I love books. There is just something about holding a physical copy of a book in my hand and laying back with a blanket with a cup of coffee. Do you agree? Let’s be honest though, there are some books we read that are a once and done read. They were entertaining but you wouldn’t choose them to read again. What do you do with these books to give them a second life?
I have looked into many different options. Most of the sales sites charge a fee to list books. Those sites are great if you have a bookstore worth of books, not for the average book lover. I have found and loved using PaperBackSwap.
In this service, you post the books you would like to offer up to others. If others desire those books, they will “Order” them from you. The system will prompt you what to do and give you clear instructions on how to ship the books. You do pay shipping to send the book but in exchange, all books you request are mailed to you with no charge to you. So, in a sense, you are paying shipping ahead of time for a book you request later. Each book you mail out will get you a book credit for another book you desire. It is an equal swap one for one. The only exception is if you desire an audiobook, those cost 2 credits.
Another great thing with them is they also offer a DVDSwap and even a CDSwap if you still use CDs.
There are rules and restrictions about the books that you can post on PaperBackSwap. They prefer they not be from a smoking home. Most will reject a book that smells of smoke. There also cannot be any writing on the pages or water damage. So, basically, don’t post a book you wouldn’t want to receive from someones else!
What do you do with books that can’t be posted to PaperBackSwap? Well, I place these books in Little Free Libraries. You can find these all over the place. The idea is a swap for a swap. Many times I will find them and they are empty or only a couple books. I will bring a box full of books and fill up the libraries for those interested to take.
I also do The Book Fairies. This is a worldwide movement to get books into the hands of those that wouldn’t otherwise have them. You order some stickers to place on the books, seal them up in Ziplock bags to weatherproof them and leave them wherever you go. If you go to a park, leave one on a park bench. Leave them in places you know people frequent so they are more likely to be rehomed. The hope is then that the person enjoy the book and continue to place it back out for others to find. It is a lot of fun to leave a book and then go back and see that it was taken by someone or see the same book somewhere else in town!
Another thing I plan to do with some Children’s books this summer is make buttons, bookmarks and paint rocks that match the book or a character from the book and hide it weather sealed around town. The finder will get a note to read the book and pass it on. They can choose if they want to keep the trinket for a souvenir or pass it along with the book. I will have a card attached inside the book for the finder to add their name or logo of some sort to show the book went through their hands. Hopefully the book will continue to travel all over the country!
What do you do to give your old books a second chance to be enjoyed? I would love to hear from you in the comments!