One of the things that I really enjoy is a good book. I have piles of books that I have picked up at used bookstores and ordered from ebay. Now that I am tightening my belt, I thought that I might need to curb my book lust for a bit. Then, I discovered Swaptree.

The idea behind swaptree is:

  • You take the books that you no longer want. I found that I had piles of books that I read once, and didn’t mind parting with.
  • You enter the ISBN numbers into the website, and it catalogs all the books you have to trade.
  • You make a list of books that you would like to have. In most cases, this is as simple as browsing the site and clicking “want it.”

As the days go by, swaptree will start to make associations between the books you have, and the books you want. It will even go as far as instigating three way trades. This means that:

  • You have a book A, and want Book C.
  • Another user has Book B, and wants Book A.
  • A third user has Book C, and wants Book B.

Swaptree will then send all users a notification as to where to send their books. You can even print out a prepaid shipping form (for a few cents more) and drop your book in the mail.

Since most of the books ship media mail, it takes a week or so to get them, but it also means that you can facilitate a trade for about $1.35.

So far, I have made 16 trades, and have only been burned once. Let that be a caveat. If you get burned, there is not a whole lot you can do to make it right. You can give the user bad feedback, but that’s about the extent of it.

For the low price of entry, getting burned is not the worst thing that could happen to me.

One final note. I should have mentioned this earlier, but you can also share DVD’s and CD’s too. In fact, I have traded a book for a Gamecube game on two occasions.

So, dig through your book pile, find the stuff that you can part with, and get some new books on that shelf!