Saturday, December 27, 2008

Too Many Books

Big book stores or little, I get queasy when I see how many books are in the world. On a bad day it makes me wonder why I should write more. The world doesn't really need more books. Nor do I. When I moved a couple of years ago, I distributed--giving and selling--about twenty boxes of books. I vowed I would not get into that situation again. The library does a much better job of shelving and organizing, it's free, it's greener, and it's dust free. You know the arc or this story, though. Settled into a home of my own, I let the books creep back. I found wonderful used books and have resupplied my reference section and a handful of poetry books. Last week at a holiday party, the host had lined his front hall with boxes of pristine books, inviting all guests to help themselves, to relieve his glut of books. Being both greedy and obedient, I walked out with a handful of books. They sit on my coffee table taking up space, laughing at me and my weak will.

Now for the plot twist: a friend forwarded a link to Paper Back Swap! What a great idea. I list my give-aways by ISBN, the site posts the book, with cover photo and basic press info. Someone who wants the book clicks a box, I get a notice to print out the shipping material and I pay the postage. But, when I order a book, the sender pays my postage, a nice quid pro quo. For now the service is free except for the postage, but may go to a small subscription fee after the first of the year. If no one wants your books, hence you don't build a credit base, you can buy credits at a very reasonable price and use this credit to order books. So far, I am waiting for three books and have established a wish list. The site is easy to use, quite extensive, and much needed. Take a look.

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