When I mention PBS, I'm not talking about Public Broadcasting. Nope, I love PBS as in PaperBack Swap. I've been a member there since 2006 & it was probably one of the best things I ever did. Seriously. And if you are a homeschooler, I only have one question for you? WHY aren't you a member?
Here's how it works...
When you first sign up, you need to list ten books in to your account. That will give you two credits to start with. These are books you want to get rid of, or rather, trade with other members. It doesn't matter what genre they are or if they are for children or adults, ten books in reasonably good condition & you are good to go.
Listing books is pretty simple - especially if there is an ISBN number. You simply go to the "List Books" tab at the top of your account page & start typing in the ISBN number. Your book pops up to the right. Just make sure it matches what you have (i.e. hardcover or paperback, etc.) & agree to the listing conditions. That's it!
Then the fun begins.
Other members will start requesting the books you just listed. For every book you mail out - on your own dime - and is received by the requestor, you get a credit. Every credit is good for one book (two credits will get you an audio book). You pay shipping to the person requesting. Then when you request a book - that person pays shipping to you. Most books mail media mail & depending on how heavy they are - it runs about $2.38 a book. Think about that one more time...$2.38 a book. Very rarely can you buy books for that price anywhere!
Here are some of my stats since I joined up back in 2006...
- I have mailed out 169 books.
- I have received 170 books.
- I currently have 86 books on my "bookshelf" waiting for new homes.
- I have 7 credits waiting to be used.
- I have 104 books on my wishlist (some multiple times due to various ISBN numbers for the same title or for hardcover/paperback of the same title).
- PBS estimates that I have saved about $760.50 in the three years I've been a member.
Why am I sharing this now?
Because tonight two of my wishlist books were entered in to the system. Care to know the titles?
Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 1 which I need for our science this year. CBD carries this for $6.49. I'm getting it for free. The second book is The Cat Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by G.A. Henty which Amazon has for $6.95.
Here are some of the other titles I've received over the years:
- Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn F. Kohl ($12.89 new at Amazon)
- The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman ($8.99 new at Amazon)
- A Mom Just Like You by Vickie Farris ($11.04 new at Amazon)
- Adam and His Kin: The Lost History of Their Lives & Times by Ruth Beechick ($9.00 new at Amazon)
- Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C. Holling ($9.56 new at Amazon - this is one of three Holling C. Holling books I have received through PBS)
- Managers of Their Homes by Steve & Terri Maxwell ($25 at their store)
- Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes ($12.21 at Amazon)
Needless to say, I have saved lots of money in the three years I have been a member and had a lot of fun while doing it!
I have never had anything go seriously wrong with trading. Once I had someone get annoyed that I sent a hardcover book without the dust jacket, but that is allowed by PBS rules so that wasn't an issue. I've had folks cancel requests from time to time but that hasn't been a huge deal either. I've had to do the same when I couldn't find the book requested.
If you don't mind waiting for a title, then this is a great way to get some wonderful books. Many times when I read about a book that sounds interesting or see one I'll need for homeschooling, I go search the "posted books" section of PBS. If it's there, great, I request it. If not, I add it to my wishlist. Sometimes I end up buying it but usually I can wait & I get it through PBS.
So what are you waiting for?
P.S. If you decide to join up, please list me as a referral. I get a credit that way. ;-) My PBS nickname is lisaanne29.
P.S.S. Do you have a lot of DVD's sitting around? They have a sister site just for that & I use that one too! It works in a similar fashion. My nickname is the same for that one. The big bonus...you can transfer credits between the two sites which works great since I don't trade as many DVD's as I do books.