I’ve been a member of Goodreads.com for over a year, but I only recently decided to try out their Book Swap feature that allows you to trade books with other users. The concept is pretty basic:
- You list the books in your collection that you are willing to part with.
- You create a Wishlist of books that you want or you can search through the books that other people have listed. Goodreads will also periodically remind you if books you Wishlist are available.
- If someone requests one of your books, Goodreads asks you a series of questions that they use to assemble a proper shipping label. You print the label, put the book in a box or good-sized envelope, and send it out–and you aren’t charged a thing.
- If you request a book, Goodreads bills you the shipping total.
It really ends up being a pretty good deal. I just requested my first book and it came in the mail today. I Choose The Fires of Heaven, the first novel in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. When it came, I was surprised to find a like-new hardcover, the original receipt, and a recent McDonald’s receipt in the envelope. Needless to say, I was most excited about the book, especially because it only cost me $4.00.
At this point, I have only listed two items, a paperback copy of A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin and the original Dragonlance trilogy by Weiss and Hickman. A Game of Thrones was requested within 24 hours, but a couple months went by before Dragonlance was requested. I shipped them both out without a hassle.
I really think this is a nice service. The best part is, unlike similar services such as bookmooch.com, you don’t have to list or ship any books before you get your first one. However, you do get rewarded with a free book for every 10 you ship out.
The service is so easy to use and, best of all, cheap that it’s really a no-brainer. I’m definitely going to start picking up more books this way, though, for the sake of fairness, I probably won’t request many more books than I send out. If you are a Goodreads user, I definitely recommend that you check it out.