Posted by: billpurdue | September 14, 2008

22 What to do with books you have read

If you’re like me and love buying books – for example you find it hard to visit a bookshop without buying something – sooner or later your book shelves at home are going to get pretty tight and there won’t be room for any more, unless you pile them on the floor, on the stairs, in the bedroom at your bedside etc. What might be even worse is when other members of your family or your friends start to make comments about not being able to move for books.


This might be the time to think of other ways of getting more books without making the space problem worse. You could give them away to charity shops or garage sales and buy new ones to take their place or you could save money and swap them for something you haven’t read before. Thanks to the National Year or Reading website, I’ve found out about 3 websites that help you swap your books for others you want to read as well as one that helps you to give them away.


Readitswapit is a free book exchange website that helps you swap the books you have finished with for second hand books that you would like to read. The only cost is the postage, when you send the title to another Readitswapit user by post. There’s also a rating system for users, which is calculated on the amount of positive feedback received about you from other users – a little like the ebay system. The more positive feedback you get, the more books you are allowed to swap at any one time .


Bookmooch is a very similar website, but in addition to the feedback system, you score points for the number of titles you make available for swapping. You score more points by giving books away than by receiving them: you need to give at least one book away for every three you receive. You can give your points to the charities which Bookmooch works with so that for instance sick children can get a book delivered to them in hospital.  


Paperback Swap is a very similar site to the other two, but definitely based in the USA, whereas Bookmooch seems to be UK based.

Book Crossing is all about “sending books into the wild” in the hope that they will be picked up by someone who will read and appreciate them. Once registered with the site you can release books , each with their own identity number by leaving them in a suitable public place (look at the website for a definition of this) and you will be notified when someone finds it and makes a journal entry in the book. It’s a little bit more complicated than that, but have a look at the FAQs section of the site for more details. Just by logging on to the site you can find out if any books have been “released into the wild” in your area. When I checked on Saturday 13th Sept, I found that, for example, a copy of “Humble Pie” by Gordon Ramsay had been released about 10 hours previously in Mansfield town centre. Anyone found it yet ?


Finally … have you read The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne [Definitions £6.99 9780099487821 ] ? If not, please read it, then go and see the film if you can find a cinema that’s showing it. I haven’t seen the film, but I certainly want to and I won’t forget the book.

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