PaperBackSwap Blog


Archive for July, 2009

Founder & Member featured guests on ABC 33/40 of Birmingham

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Last week local Birmingham member Becky Reardon and I were featured guests on Birmingham’s ABC 33/40. Check it out below!

Who would have thought we would be getting so much great press and media coverage only 4 years after the start-up? It was not very long ago that we only had 500,000 books available to swap! I would like to thank the PBS Team for their hard work, but I know we couldn’t have done it without our core members helping to spread the word about how fun and easy it is to swap books, CD’s, and DVD’s.

Thanks again,
Richard Pickering

Dear Librarian,

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Dear Librarian- Why doesn’t the site “remember me” when I go to log in?  I click that box on the Login page to “remember me” but every time I come back I have to fill in my login information.  Why doesn’t this work? — Forgotten in Fairmont

Dear Monty,

Login information is remembered by your browser, using a “cookie” (a little bit of information stored on your computer).  Your login information will be remembered by your browser indefinitely as long as you log in here at least once every two weeks and don’t clear cookies in your browser during that time.

The following actions will cause your login information to be deleted:

– clicking the Logout link in the upper right corner of the page
– deleting the cookies from your computer (this may be done manually or by an automated cleanup program setting or by your reboot)
– waiting more than two weeks since your previous login

Additionally, you will not have access to the previously remembered login information if any of the following are true:

– you use a different computer
– you login to Windows using a different user name
– you switch to a different browser (e.g. from IE7 to Firefox)

Most members who have experienced the problem of being “forgotten” by the login page are either clicking the Logout link, or have found that they have some software installed that cleans up their browser cookies for them.

Dear Librarian- I saw that there is a “textbook exception” that allows textbooks to be posted if they have underlining or highlighting or writing in them.  How do you define a textbook?  What if I have a novel that was used in a class?  – Hesitant in Hattiesburg

Dear Hattie,

The “textbook exception”  has three parts, really.  Each one is very important, and together they help the textbook exception work well in the club.  First, the textbook exception allows textbooks to be posted with writing/highlighting/underlining (no non-textbooks may be posted with such markings). Second, the textbook exception includes the stipulation that the sender write a Personal Message to the requestor describing the book’s condition and third (and most important!), the sender must receive a Personal Message in reply from the requestor, agreeing to the described condition, BEFORE sending the book. If the requestor does not respond, or declines the book in its condition, the sender must NOT send the book – the sender must let the system cancel, or cancel it by clicking “cancel order”.

This requirement of a PM exchange with the requestor accepting the book means that it is not possible for a sender who is following the rules to send a “surprise” highlighted/written in book to a requestor.   For that reason, it does not matter what the sender considers a textbook – if it has markings that will allow it to be posted only if it is a textbook, then the sender is bound by the textbook exception rules to describe it in a PM, and must receive a reply PM consenting to its condition, before sending it. In this way, matters will naturally sort themselves out: the math textbook that a requestor would expect to have writing in it will be accepted when it is described, while the novel that is read for a class will probably NOT be accepted when it is described.  The sender needs to decline if the requestor refuses the book in its condition.  At some point (after enough refusals from requestors), the member who is trying to send a novel as a textbook will realize that since it is not generally perceived as a textbook, it will probably not be possible to send out a marked-up version of that book here.

Hope that helps clarify this issue! You can read the textbook exception in the Help Center, of course, in the Help doc “Book Condition Criteria”.

COMING SOON:

  • new feature on the Book Details page
  • projects coming out of beta-testing
  • new stuff in the PBS Store!

Member of the Month – July

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Jane K (mahbaar)

Comments we got with nominations for Jane:

“...Her “Making Tags Useful Missions” are outstanding and a great help to lots of club members. In addidition, she’s always a polite and helpful member of many, many discussion threads.

“[she’s] always fair minded and discusses things in a positive manner…”

“She’s always ready with the Margarator to mix up a batch of cool cyber-drinks, to chill the forums out and keep everyone smiling.

Jane, you clearly “hit the spot” with the membership!  You are our Member of the Month for July.  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!

PBS Local Book Club Chapter News:

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

New Local Chapter Leaders:

If you want to be a Local Chapter Leader for PBS, you just need to have a PBS NIckname, a viewable public profile, and some organizational skills…check the Local Chapter Leaders Forum List of Official Chapters to see if your area already has a local Chapter.  If not, and you want to do this, just contact us.  There are no formal guidelines for being a Chapter Leader.  All of the information is in the Local Chapter Leader Discussion Forum topic.    If you are an official Chapter Leader and want us to include your upcoming meetup in the Newsletter, send in a message to us with the date, at least a week before the end of the preceding month.

Summer Reads for July (Book Recommendations)

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Look at these temporally relevant books, currently available to request…


Mysteries/Thrillers… Fourth of July. If you haven’t read the Women’s Murder Club series, what are you waiting for?  This tremendously popular group of books has enthralled mystery lovers from book one.  

Literary Fiction Independence Day. Frank Bascombe (introduced in the earlier book The Sportswriter), is in the aftermath of his divorce and the ruin of his career.  Over one Fourth of July weekend, Frank is called into sudden, bewildering engagement with life.  Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1996.
Childrens …Judy Moody Declares Independence.   A visit to Boston spurs Judy’s interest in Revolutionary heroes and heroines, and she’s soon on a quest for more independence. Ages 9-12.  Also check out The Declaration of Independence in the Abby Hayes series, for younger readers (4-8).
Historical Romance … Sweet Liberty: Freedom and Love Reign at Four Historical Fourth of July Celebrations. Four women, at four different historical periods in American history, are poised on the brink of freedom. Liberty–sweet liberty–can take many forms; how will they find their way to theirs?
Memoir... Born on the Fourth of July. Ron Kovics’ powerful memoir was a New York Times bestseller.  It details the author’s life story (portrayed by Tom Cruise in the Oliver Stone film version) from a patriotic soldier in Vietnam, to his severe battlefield injury, to his role as the country’s most outspoken anti-Vietnam War advocate, spreading his message from his wheelchair.

TIPS & TRICKS:

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

If you are going on vacation, as so many do at this time of year, don’t forget to use the Vacation Hold feature!  It’s linked from the top of your Bookshelf and you can read about using it in the Help Center.  It’s easy to use and it will prevent you from missing requests and Wish List offers while you are away from home.

New “Receipts” link on the My Account main page – Now you can see a list of your PBS Kiosk transactions, from your Account page.   Click Receipts at the top of your My Account main page, then click on the transaction number to view the receipt for any purchase made after February, 2008.

How to spread the word…old school! Bookmarks and flyers are great ways to tell people about PaperBackSwap, SwapaDVD and SwapaCD.  We want to update them, and we thought we’d get your input on that.  So hop over to the PBS Blog and weigh in.  Suggestions will not be taken by feedback – the Blog is the place!

News! -What’s New?

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

We have winners of the Twitter Background Design Contest!   Check out the PBS Blog for the winners, and links to the winning designs.

Speaking of the Blog…did you see the recent author interview with Mindy Friddle?  We plan more author interviews for the future, so keep checking back on the blog.  There’s a lot going on there!  You can reach the PBS Blog from the link under Community at the top of any page on the site.

Smarter, faster, more productive…it’s the Bionic Search! The Search has been improved, so that you can more easily find the books you are looking for.  Not only will the search results display to show more relevant results at the top, but also if you make a typo while entering your search terms you will be offered an option to see the results for the spelling the system thinks you might have intended.  Try searching the site for “Charlene Harris”  or  “Harry Poter”  to see what we mean.

PBS Store News: Car Magnets are finally here!  Members have been asking for these forever.  It took us a long time to find a vendor who could provide quality at a decent price.  The rectangular magnets are 8 inches x 5 inches and won’t mar your car like a bumper sticker would.  We also have a new stock of soft bookcovers in the Kiosk, in four sizes and many patterns.  These items sell fast, so get your order in!   These keep your reading material private, as well as protect your books and make them easy to hold.