It’s Top Ten Tuesday again (on Wednesday!) This week, the people at The Broke and the Bookish are asking for top ten reasons I love ???, so I have chosen reasons I love book swapping.
- It’s easy! I use the marvellous www.readitswapit.com. You list all the books you don’t want, and anyone (with an account) can request one. You then look at the requester’s list to see if there is anything you fancy. If so, you both post your books, if not, you can decline with no hard feelings. This site is only available for the UK – but I’m sure there are similar sites elsewhere. I have used Bookmooch in the past, but I don’t like it nearly as much.
- It keeps my bookshelves in check. Much to my disappointment, I somehow still haven’t managed to find space in my house for my library. I still dream of having a huge room with floor to ceiling bookcases, a comfy sofa or two and moving ladders (of course). In fact, I have so little room for books, that I sadly have to maintain a strict policy. If I didn’t like a book, wouldn’t recommend it, or will never reread it, it’s a gonner. Book swapping keeps a ‘one-in-one out’ system going, so my shelves don’t get out of hand. Plus I can keep all my ‘to swap’ books boxed up and out of the way.
- It beats selling. Unless I’m taking a job lot of books to a secondhand shop (which is rare), selling is a lot of hassle. It takes ages to list them all on sites like ebay, and generally you get very little for them. Swapping is quicker and easier, and it forces you into getting more books, rather than spending the money you make on cake, or other essentials.
- Choosing random books. When someone requests a swap, you’re limited to their booklist. I find this gives me the chance to choose books I have never heard of, or would never have considered.
- It’s cheap! You only have to pay the cost of postage for a book. If you count the bus fare to the nearest secondhand/charity shop, that’s about the cheapest you’re going to get.
- Post! Who doesn’t like getting parcels? Especially ones which contain books.
- Connecting with other readers. I love being able to have a good nosey through other people’s booklists. It’s a lot of fun seeing the types of books people choose, and what they choose to discard. One reader’s rubbish is another reader’s treasure! It’s lovely knowing there are so many other book lovers out there, who enjoy book swapping. I’ve had books from all over the country.
- Book history. I’m a big fan of secondhand books generally. I like the idea that books all have a history, and wondering how many hands they have been through, and how many times they have been swapped! I like the idea of setting my books free too – who knows where they might end up!
- Finding surprises. Swappers are lovely, and quite often leave little surprises in your books. Bookmarks, postcards, sweets. It’s always nice to get a little extra something or a kind message from people you are swapping with.
- Recycling. Reduce, reuse, re-read!
Look out for future posts about my adventures in swapping!