Sunday, November 25, 2007

Read Any Good Books Lately?

I've been reading for as long as I can remember, and I love books- any kind of books. I have a hard time giving them up, especially ones that I had really enjoyed reading or ones that were a gift from someone special. You might imagine that they have taken over my house. I finally boxed up some of them and put them in the room above the garage. When it came time to clean out Randy's parents' house, there were more books - they were both avid readers, too. Other family members took some, but I took about a bazillion, vowing to read them "one day." And I have read them - at least 2 of them.
Something really had to be done with all of these books. I separated them into three sections - books I really want to read, collectibles, and books I probably will never read. I had planned to give the "books I probably will never read" to Orange Congregations in Mission, a charitable organization here in Hillsborough that we've been donating our castoffs to for years.
Then I discovered PaperBackSwap.com, an online club where I can list my unwanted books and trade them for books other people have listed. Cool! Don't let the name fool you - it isn't just paperbacks. People list every type of book you can think of - hardbacks, audio books, large-print books, children's books, craft books, art books, gardening books, cookbooks, coffee table books, the cute little books you give for gifts. There are new releases, older books, classics, text books. You get 2 credits when you list your first 10 book, to use to order your first books - just that easy to get started. They've made it really easy to mail the books, too. (Your information is not displayed anywhere on the site so don't worry about that.) When someone requests a book from you, you print a mailing label. They know how much the book weighs so the label has the amount on it. You can even print the postage from your computer now, or you can just add enough stamps to equal the amount shown. Either way, you don't have to go to the post office. At first, I didn't trust the printed amounts so I always went to the post office, but they's always been right to the penny! Postage for a paperback is around $2.13, for a hardback $2.47. If you print the postage, you get credit for the book right away. If you use stamps, you get credit later - either when the post office confirms it, or when the other person receives the book. Then you get to choose another book. And there are plenty of books to choose - as I'm writing this, there are over 1,700,000 books available, and the number just keeps growing as people keep posting books. It's 6 AM, and more than 500 books have already been posted today. Over the past couple of years I've received some really good books for books that I wasn't going to read anyway - not a bad deal, eh? I still have credits but I'm saving them in case I see something I just can't live without. So go on over there and check it out. If you decide to join, tell them I sent you :D

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