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Press & Media » The Chronicle of Higher Education

Using PaperBackSwap To Build Your Library

The Chronicle of Higher Education (Website) - 5/26/2011 by Heather M. Whitney
When I was in college, I used to be in amazement at the number and variety of books my professors had in their offices. Iíd wonder, where did they come from? Did they buy all these themselves? How did they find them?

Now that Iím a faculty member, I know that these books are collected in a number of ways, including inheriting them from departing faculty members, collecting them from free book piles in libraries, receiving complimentary copies from publishers, or just outright purchasing them, whether it be with personal or professional funds.

That works out okay, and Iíve amassed some good titles so far, but sometimes I need something very specific or very out of print. Enter PaperBackSwap.

PaperBackSwap is an online community at which you can post books you which you no longer want and are willing to send to others for the price of media mail. In return, you can request books from other members, who will send you the book at no cost to you. The system isnít limited to paperbacks; you can also list hardcovers or audiobooks and more.

You also donít have to have an exact one-to-one trade. If you have a number of books to upload to the system and nobody wants them immediately, they will remain in the record. When someone indicates that they want that book, youíll be notified and receive the information for mailing the book. Likewise, you can create a wishlist of books you would like to receive through the system, and the website will let you know when one of them becomes available.

Iíve had great success with PaperBackSwap, having been a member for many years. Iíve gotten rid of a lot of oddball paperbacks from high school and college and begun building a stronger library of books in my interests of physics and music, as well as received and swapped back some books for recreational reading. I highly recommend you check out the site!
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