If you are an avid reader, it’s safe to say you own a few books. Okay, make that a lot of books. You would never part with some of your books, but others are currently gathering dust on bookshelves or perhaps even piled on the floor.
Since it looks like you will soon have to buy new bookshelves or continue to wade through books just to get to the kitchen, I’ve got an idea. Resolve to do what some people do with their wardrobes—don’t add anything until you get rid of something.
Fortunately, the Internet is the perfect place to unload old books and find those on your “to-read” list for cheap.
If you like the idea of a fair exchange, try a free membership to U.S. only, PaperbackSwap.com. This is a Book Club that helps avid readers share their books online by exchanging books they have for books they want. Not limited to paperbacks (you can list and swap hardbacks, audiobooks, and textbooks), you receive two free book credits once you post 10 books you want to part with. Search the site for the books you want, send in your request, and the owner will ship the books directly to you. See PaperbackSwap.com. for more details and information.
Check out BookMooch.com if you can’t find the books you want at Paperback Swap. This site is international, and works on a point system–you get 1/10 of a point for each book you add to your inventory. “Mooching” (requesting) a book costs one point for books from your country, two points for international mooches. Sending a book gains you one point for domestic mooches, and three points for international. Gives you the ability to create a wishlist of books you want, and the site emails you when a book on your wishlist is available (first to get to the book gets it). The site is free. Points are awarded when the mooch is made.
Decluttr buys books, too. Decluttr is the easiest way to make quick cash for your highly desirable used books. The site accepts hardbacks, paperbacks, used textbooks, and children’s books. Know going in that Declutter buys books that have a high degree of desirability and they offer a price that will allow them to re-sell them for a profit. It’s certainly worth checking out.
EC readers report good experiences with Decluttr. I was thrilled to discover they would take a several-year-old college textbook languishing in my home, that other textbook buy-back sites were no longer accepting. Another reader was overjoyed to find she could unload her old homeschool curriculum.
Check BookScouter, where more than 30 used book vendors will compete to buy your books. Just input the ISBN number (either a 10- or 13-digit number on the book itself) to find out which book buyer is interested in what you have and is willing to pay the highest price.
Catch and release
If you’re curious about the lives of your discarded books once they leave you, you might consider releasing your book “into the wild” as part of the BookCrossings.com project.
To release a book, register your book on the site, print out a label with a unique ID number and leave the book in a place where you think it might find a new reader. The person who finds the book can visit BookCrossings.com, enter the ID number to find out where the book has traveled, and even journal about their experience.
You can follow the progress of your book as it travels the world! To hunt for a book that has been released in your area, you can find release locations in the “Go Hunting” section of the site.
I am seriously considering a little catch-and-release action because I think it might be fun to watch a copy of my pride and joy, Debt-Proof Living, travel the world.
BooksPrice.com is a great comparison site for the frugal book shopper. Just type in your book title, author or ISBN and you’ll get a list of the prices of new and used books on many of the major bargain book sites.
BooksPrice.com also compares the shipping fees and book conditions so you’ll be sure to get the deal you want.
With all these resources for book owners, it seems there’s no excuse for the piles of discarded books cluttering my home and office. This year I am determined to re-home some I no longer need or want.