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15 October 2009 Anyone had any experience with it? Positive? Negative?
Like any long-distance swap, it relies a lot on trust, from the sound of it.

We have a paperback swap at work. One of my team-mates, who buys all her books brand new in Waterstones, refuses point-blank to go near the book exchange, on the basis that the previous owner of her chosen book might have read it on the toilet, thus allowing the paper to absorb bacteria.
posted by essexjan 15 October | 09:54
I use it all the time and have been using it for years [username: jessamyn]. Whenever someone recommends a book that sounds good to me, I put it on my wish list over there. I have an endless supply of decent books that I keep on a "bookshelf" on the site and someone requests one every month or so. I usually have enough credit on the site that I can use it as a sort of bookstore. It's like slow-motion Netflix for books. I've gotten graphic novels, some good hardbacks and a lot of misc stuff. The more popular a book is, the more likely you'll be able to get it form the site for free, but I've gotten some weird random books there too.

The only big deal is that you need to really be able to get yourself to the post office, but they've got some pretty neat tools that will not only print out labels for your packages, but you can even pay them to put the postage on it making it pretty darned simple.

I think the site is great and I show it off in my "cool things about the internet" classes as a site that just works. It can be a little tough to learn to navigate at first, but it's all really straightforward once you learn where your stuff is.
posted by jessamyn 15 October | 09:56
Thanks, jessamyn!
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas 15 October | 11:19
I started using it at Jessamyn's recommendation, and like it. I don't use it amazingly much, but there's something kinda wonderful about wishing for a book and then having it arrive in your mailbox a couple weeks later. I've sent out a few and received a few. I've also failed the system a bit, in that people requested stuff and I was too busy to respond or whatever, which causes some reprimandy emails to come to you. But it's not a huge deal. It's not like there's really any negative to it - it's easy. In order to get my 10 books to start listing, I just went to the freebie barn at the dump and picked out a bunch of titles I was familiar with and expected people might want. Cost to me: 0.

I hate the interface a lot, though. It's got way too many layers and complications and is insanely verbose. If I could change one thing about it, it would be that: please, simplify.
posted by Miko 15 October | 13:42
username: MikoReads
posted by Miko 15 October | 13:45
I use it a lot, too, and had virtually no problems -- over the course of about a year, I've had about 90 exchanges (sent ~40, received ~50). I actually have to run to the post office this afternoon to mail three books that I'm due to send.

I agree with miko that the interface is annoying, but other than that, I have no complaints. Jessamyn's description of it being a slow-motion Netflix for books is exactly right. I love it!
posted by scody 15 October | 15:33
/.'ed || Bacon Chocolate Chip Pancakes