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Press & Media » Retired Educators Association of Minnesota

Readers Swap Books For Big Savings

Retired Educators Association of Minnesota (Newspaper) - 3/15/2010 by The Ream Newsletter
Let’s face it, in today’s economy we all want to save money where we can. Maybe that’s why so many have realized that swapping books online with is a great way to save big. This innovative web site allows you to trade the books you’ve read for the ones you want to read and the only cost to you is postage. Best of all, there is no cost to become a club member. began in 2004 as a way for book readers to share their already-read books with each other via the internet. Since then it has grown enormously with a library of over 2.2 million books, which includes paperbacks, hard covers, and audio books. The club boasts members in all 50 states and U.S.territories/military APO/FPO addresses. To date more than two million books have been swapped successfully through the U.S. mail with an average of over 35,000book swaps each week.
The club, which has been featured on CNN and The Today Show along with other media across the USA, has added 500 new members each day in the last three months. Richard Pickering, president and founder of the clubs, explains, “As people try to save more and more money during these difficult times, these new clubs allow people to swap with each other for free! No gotchas, no gimmicks, no SPAM, no kidding!”
How it works
The club is easy to use. A member simply logs onto the site and selects a book. Then the system sends an e-mail to the member who has the selected item. The sending
member then simply prints two pieces of paper from his printer, wraps the item with those papers, attaches postage, and drops it in the mail. It is so simple and
convenient for members since they do not even have to go to the post office. Just drop it in the mail and the requesting member gets the book for free! Of course,members do have to pay for postage when they mail an item. But every time you mail one, another member returns the favor and mails you one that you have selected from the club. Postage to send a typical book is $2.23 media mail rate, and the mail transit time averages about a week.
Membership required only a working e-mail address, a valid USPS address, and Internet access. At, members post at least 10 books that they have read and are willing to send out to others.
Posting the first 10 books earns each new member 2 free book credits. One credit is all you need to request an item from another member. You can request a book from
another member your first day of membership, free of charge.
Those are the basics, but the clubs offer many additional features. The most popular is the Wish List,which allows you to “queue” your request for any item that is currently unavailable. The Discussion Forums offer
lively conversation about books and authors, and Live Chat is a way for members to meet “virtually” in real time. There are also Local Club Chapters where online friends can meet in real life.
Besides saving some of the green in your wallet, is a great way to be “green” by recycling books instead of buying new ones. So you can save money and help the environment at the same time.
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