Monday, April 13, 2009
PBS is a Major Distraction
No, not Public Broadcasting System, but PaperBack Swap. I signed up for this free service a little over a month ago and its been more than a little distracting. It works like this: you go through your bookshelf, pull out books you want to get rid of, you post them on you PBS Bookshelf, other members request them from you, and you send them off and receive 1 trading point for each completed transaction.
Initially I thought this would be a quick and easy way to get rid of my excess of paperback books. The thought of trading books I'd read for those that I want was just too tempting. But then, after an initial surge of requests for my newly posted books, I stopped getting requests. So, after a little trial and error, I discovered that I could purchase points and get the books I wanted that way. Hey, wait a minute! Wasn't I supposed to be getting rid of books?
Here's what I've learned - For the cost of shipping one paperback book from my bookshelf, $2.02, I get a fresh copy of a (much desired) book that would have cost me $7.00 or more from Books-A-Million or Amazon. That's a good deal. And I can purchase a point for $3.45, which is still half the cost of buying new. However, if I shop garage sales or library book sales, I can purchase more commonly available books for as little as 25 cents each. So, I save my points for those books which are hard to find used (like those of favorite authors Charlaine Harris or Piers Anthony) and that I plan to keep. Otherwise, I request books from the library.
In the meantime, I still have a box of books in my office. Anyone interested in a trade?