're not being read. is a free site that allows you to set up a virtual bookshelf with a list of books you're willing to give away for free.

When another member selects a book from your shelf, you print out an address label and ship the book to the member. Most users choose to ship via the post office using the classification media mail. This rarely costs over $2.50. Once you've mailed the book, you click a link on your account letting the other member know the book is on its way.

Once the member receives your book (which can take anywhere from one to four weeks), they let know the book was delivered. The site then awards you one credit. With this credit, you can choose another member's book and they'll send it to you.

Paperbackswap keeps track of how much money you've saved by using the site. It also offers a forum for members to create discussions and offers a private message feature. If no one has chosen one of your books lately and you're out of credits, you can go to the store and purchase credits. PBS also gives you a wishlist feature. If a particular book you want isn't currently on the site, you can put it on your wishlist and you'll be notified as soon as someone lists the book. If you're tired of waiting for a free copy, a link can take you to to purchase it.

With this useful site, I've managed to free space on my shelves for books I want while simultaneously recycling books I no longer need. After I've read a book I selected from the site, I can post it back on my bookshelf to be sent out into the world again.

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