I’ve dabbled in other book-swapping sites, but ReadItSwapIt is the one I always come back to.
I like the fact that it is one-to-one swapping, so you never send a book out without getting one back, and that I don’t end up sending out books and accumulating points without finding books I want to redeem them. And I love the fact that different people love different books, and so I can clear out what I consider disposable for literary gold.
My swapping goes in fits and starts though. From time to time I clear out books and have a burst of swapping, and then things settle down until the next time.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been tidying bookcases and I’ve listed a good number of books. A few of them have been requested, I’ve requested a couple of books, and now I have a fair sized pile of new old books on our dining table.
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgarov
This had been my list of “classics I must get to soon” for a while now, so when this one appeared I checked the translation, and when I saw that it was by Pevear and Volokhonsky I pounced.
The Prestige by Christopher Priest
I loved the film bit I’ve read mixed reports about the book. Recently though I read something that made me decide to go after the book. I had a couple of rejections, but struck it lucky on my third request.
Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman
I borrowed this from the library when it was longlisted for the Orange Prize, but there was a long queue so I gave it back rather than rush it. It hasn’t appeared on the library shelves since, so when it was offered as I swap I grabbed it.
Sing Me Who You Are by Elizabeth Berridge
Now this was a wonderful find – an out of print novel by a Persephone author!
A Very Long Engagement by Sebastian Japrisot
We saw the film last weekend, and it inspired me to look for a copy of the book. There was only one copy available, but happily the owner was willing to swap for one of my books.
Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times, edited by Neil Astley
I rarely turn down a poetry anthology, and this one I’d enjoyed perusing in the library.
Stratton’s War by Laura Wilson
Now I’ve always enjoyed Laura Wilson’s books, and the library has this one. Trouble is, it’s long and complex and it always seems to be on the shelf when I can’t fit in that sort of books and absent when I can. So it seemed sensible to accept when it was offered as a swap so I can guarantee the book is on hand when the mood strikes.
And that’s not all!
My mother has a newish Danielle Steele paperback. She doesn’t read much, but she feels left out when lots of books come for me, so when it was offered I asked if she would like it.
And I’ve picked up a few books for my non-fiction reading fiance: a couple of military history books, a New Scientist book of questions and answers, and a biography of Albert Pierrepoint, Britain’s last hangman.
So we have all done pretty well.
I should mention that most of these offered up for swapping again after reading, and that I do take books to charity shops when they are too big to post or when they look as if they aren’t going to get picked up for swaps.
Now tell me, do you use swap sites – and what so you think of them?
ReaditSwapit sounds perfect. I wish we had a US version! I use Bookmooch quite a bit, but have been really disappointed with it recently. The last 4 people I’ve requested books from have all immediately sent me messages saying that they’re not able to send the books for weeks or even months! It makes me feel tricked.
ReadItSwapIt doesn’t work so well when the people with desirable books want none of yours, but when it works its brilliant. I’ve only had a couple of delays in around 150 swaps and each time the person at the other end had good reason and was apologetic.
I tried BookMoooch, but I didn’t like the vagueness about when books would be sent and there weren’t so many books available for UK moochers, so the points just went on building up.
Have you ever tried PaperbackSwap I wonder? Members of the LibraryThing Virago group often mention getting books that way.
I used to use Read it Swap it until I realized I was swapping too many books and not actually weeding my books, and really, I do need to weed them! I quite enjoyed Stratton’s War but I didn’t think it was quite first class but how lovely to get an out-of-print Elizabeth Berridge.
I need to weed too, so I try to be selective and just accept books I want to keep, books I don’t want to have to read as and when I can get them from the library, and books that are out of print.
I use Readitswapit. Like you I go through phases where I do loads of swaps and then can go for a long time without doing any. I have just swapped The Sandalwood Tree for When God Was A Rabbit. I love it when someone wants to swap with me and I go to their list all excited about what treasures might be there.
Great swap! I have read many good reports about The Sandalwood tree that I’ve placed an order at the library, and I loved When God Was a Rabbit. And I knw what you mean about that feeling when the email arrives and you have a list of books to peruse.
I have not used it because, I know that I have an audience already for the books I have read, that said though perhaps I might try it in the future.
I used to use Bookmooch too, and I still really like it in principle, but I ended up sending lots of books overseas and then finding that I couldn’t mooch the ones I wanted because other people were reluctant to do the same. So I have lots of points unused. I’ll give ReaditSwapit a go as you recommend it, though I really ought to be weeding out books too!
I went through a heavy phase of using ReadItSwapIt – it’s way simpler than Bookmooch. Only problem is that it doesn’t reduce the number of books you own!!! I’ve stopped doing it now, but will return eventually I’m sure.
I’ve been a member of RiSi for over 5 years now and as well as accumulating a vast number of books, I’ve made lots of bookish friends, many of which I’ve met up with in various locations, a lovely weekend in Haworth, lunch in Manchester and two meet ups in Belfast (handy since I live there!).
I don’t swap as much as I used to (too many books now) but I use the forums regularly. I have a friend in the US who uses Paperbackswap and Bookmooch is a good international option for swapping too.
PS my RiSi username is lovelytreez. 🙂
In the past I enjoyed Readitswapit and I agree that it is the best of the swap sites for those in the UK. The problem is that the cost of posting books is so high that I rarely find it makes sense to swap things. It feels a bit mean to only list the thin, light books for swapping. I may put on a few of my more recent, valuable books and see what happens as it might be nice to swap new releases with others – that somehow seems more useful than paying £2 postage to swap a book I probabbly bought for 50p in a charity shop. PS The Prestige is a fantastic book and has a different ending to the film. Enjoy!
I don’t use any swapping websites, because I can never get rid of any of my books!
I’ve signed up on your recommendation! I’m on Bookmooch but I have 200+ points there and while I do get a few wishlist hits, they are almost always overseas and thus quite expensive now that it’s 3 points to mooch from overseas.