Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Readership has noticed that I seemed to be out of topics, and over the past couple of weeks has submitted suggestions from their own travels across the web-world. Your Humble Narrator thanks you, and will introduce these topics as needed.

Today's presentation:
I regret I will not be as enthusiastic (!!) and mesmermizing (!!) as Consumer Advisor Clark Howard, who is SO (!) EXCITED (!) by the idea of FREE (!) Books that he can hardly keep himself on that couch. But then, this is ACTION News, so he has a requirement to fulfill.

Long-time readers have been following Miss Bender's gentle urging to give your piles of books away. Miss Bender often uses you to project her own neuroses, but you keep coming back. To re-cap your options, view the For the Booklovers Label at left.

Who are they? Two Atlanta entreprenuers who found themselves with too many books on their hands, and apparently no ride downtown. They set up the infrastructure for a membership club based on credit points and the honor system.

How's it work?
The website is pretty complicated -- too many links from the home page -- but there is a video (featuring Clark "Action" Howard) overview and a simple "How to swap books" tab.

Anything good?
Paperbackswap is not limited to paperbacks. Hardcover and audio can also be found. The search engine has some presets like "added today" "NYT List" and "Member reviews," as well as an advanced search by format, pub. date, even ISBN, which suggests that at least some of the membership are bookdealers.

Is that bad?
No, but it does suggest that the books you are dumping have actual resale value, so maybe you are shortchanging yourself. On the other hand, if you just want to move books without legwork, let them come to you.

Ok, so you didn't answer my first question
Because you asked your follow-up before I could. Books Listed today:

What's the catch?
You pay the postage.
Referring to the above statement: if you are paying postage to someone who will be reselling your books, you might be missing out on the spirit of the swap. The idea is everyone pays their own postage, and you receive a "credit" for each book you ship. Each credit is good for one book back. To put this to numbers, let's say you ship (3) $7 paperbacks to Appleton for $3. You are now entitled to 3 books back of N-value for the cost of $3, which someone now spends to mail to you. Mailing Harry Potter will not be financially beneficial.

Couldn't I do that at the church yard sale?
Yes, you could. The appeal of these on-line bookclubs is that you can search for just what you want and have it sent to you. But Miss Bender does not support your gathering more books until you clean out the 3 shelves of that upstairs closet.

For myself, I send them along to specific friends, without worry about whether they have read it, own it, or would want to. It's fun to get free stuff in the mail, unexpected-like, and I do try to consider your tastes.

Clutter. Recipes...Sudoku...self-publishing...Careers....

Fo Reals?
Shizz. They are presently hiring a Web Developer.

Anything wierd about it?

The swap enjoys calling itself "PBS," which really can't last much longer, and could greatly reduce their market share.

Sister sites include, but this appears to be a gag. Let's not tell Clark Howard.

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