Top Ten Tuesday #5: Reasons to love…

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Post! Who doesn’t like getting parcels? Especially ones which contain books.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. Recycling. Reduce, reuse, re-read!

 Look out for future posts about my adventures in swapping!

 

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8 comments

  1. I would have a tough time with book swapping, mainly because I don’t like to part with my books. Even lending it out feels bad sometimes.

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    1. I used to be a bit like that, but now I just think that by getting rid of a book that I didn’t love, I might gain one that I do! I do struggle with lending though. I hate it when people keep them for eons, or bring them back battered… I only really lend to other bookworms!

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      1. That’s a good perspective to look at it. Maybe I should give it a try. I worry about the safety of my books when I lend them out, sometimes I feel like I’m being a little annoying to the borrower when I keep asking them about the book. Then again, maybe they won’t borrow from me again…

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  2. Good idea! Books swop parties are also a nice way to get rid of those items that you have to edge your way around – invite a few people around – the only rule is that they have to take away as many books as they bring along. Like you, I crave a personal library with floor to ceiling shelves, but it’s not going to happen).

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    1. Oooh, I like the idea of a book swap party! I’m definitely going to try that! Although who knows what I’d end up taking after a cocktail or two 😉

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  3. […] I recently explained here, I am a big fan of book swapping. You give away something you don’t want, and (hopefully) gain […]

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  4. I tend to just donate all of my books to the library after they’ve been read (unless they’re super special). But, book swapping sounds awesome even though part of me is kind of freaked out to enroll in something like that. Not giving addresses out is like Internet Safety 101. Do these kinds of site have profiles so that you can get to know the person you’re swapping with (to some extent)?

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    1. The site I use is much like eBay I suppose – you get rated on each swap, so you can build up a profile if ‘trustworthiness’ and you can see who the better swappers are. Your address is only given once you’ve agreed a swap, so I suppose it is only like giving it out to an eBay seller. I’ve only ever had positives experiences – give it a go! I do donate books too if they’re not likely to be wanted, or mega heavy and therefore pricey to post!

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