Here is how it works:
1. Sign up for your FREE account.
2. Post books that you would like someone else to have.
3. You receive 2 credits for posting books, and then one credit for each book you send. With your credits, you can request books that people send to you for FREE!
4. When someone requests a book from you, you have to send it in a fairly timely fashion and pay for media mail postage.
I had heard of Paperback Swap (PBS) quite a while ago, but it seemed like too much work at the time to get books together to post so I could get credits to get books. However, this past week, I was looking at my bookshelves, which are overrun with books again, and realized that I had a stack right in front of me that could go. I am terrible about getting them to the library or to Goodwill, but I got them entered into Paperback Swap, and instantly had requests for 4 books. I mailed those last week and just mailed 4 more today. I figured it would be a good way for me to get some books to read inexpensively. Honestly, considering what a new book costs, even from Amazon, it's a good deal even after you pay for the postage.
One of the things I sent off was my boxed set of the Twilight series, in hardcover. It was expensive to send, and the person requesting it had a lot of restrictions on what she would and would not accept. My set was in nearly perfect condition, but it was a bugger to get packed, and I do confess to feeling a small amount of irritation at knowing I would get only one credit for all that work. However, I sent it, because I wanted the books out of my house. Guess what? The person who received them emailed me to thank me for packing the books so carefully and said they arrived in perfect condition. She also gave me 3 more credits, because she didn't think it was fair that I only received one for a 4-book set, especially considering the cost of the postage. Is that not fabulous?
Why is this good for homeschoolers? Well, let me tell you! When I went the post office, the very nice man who helped me turned out to be a fellow homeschooler. He told me that his wife gets lots of books for their homeschool from Paperback Swap. I had an epiphany. I had not considered the possibility of looking there for school books! Immediately, I went home and started looking up books we will need for next year. I have 2 on the way to me as I type this! If you homeschool, you know how expensive books are, and therefore the gleefulness I feel at getting some from PBS.
I hope I've inspired you to at least consider PBS. If you homeschool, or read at all, you know you have too many books. This is a great way to get rid of some that didn't turn out to be fabulous, and get some that you either really want or need in return. Bibliophiles helping bibliophiles - it's a beautiful thing.