Binghamton’s avid readers may find that, over time, they end up owning more books than they want or need. For those looking for ways to recycle books while refreshing the unread subject matter on their shelves, PaperBackSwap.com is a simple and well-established website devoted to this activity. There are few sources of used books in the Binghamton area, so a mail-order trade site is a fun and different option.
To join, register a username and password. No credit card is required, and no fee is charged to use the website. Enter the ISBNs of books you want to trade to post them on your club “bookshelf,” which other members can order from. When a member places an orders, print out the address label and mail the book to that individual. Your only cost is the postage to mail that book via media mail. Postage is $2.38 for the average paperback. Once the book is received, you get one credit, which you can then use to order any book that’s available. A nice bonus: After you post ten books to trade, you receive two free credits to use immediately.
There’s no limit to the number of books you can post, and there’s a wish list function to add up to 200 books that you would like to order but are not currently available. The site rules include such basics as posting only books in good condition. Sister swap sites for music and movies use similar rules, and credits can be transferred among the three websites.
Although it’s not the cheapest source of used books, it does have huge variety with a constantly changing inventory. As of January 2010, more than 4.2 million books are available. It costs nothing to browse the current inventory, so check it out!