Book swapping - Eco-Libris glossary


Book swapping definition

Book swapping or book exchange is the practice of exchanging books between one person and another. Book swapping use the power of the Internet to build a huge virtual library, where people can get in and easily find books they're looking for. Not only it provides an inexpensive way for people to exchange books (in some sites it's even free), it also creates in many places a sense of community. A community of book lovers.

Book swapping is a great concept: you can find books you are looking for at no cost or at a very small cost, give books you want others to enjoy and of course benefit the environment. It's the same idea as with libraries - maximizing the usage of every printed book minimizes the need to print new ones and saves many trees from being cut down.

Don't get us wrong - we don't want people to stop buying new books, but as long as books are pritned mostly from virgin paper, we would like to see maxium usage for each printed copy. Therefore, we think the concept of book swapping is definitely a way to green up on your reading and make it more sustainable.

There is a growing number of book swapping sites, where each one has its own unique features, concpet or expertise. Here are some of the best swapping sites you can find today online:

BookCrossing - it is the world's biggest free book club and more than that, it's a community of book lovers who are willing to share with others great books after they have read them, instead of just putting them back on their shelves. The goal of BookCrossing as they write it on their site is to make the whole world a library". Well, they already have 622,436 members and 4,4422,881 registered books (as of today - Dec 28, 2007), so they're definitely on the right way!

So how it works? you just need to follow 3 simple steps:

1. Read a good book

2. Register it on their website (along with your journal comments), get a unique BCID (BookCrossing ID number), and label the book.

3. Release it for someone else to read (give it to a friend, leave it on a park bench, donate it to charity, "forget" it in a coffee shop, etc.), and get notified by email each time someone comes here and records a journal entry for that book. And if you make Release Notes on the book, others can Go Hunting for it and try to find it.

BookMooch - lets you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you really want. It was established John Buckman, a bibliophile who created a system based on points, where according to the site "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." And yes, it's totally free.

Swaptree - swaps books, cds, dvds and video games. Everything is free, you only pay shipping.

sf-books - established in 2001, it's the world's first online book swapping club. It specializes in science fiction.

Our recommendation:

Swap, swap, swap!

More sources:

1. Love That Book? Then Set It Free - Michelle Slatalla, New York Times, Dec 20, 2007

2. Clear the Bookshelf and Fill It Up Again, All Online - Joanne Kaufman, New York Times, Oct 15, 2007

3. Ask a Brokeass: Trade wins - Kate Sheppard, Grist, Aug 3, 2007

Relevant concepts: eco-friendly books, sustainable living


Back to Eco-Libris green glossary main page


Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2007 Eco-Libris. All rights reserved.