Saturday, June 7, 2008

How to get free books - Part 1

I created a lens on Squidoo about this topic, but I wanted to also include it on my blog, so here goes.

There are lots of places to get free books, you just have to know where to look. This post will focus on actual physical copies of free books, not ebooks.

Book Swapping Sites

Book swapping sites are a great place to get free books. Most are free to join. All you do is list your books, request the books you want and mail out the books that others have requested from you. I belong to several myself and I really love them.

(Note - italicized text is a description summary taken directly from each site. Pros & Cons are my opinions. I tried to be as unbiased as possible. I have only posted the swap sites that I am actually a member of.)

Book Mooch:
BookMooch is a community for exchanging used books. BookMooch lets you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you really want.

Every time you give someone a book, you earn a point and can get any book you want from anyone else at BookMooch. Once you've read a book, you can keep it forever or put it back into BookMooch for someone else, as you wish.
  • A very good thing about BookMooch is that you get a 10th of a point for each book you post to your inventory and each book you marked "received".
  • You get a point added to your account as soon as the another person requests a book from you. You don't have to wait to get the point until they receive it in the mail.
  • Bookmooch gives you the control of letting you decide who you would like to "mooch" each book from.
  • Bookmooch is the only site of the ones listed that allows members from countries other than the US to participate.

  • Books are mooched on a "first come first served" basis. That means that you could wait forever to get a book on your wishlist if aren't able to mooch the book quick enough. However, this could work out in your favor if you spend a lot of time in front of your computer and get to check the site frequently to see if anyone has posted one of your wishlist books. (That's how I get most of my WL books.)
  • The site seems to be down more than any of the other sites and the forum is incredibly slow & cumbersome to navigate.
  • BookMooch does not offer credits for purchase. This can also be viewed as a good thing because BM is not profiting off a purchased credit for your book.

We are a group of readers who share books with each other (NOT just paperbacks) for nothing more than the cost of postage!
  • You will receive 2 free credits when you add your first 10 books to your inventory.
  • You can purchase credits for $3.45 each if you need them.
  • It has been my experience that PBS has the books I want more than any of the other sites.
  • Book requests are taken in order that you add a book to your wishlist, so in most cases, you will eventually get a copy of the book you want.
  • They offer you the option of purchasing postage directly from their site (for a fee). If you use their postage, you will get your credit as soon as you mark the book "shipped".
  • PBS also has a great community forum with discussions & games.

  • PBS doesn't give you control over who you get to request your book from, making it a little impersonal. Also, it makes it harder to have a book requested from you, especially if the book already has many copies in the system.
  • You will not get credit for your book until it is marked "received" by the requester, unless you purchase postage from PBS. You have to use PBS money to pay for their postage. You are charged a fee when you purchase PBS money ($0.50) and also when you use that PBS money to purchase postage ($0.43).
  • Does not offer international trading.

Get the books you want, when you want them, for as long as you want them. Three simple steps:

1. List books that you own for other members to request.
2. Request books from other members.
3. Mail requested books to other members and they do the same for you.

Our members enjoy reading, sharing and relating with one another. Join us as we share these passions while saving time and money. Check out our huge selection of great books and then find out why it's more fun to trade with FrugalReaders!
  • You have the control of deciding who you will request the book from.
  • Great book search tool on the site. You can search for the normal values such as, author, title & ISBN and also some more specific values such as books listed since your last log in and books posted to specific trade groups.
  • When you post your book, you have the option of setting up for trade with restricted requesters or trade groups.
  • You can decide how many credits you will trade the book for. Defaults are 1 credit for paperbacks & 2 credits for hardcovers.
  • FR has an extensive forum with lots of games and giveaways.

  • At certain times, the site runs extremely slow.
  • Of all the sites, FR seems to be the hardest to snag any of your wishlist books from.
  • Some people tend to get carried away & ask for an excessive number of credits for their books.
  • Does not offer international trading.

SwapTree: is an innovative new website where you can instantly trade the books, CDs, DVDs and video games you are finished with for the ones you want, all for free.

Simply list the books, DVDs, CDs, and video games you are done with and swaptree's trade algorithms will instantly find everyone who wants those items and show you everything they are willing to trade. Best part is, you only pay for shipping, which using swaptree's label service means you never have to go to the post office.
I have only just joined SwapTree so I can not offer Pros & Cons at this time. However, this is the only swap site that I am a part of that does not offer credits. You are actually swapping item for item with someone.

Here is a list of some other swap sites. I can't give you any info, because I'm not a member of any of them. BookIns, TitleTrader, & What's On Your Bookshelf

I'll be posting Part 2 of Where to get Free Books soon, so check back.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Thanks for the information on book swapping websites. I already do the BookMooch thing, but today I started with PaperBack Swap and I just love it! I am already addicted. I love your blog:)