Bookmooch VS Paperbacksway or What to do with old books?

In an effort to reduce the clutter in my room and make it more habitable, I’ve decided to clean up my bookshelf as well as all of the pile of books that have accumulated around my bookshelf. You buy one book here and two books there and the next thing you know your room is overtaken by books. Seriously though, how did all of those books get there?

I’ve packed up and removed most of my textbooks and binders that were taking up so much shelf space to make room for the other books, but I found some books that I want to get rid of. I think there’s someone out there who will get more use out of my Homer’s Iliad and Plato’s Symposium. I know the two big websites used for swapping books are Bookmooch and Paperbackswap, but I’m still debating on which one I should use.

So I’m seeking your opinion on this and would love to hear what ya’ll have to say.

Which one do you use and what are the pros and cons to it?

Are there any other book swapping sites out there that I’ve missed and should be using?

What do you do with old books that you don’t read anymore?

  • Sell them to used bookstores?
  • Donate them to the library?
  • Give them away to friends and family?

Posted on June 8, 2010, in other and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Oh gosh! I donated all of mine to the Library because our local library is pretty small. I did ask my family/friends if they wanted them first but gave them a deadline of when they could go through them. I have never used those two site but Julie would be more knowledgeable in that area, she always is getting great books from the swap 🙂 I wasn’t much help at all, sorry about that!

  2. Hi DW! Personally, I use Goodreads swap. With that program, the person that is requesting the book is the one that pays for the shipping.

  3. I find my books move quicker on BookMooch but I prefer the service of Goodreads. On BookMooch if you receive a book you are not happy with there isn’t much you can do. Goodreads is more customer service friendly I think.

  4. I’ve been a member of BookMooch for the past few years and have had a really positive experience with it! However, I’ll say this: if you’re trying to find a good way of cleaning out clutter and getting rid of books, I really don’t think BookMooch will help you. Though I loved it and got lots of awesome books that way, I actually wound up with way more novels than when I started.

    Basically, with BookMooch, you list a book you’re willing to give up — and then someone else requests it. You pay to ship it to them and get a point, which you can then redeem for another book from someone else on the site. By paying to send your books to others, you’re accumulating more points — which you’ll then feel compelled to “use” by ordering other books, etc. It works well as a swapping system, definitely, but not-so-well if you’re simply trying to get books out of the house.

    Personally, I’ve let my BookMooch account go dormant — and I don’t have accounts on any other swapping site. I’m trying to clean out my house and get rid of books that have just been taking up space and, in the process, make everything much organized! And that means letting books go.

    Now, I take all of the read books I’m ready to part with to work and give them to my coworkers, several of whom have teenagers who love to read. I feel like my YA books, especially, are going to good homes, and I have more room to dance around in! The books that aren’t good fits for my coworkers get dropped in an office “take a book, leave a book” box in our breakroom, or taken to the local library for their book sales to benefit the library system.

  5. I saw your comment on another blog where you said your favorite genres were memoirs, biographies, and literary fiction, and I just had to stop by! And then I find out you’re a sports fan?! Woot woo! Me too. I really only talk about sports on my personal blog – my 16-year-old son is 6’8″ and plays basketball – and all things books on my book blog. But I love sports and I love memoirs and I thought I’d introduce myself!

  6. I trade mine at the used bookstore. It supports a local business and feeds my addiction at the same time. 🙂

  7. thank you so much for all of the input! that was super helpful.

    i didn’t realize how addicting book swapping can be and i could definitely see myself getting carried away and ending up with more books than i can get rid of!

    i’m going to ask family and friends first to see if they want anything and the rest will go to the library. although i may keep a few to dip my toes in this whole book swapping business just in case i see something i really want on those sites.

  8. I donate a lot of my used books to the library. As a librarian, I know what titles they’ll want/need, and I enjoy seeing the books I donated get circulated around.
    I’ve never bothered with GoodReads or BookMooch, as the trouble of mailing things out seemed so onerous to me. But, I shipped some things recently, and was surprised at how low the book-rate for shipping at USPS is. Maybe I’ll have to give it a try…

  9. I use Bookmooch and I enjoy it. You can get rid of a lot of your books that way but if you’re not careful, you can get more books just as well. Still, I love it.

    Another way that I keep my book buying to a minimum is by borrowing books from Booksfree. You pay about $16 a month to rent 4 books at a time. No late fees, no due dates. All good.

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