Swap used books -- go green and save money

by tealmermaid

Books -- even eBooks -- are expensive to purchase. Save money by swapping unwanted books with others.

Why swap books? It will get expensive fast when an avid reader goes book shopping. The last several books that I have bought were over $15 each -- not cheap. What is worse is that most of them will be collecting dust on the shelf until they get read again, if ever.

If you have books that you no longer want, swap your books for new to you books from others. It's the ultimate in recycling by reducing your paper waste.

Why swap books?

Book swapping is a giant book-centric thrift store. There are millions of used and otherwise secondhand books there for no more than the price of postage. If you only like brand new books, this may not be a good thing, but for those of us who are more frugal, the volume of book options is a book lover's paradise. If you like the book you receive, you can keep it. If you don't like it after reading it, offer it up to another interested reader.

How to swap books

Declutter your books by book swapping
Declutter your books by book swapping
  1. Declutter your home library for those books that you no longer want.
  2. Recycle any books in poor condition.
  3. Join a book swapping site.
  4. List your books.
  5. Send them off to interested parties. Depending on the site, you may or may not be the one paying for postage.
  6. In return, request the books you desire from others.

Tip: Dog-eared books with broken spines and missing pages are not accepted.

The only real inconvenience in book swapping is the wait for a book to arrive.

Book swap sites


No longer just paperback books, either! This is a USA book swap site, free to join with no membership fees. You pay the postage for any books you send out to swap, and in turn receive credits on the site which you can use toward your next book swap. Every member gets two free credits upon joining, one credit for every (domestic-only) book swap. One nice feature is the ability to print postage directly from the site -- which will also earn credits for you.


BookMooch works much the same way as does PaperbackSwap except for the site having an international focus. You get three credits for every international book swap, effectively three new to you books for every book you swap out. Swaps can be conducted in any language supported by Book Mooch, English among others. You will also receive 1/10th of a credit for every book you list to swap -- a new swap for every ten books listed.

read it swap it

read it swap it is much the same as both PaperbackSwap and BookMooch -- swap books, earn credits for each swap. It is however a UK-only book swap site. (Probably not a bad thing if you can keep your swaps local.) If you live elsewhere, you are out of luck.

Do you participate in any book swap sites?

Updated: 03/06/2017, tealmermaid
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