While I always try and encourage new book purchases, as it turns out the sluggish economy has forced a lot of readers to dig out and dust off their library cards. In fact librarians tell us that there is often a line-up for newly released titles from readers hungry to get their hands on them without putting out the money for a purchase. It’s nice to see people returning to libraries, but if you want some options check out some of the “read and return” sites that are popping up online:
Paperbackswap.com – with more than 1 million books up for trade with other members the choices are endless. Mailing fees are paid for by the sender. You can log on and list your own books.
BookMooch – similar to Paperbackswap only international. Also with BookMooch you can donate points to literacy campaigns and charities.
BookSwim.com – describes itself as the Netflix of books. From their web site: BookSwim is the first online book rental library service lending you paperbacks, hardcovers and now college textbooks Netflix®-style directly to your house, without the need to purchase! We stock all the latest bestsellers, new releases, and classics with free shipping both ways! Read your books as long as you want – no late fees! Even choose to purchase and keep the books you love!
Bookmooch and Paperbackswap aren’t really “read and return”- they’re swap sites, so you have to give away your own books to get books in return. Of course, you can always send a book back out once you’re done, but you have to send books out before you can get any. They’re great resources for readers looking to save money and recycle their unwanted books though! 🙂
There’s also another website I’ve used – http://www.booksfree.com – which rents books & CDs. Great service, easy to use.
Great post, textbook returns are really changing the face of the textbook industry. eCampus.com is at the forefront of this change, they offer rentals and eBooks, PDF copies of the textbook. Along with these offerings they also have new and used textbooks. They also have a marketplace for student to student textbook sales. check them out: http://www.eCampus.com