PaperBackSwap Blog

Archive for January, 2009

Dear Members, Newsletter – January 2009

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

2009, are you kidding?   When did that happen!
You know, oftentimes we start out a new year with firm plans to change something in our lives that we are really serious about wanting to change.  Then as the days turn into months, those commitments can slip out of our minds….  When I think back, I can hardly remember any of the resolutions that I have made over the years.

I thought that it would be interesting for us to make a place for members to list your New Year’s Resolutions on the site.  Then next year (2010!) we can all look back and see how we did.
Simply click here and add your Resolutions.  Maybe you have one thing you really want to do this year.  Or two.  Or three!  State them boldly there for everyone to see!   And don’t forget to check out the new Forums (see NEWS, below) for help with getting greener, getting fitter, and saving money.

2009 should be an interesting year.  The country is facing a lot of challenges, but we’ve withstood worse in the past and come through stronger and better.  We believe that better times are ahead, and we’re happy to say that bookswapping is not languishing at all.  We hit two new records in this new year already – most books posted in one day hit a new high on January 3rd, and the next day a record number of books were requested!   Thanks so much as always for making our club the best book swap site on the Internet; we plan great things for this year and we’re glad you’ll be part of it.
We do wish each and every one of you the very best for 2009,

Richard and
the PaperBackSwap Team

NEWS: Newsletter – January 2009

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

We have heard your cries! Yes, the chant (What do we want? Printed Postage for Box-O-Books! When do we want it? Real soon!) has finally been answered.   All you Boxers can give your vocal cords a rest because Printable Postage for Box-O-Books is now available!  (Yay, Team!) You can read about the Box-O-Books service here.

New Forums! Yes, we have lovely new icons in the Discussion Forums, if we do say so ourselves…AND new Forums to boot!  Check ’em out:

Health & Fitness Forum

Going Green

Money Saving Tips

Postal Rate increase. NOT for Media Mail or First Class mail, folks, which are the only rates we recommend using here!  But for those of you who sometimes use Priority Mail, here’s a heads -up from USPS:  On January 18, 2009, prices will change for Express Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service and some international shipping products. Overall, shipping services prices will increase an average of 5 percent. The new prices are available at http://www.usps.com/prices  (click “New Shipping Prices” box). Don’t worry if you are a typical PBS member who uses Media Mail or First Class mail – this change won’t affect you.

Thank you! We appreciate how many people have given credits and/or money to become Friends of PBS.  We applaud your generous spirits, and please know that with each donation you are helping PBS stay strong and grow better!  Members can give here, and see the list of local and recently-added friends here.

TIPS & TRICKS: Newsletter – January 2009

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Just a reminder… Writing on text pages, underlining and highlighting are not allowed in books posted here for swapping.  Writing on the flyleaf (inside blank page or inside cover) is fine.  There is an exception for textbooks and cookbooks – read the Book Condition Guidelines for a full explanation of this.   Just flip through books before you post them, to make sure they meet guidelines – if they don’t, don’t post them!  You can still swap damaged books in the Book Bazaar Discussion Forum – you just can’t post the books to your bookshelf if they don’t meet swapping criteria. All righty?  All righty!

Books You May Have Missed: Newsletter – January 2009

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

Check out these books, currently available to request right now! These come highly recommended by the PaperBackSwap Team.

MemoirBetween a Rock and a Hard Place is one of the most extraordinary survival stories ever told. Aron Ralston’s searing account of his six days trapped in one of the most remote spots in America, and how one inspired act of bravery brought him home, will stay with you long after you have finished the book.
Contemporary FictionLight on Snow Walking through new-fallen snow in the forest near their home, twelve year old Nicky Dillon and her father come upon something inconceivable: there, in the pristine winter scene, an abandoned infant wails… A brilliant and beautiful contemporary novel about love and memory from the author of the bestselling novels All He Ever Wanted and The Pilot’s Wife.
How-to … This book sets down some clean-up guidelines even pack rats can live with!  How to Conquer Clutter covers everything alphabetically and can get you started on that New Year’s resolution of finally getting organized.
Classic Literature… The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other StoriesA female writer looking for seclusion and inspiration in the coastal town of Dunnet Landing, Maine…this remarkable volume weaves a colorful and moving tapestry of the grand complexities, joys, and beauties of life.

General Fiction…Peace Like a River…Eleven-year-old Reuben Land has reason to believe in miracles. Along with his sister and father, Reuben finds himself on a cross-country search for his outlaw older brother … Their journey unfolds like a revelation, and its conclusion shows how family, love, and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies.

Member of the Month – January 2009

Friday, January 2nd, 2009


We have gotten SO many reports about Jacquelyn’s kindness and helpfulness as a Tour Guide. She has done so much to help new (and even not-so-new) members navigate the site, and they write in spontaneously to let us know. Some of the comments we have gotten:

“Somehow I got stuck putting my wish list on a vacation hold, though I have no plans to go anywhere any time soon (unfortunately). I could not find a way of removing the hold, so … I contacted a Tour Guide. She was very, very nice and competent and I’d like to mention her by name: Jacquelyn O. (JJO)”

“Due to the hurricane, I was out of electricity for 9 days. It just got up tonight, and I found that books had been ordered and eventually cancelled due to my not responding….[Jacquelyn’s] answer sure took care of a lot of questions I have for now and for the future!! She is terrific.”

“I’m not very computer-savvy…I was feeling a little intimidated, but Jacquelyn helped me get started and now I feel at home.  She is really wonderful – give her a gold star!”

I’m sure I asked her questions she has answered many times before, but she didn’t act like that was the case…She seemed really glad to help me and was very friendly…”

Jacquelyn, you have really made an impression on the members who ask you for help – you are a behind-the-scenes angel and a true PBS Ambassador!  We thank you for all of your help and kindness Guiding other members.  You are our Member of the Month for January.  Congratulations!

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 when the Newsletter goes to press 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 LIBRARIAN, Newsletter – January 2009

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Dear Librarian-Please please please please do NOT send out emails reminding us to mail on the weekends or on holidays.   The post office is CLOSED!!  – Aggrieved in Altoona

Dear  Aggie,

Please please please please do not select a mail-by date that is on a weekend or holiday, when you accept a request.  The post office is closed!

Seriously- the PBS system works on calendar days.   We do mean to put some alerts into the system to tell members when they are choosing postal holidays as their mailby dates (and to prevent doing that), but we haven’t been able to get to that item on our (oh-so-long) To Do list yet.   In the meantime, remember that reminder emails won’t go out if the book is marked mailed on time; to prevent getting any of these, the sender needs to keep postal holidays and the like in mind when choosing the mail-by date at the time of accepting a book.  You have a grace period after the mailby date you choose – just be sure that you can actually mail before the deadline, and you will not have any problems with this.
Dear Librarian-  Can foreign-language books be listed under their own section so we can find them easily?   – Polyglot in Peoria

Dear Polly,

We work with a database that is compiled elsewhere, and we are limited to their genres/subgenres.  But there are a lot of ways to find foreign-language books on the site.  And there are a lot of ways to help foreign-language-seeking requestors find the books they are looking for!  For example:

  • Genre search:
    • Use the Book Browser to search for Literature and Fiction > World Literature , choosing the geographic area of interest as a sub-subgenre.
  • Libres en Espanol:
    • The database does have a genre for Libros en Espanol – this is one of the “popular genres’ in the list on the Browse by Genre area.  To do this search, click Search at the top of the site, then click the Browse By Genre tab on the Search page, and you will see the Popular Genres list.
  • Book Tags:
    • Many books in foreign languages have been tagged by members with a corresponding Book Tag.  An easy way to find these tagged books is to tag a book you know is in Russian (for example) with the tag “Russian language”.  Then just click that tag you just created on the book listing to see all of the listings that bear the same tag.  This is an excellent, club-useful implementation of Book Tags.  You can read more about Book Tags in the Help Center.
  • Change the title using the Edit Book Data link:
    • If you have a book in a foreign language, help others find the book by adding the language information to the title, in parentheses : “(Lithuanian Language Edition)” after the title will make it very easy for requestors to know that your book is in Lithuanian!  You can use the Edit Book Data link at the bottom of any page on the site to submit these title amendments to our Data Correction Volunteers who will need to review the information before it can be approved and added to the site.
  • Keyword search:
    • Put “French language” (for example)  into the search space at the top of the site. Any books that have this phrase in the book description information or in the title will be found using this search.
  • Publisher search:
    • If you go to a listing for a book in the language you seek – click the publisher name to see all of the other books from that same publisher.

We hope this helps you Polly!  We wish you des echanges joyeux, los intercambios felices, das glückliche Tauschen, as trocas felizes, de gelukkige uitwisselingen and gli scambi felici!