PaperBackSwap Blog

Archive for March, 2008

Dear Members, Newsletter – March 2008

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

March is…National Foot Health Month, National Furniture Refinishing Month, National Frozen Food Month, National Noodle Month, and National Peanut Month. We’re gonna celebrate by eating frozen Pad Thai with our pedicured feet on our refinished dining room table, every single day!  How about you?

Well, we have a way for you to celebrate March, no feet OR peanuts involved: it’s time for another Contest!  Yes, the 2,000,000-book Milestone Contest is here!  We are giving away huge prizes, and allowing for more winners than ever. The way it works: Each member gets one guess at the precise minute that the PBS library contains two million available books.  Yes, that means when the two-millionth available book is posted.  Remember that the counter at the top of the site records books as they are posted–as they are requested (or put on hold), the number may fall again.  But when the book is posted that puts the number of available books over 2 million, that is the winning time!  You can submit guesses here beginning Monday March 10, 2008 at 12 NOON ET, and you have until the counter at the top of the site shows 1,995,000 books to submit your guess.  We will announce the winners on the contest page when the results have been tabulated.   For rules and prize descriptions, please see the Contest Page on the site. Good luck to everyone!

On a more somber note, we were so touched to hear from one of our members, who recently lost her husband.   She wanted to send a message of thanks to all who contacted her.
“How do I say thank you to all of the wonderful PBSers, who have helped me through this most difficult time? Every day I get cards, flowers, gifts or just a PM saying “thinking of you.” Late at night when sleep eludes me, I come to PBS and it lifts me up to see how many have put my sunny avatar in their signature and how many have a kind word to say to or about me. I wish I could convey how loved and special each word, each gesture makes me feel. From Richard and Robert to many whose name I don’t recognize, the outpouring of love and support for me is overwhelming. Thank you for filling a portion of an empty heart.” Cozette (CozSnShine)
Cozette, our thoughts are with you.  Things like this remind us that PaperBackSwap is more than a bookswapping club–it really is a family.

We wish all of our PBS family a wonderful March and great reading!

Richard and Robert
and The PaperBackSwap Team

Gamers can’t get enough! Newsletter – March 2008

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Some members from AZ who play PBS Games in the Games Forum decided to extend their fun into real life.  Kathy W  (katlw) wrote in Some of us games gals in AZ had a little potluck and book swap. It was held at my house and we ate lunch, gabbed and of course, swapped books!   It was a total blast!” Thanks for the pics, Kathy!  Who got to keep all the books in that pile in front of you?  That’s what everyone wants  to know.

Pictured:    Left: The PBS Gals back r-l: Heather F, Samantha M, Staci T ; Front r-l: Kathy W, Lori M
Right: The PBS Kids R-L: Carson, Tannis, Tristan, Tati, Cait

Member of the Month – March 2008

Monday, March 3rd, 2008


Many members have tallied up nominations from others without even knowing it, hee hee.  But Tracey was the clear Winner for March.   Thanks to all who wrote in to nominate this, uh,  highly alluring tropical fruit!  From some of the messages we received nominating Tracey:

“Tracey has been fantastic about answering questions and making me feel very welcome here at PBS as well as in the Games….She has even dug around for answers to questions that I had, just because. She is truly one of your greatest assets.”

“She has been very helpful to all newer members of PBS, especially in the Games Forum.”

“She has created a lot of avatars and blinkies for people. If she can’t find one she thinks someone will like, she makes one up for them. Due to SexyP, a lot of us are no longer nekkid!”

“She’s helped me so much and helped me get into the games section which I’m now addicted to…She has been so kind in helping me through everything. She’s always there when you need her with a positive attitude and kindness. I love Tracey M.!”

So there you go, Tracey.  Your contributions to PBS have certainly not gone unnoticed, and we thank you for making PBS a friendly place for new members and old members alike.  You are our March Member of the Month!

If you have any nominations for Member of the Month, submit them to us here.  Your nomination will not “expire”–anyone you nominate will have a chance at getting Member of the Month if enough nominations accumulate over time. Each month the person who has the most votes accumulated gets to be Member of the Month and gets a newsletter mention and a nifty MoM icon to wear on profile and forum posts with pride. So go for it! Tell us who’s helped you in the Forums, who’s been a great swapper, who in your opinion is a credit to PBS.  We are keeping a list of all the nominated members.  Who knows–one of them might be YOU!

DEAR R&R, Newsletter – March 2008

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

Dear R&R–What the heck are all those tag things on book listings?  They bug me. I can’t make any sense of them.  Some are just abbreviations, some are people’s names, and some say things like “autographed copy”!  Does that mean that every copy of the book available in the system is an autographed copy?  Will I get an autographed copy if I order a book that has that tag on it?  What is going on here?–Tag-sick in Tulsa

Dear Tully,

Ah, the Tags.  So many members use them in so many ways.   The Tags can be used as personal notations–you can tag a book your sister recommended as “recommended by Tally”, or a book you want to take to the beach as “for Maui 2008”.    They can also be used as descriptors for the general book: you can describe the genre (“historical fiction” or “Paranormal romance”),  or the main character type (“colorblind protagonist” or “techno-geek main character”) or the setting (“set in texas” or “urban setting” or “Nova Scotia”) or even your personal recommendation (“great for 9 year old boy”, “better than the movie”).

Personal tags are less likely to be applied by many members, and so they won’t all show to all members once enough tags have accumulated for a book listing (only the top 15-used tags for a book listing will show to all members; each member’s applied tags always show to that member).  General tags are more likely to be applied by many members, and are intended to be helpful to the membership–they can give information about the book in general.  Clicking a tag on a listing for “set in texas” for example will bring up all of the books tagged this way with one click.   Which is nice if you are looking for a book set in Texas.

There is a problem with some tags: some members are trying to use them to describe their particular copies of the book–they are apparently unaware that this is ineffective and even confusing to requestors.  Books at PBS are requested in FIFO order.  So “Missing Dust Jacket” and “Autographed copy” can be applied by anyone to any book listing, but that will not mean that if you request that book your request will go to the member who applied that tag.  Ignore the tags that seem to describe particular copies of books.  All books posted at PBS should meet basic condition requirements; if requestors want to define more specific requirements, they need to use Requestor Conditions.

We have one member who is determined to improve the use of Tags on the site!  Kudos to Jane K. (mahbaar).  She has various “Tag Missions” to make Tags useful to the membership.  Jane, your industry and organizational abilities make our heads spin!  Check out Jane’s Tag Missions by searching the Discussion Forums for “Making Tags Useful” or go to any of the threads directly:

Mission #1Mission #2Mission #3, Mission #4, Mission #5, Mission #6, Mission #7, Mission #8, Mission #9Mission #10

You can also turn tags off completely in your account settings, if you like.  You can read more about the Tag feature in the Help Center (search the Help Docs for “Book Tags” or just “Tags”).  We do have some improvements and expansion planned for this feature; these are on our list of things to get to in our continuous process of upgrading the site.

Dear R&R–I am what is known as a “snowbird” –I have two residences, each of which I live in part of the year.  Obviously, I have books in both places.  How can I manage my PBS Bookshelf to show only those books I have access to while I am in one of my homes?  Do I have to unpost my whole bookshelf and repost the books each time?  –Peripatetic PBSer

Dear Perry,

Good news!  Since the Bookshelf Upgrade, you are now able to put individual books on hold on your bookshelf.  Which means you can put the summer books on hold just before you move to your winter location, and vice versa.  When you are getting ready to head to your warm-weather locale, go to your bookshelf and click to place a checkmark in the boxes next to those books you will be leaving in your winter home.  Then click the Hold button on the top right of the Bookshelf to apply the hold to those books.  You should put your whole account on hold while you are in transit (so you don’t miss any requests or Wish list books); then when you get to your Winter location, you can unHold whatever books you have with you that you want to swap, and also UnHold your account.   This will save you lots of posting-unposting-reposting time.  You can even use the Tags (see above) to tag your books with codes for your two homes, so it’s easy to tell which ones are where.

You can read more about the recent changes to your Bookshelf in the Help Doc Bookshelf Upgrade under What’s New in the Help Center.

Ooh, we want two houses, too!  Wait…um…that would mean two houses to maintain, and two mortgages….okay, we still think it’s neat that you do this, Perry, but when it gets cold, we’ll just put on a sweater. 🙂

Dear R&R–Did you know that most paperback books/board books/dust covers can be cleaned up with ordinary rubbing alcohol dabbed on with a soft white cloth?  It makes them looks almost like new, takes off sticky stuff and most smudges.  —Marie T.

No we sure didn’t Marie, but now we do! Thanks for telling us.  We are sure many members will find this tip useful!