PaperBackSwap Blog

Archive for January, 2011

Dear Librarian: All Snowed In, Returned Book

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Dear Librarian – We were hit by the big blizzard and we’re snowed in!  I promised to mail a book by tomorrow.  I don’t think we’ll have the car dug out by then.  What should I do?  Can I get an extension on the deadline?  – Buried in Boston

Dear BB,

Seems like everyone has been affected by snow storms this month.  We don’t want you to risk life and limb to mail the book of course!  There isn’t any way to extend the deadline in the system (the software isn’t designed for that) so in this situation, the best thing to do is to (1) not mail the book and let the transaction cancel (or cancel it yourself) – then repost the book when you are able to send it OR (2) read the Help doc “Can I send a book later?” in the Help Center and follow the instructions there.  They tell you how to contact the requestor and ask if it’s OK to mail later, and they remind you that if the requestor consents to the late mailing you have to mark the book mailed before the deadline (even if you haven’t mailed it yet!) so that the transaction doesn’t cancel.

Whichever way you go, stay safe at home!  We hope you have a lot of good books to read while you’re snowed in. 🙂

Dear Librarian – I sent a book but it came back to me!  What happened? What should I do –Boomerang in Belmont

Dear Bella,

A book can be returned for a number of reasons: if you forgot the postage, or the address was illegible, or if the requestor moved while the book was en route.  Since Media Mail is not typically forwarded, requestors are responsible for ensuring that a current, dependable mailing address is on every request.

What you should do now is contact the requestor, to check the address, and read the Help doc “A book I sent was returned to me!” in the Help Center.  This explains all of the common reasons a book gets returned, and has information about what to do in each case.  As the Help doc explains, if the requestor doesn’t respond to your Personal Message within 5 days, you should send in feedback from the Contact Us page on the site, and we’ll look into the situation.

One timely tip for this wet and snowy season – remember that a layer of plastic inside the package will protect your book against moisture damage, and a single layer of clear shipping tape over the TO: address on the package can keep the ink from running, and help your package get to its destination!

  • As always, don’t forget to start your Amazon shopping from the link at the top of the PBS site – when you do this, a small percentage of your purchase amount comes to us.  Please note that if you are an e-book reader, it used to be that e-book purchases at Amazon did not count to support the PBS site, but now they do! So whenever you plan to purchase on Amazon, start from the Amazon link at the top of the PBS site. It’s an easy, free way to support the club!

Member of the Month

Monday, January 24th, 2011


If you have spent any time in our Discussion Forums, you know Greg. He’s the one whose posts make you spit coffee onto your keyboard.  He’s the one who shares the funniest links – we don’t know where he finds them – and most surprising stories!  Many members wrote in, all saying the same thing –  basically, “Thanks to Greg for brightening my day!”  One of Greg’s recent posts began:

Here’s one that’s cool because it’s true: the sum total of written human knowledge can be contained in a single line notched on a stick.

(See Greg’s explanation for this statement in the post here.)

We’ll get around to notching this on a stick at some point but for now, accept our digital thanks for brightening so many members’ days with your gentle wit and your always-positive, often thought-provoking and usually hilarious posts. 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!

Local Book Club News

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

PBS Local Chapter News

We know the holidays kept you busy but now that the new year’s underway, we’re sure our Chapters have meetups and events scheduled.  We’d love to share some Chapter news – if you have some, please submit it to us!

New Local Chapter Leaders:

  • Karen P. – karenrn –   Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, MI

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.

Newsletter Contest – Winner of #3, and Challenge #4

Friday, January 21st, 2011

If you recall, the challenge for Contest #3 was to answer questions about Christmas in literature.  The questions were:

(1) Who found a stolen jewel hidden in Christmas dinner? This one had two answers: Colonel Lacey (in The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, by Agathie Christie) and Peterson’s wife (in The Blue Carbuncle by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle).  We also accepted Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes.

(2) Who got a dress with stylish sleeves for a special Christmas present? Most of you knew that this was Anne Shirley, in Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

(3) What bestselling humorist wrote about Dutch Christmas traditions in his fifth book of humor essays? Some of you stumbled here – this was David Sedaris (his essay “Six to Eight Black Men”).

(4) What classic Irish novella set at Christmastime ends with the main character standing and watching the snow falling? As some of you  pointed out, we stumbled here- the character was not standing, but lying down at the end of the story.  It was “The Dead” by James Joyce.

And the lucky winner, chosen at random from the correct answers, is…Elizabeth B. (Cattriona)! She gets 10 Book Credits.  Happy reading, Beth!

This month’s Challenge: Identify the following character in literature.

I am a character in a fictional book.  The book’s story takes place when I am a teenager.  My full first name is a French word (though I am not French) and my nickname sounds Greek. The book is primarily about my time at sea for nearly a year under unusual circumstances. Rumors of plagiarism surfaced after the book won a prize.  A movie based on the book is being made right now.  Who am I?

Each member may submit one entry.  Your guess can be sent in a Personal Message to Gamester. (Please note: guesses sent in by any other means – email, feedback, PM to any account but Gamester- will not count and will be discarded.) The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the correct answers submitted by the time the next Newsletter goes to press, and the winner will be announced in the next Newsletter

Let’s trade books!

Friday, January 21st, 2011

The following books are available to trade.

Predator by Patricia Cornwell . In an abandoned house in the rural South, a woman is held against her will. Her captor is unknown to her-and indeed unseen – but even in the dark, she knows that he is near.  Meanwhile, Kay Scarpetta and her colleagues – Benton Wesley, Pete Marino, and her niece Lucy Farinelli – investigate a series of forensic cases as haunting as any they have ever tackled. See other suspense books currently available for swapping.

Divine by Karen Kingsbury. Mary Madison was a child of unspeakable horrors, a young woman society wanted to forget. Now a divine power has set Mary free to bring life-changing hope and love to battered and abused women living in the shadow of the nation’s capital. Best-selling author Karen Kingsbury weaves another dramatic story of tragedy and redemption.   See other Christian Fiction selections currently available for swapping.
If Only In My Dreams by Wendy Markham.  Imagine Clara McCallum’s astonishment when she steps off an old-fashioned locomotive from a movie set and finds herself whisked back in time to 1941, and into the arms of Jed Landry, a man whom Clara has read about and studied, a man who is very much alive in 1941 but whom she knows will die a hero at Normandy three years later-or is it 62 years ago?  See other Paranormal Romance books currently available for swapping.
The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse . Mila creates headlines around the world when she is rescued from an unpopulated island off the coast of Florida. Now a teenager, she has been raised by dolphins from the age of four.  Researchers teach Mila language and music. She learns, too, about rules and expectations, about locked doors and broken promises, disappointment and betrayal. — The more Mila finds out what it means to be human, the more deeply she longs for her ocean home. Browse other books for age 9-12 currently available for swapping.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger On the surface, Henry and Clare Detamble are a normal couple living in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Henry works at the Newberry Library and Clare creates abstract paper art, but the cruel reality is that Henry is a prisoner of time. It sweeps him back and forth at its leisure, from the present to the past, with no regard for where he is or what he is doing. Yes, it’s as good as everyone has told you – if you have not read this book, you’ve missed out!  Browse other General Fiction books currently available for swapping.

Great New Books in the PBS Market

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Violet on the Runway by Melissa Walker . Violet Greenfield’s life changes forever when Angela Blythe from Tryst Models in New York City wants to put Violet on a plane and whisk her from high school into the world of high-heeled boots and oversized sunglasses. Tall, skinny Violet, who’s been P-L-A-I-N practically forever. And guess what? She’s going… See more Young Adult books currently available in the Market.

Retail Price: $9.99

Buy New (Paperback): $1.59+1 credit (save 84%) or $4.99 (save 50%)

Demon Ex Machina: Tales of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom (Kate Connor, Bk 5) Demon Hunter Kate Connor is having a crazy month. Demon patrols, teaching self-defense classes to the local moms, a teenage daughter who’s gung-ho on being a demon slayer in training and a toddler son entering a tantrum phase… On top of it all, Kate has to find a way to release the demon possessing her first husband, Eric… Browse currently available Paranormal Romance books in the Market.

Retail Price: $14.00

Buy New (Paperback): $7.09+1 credit (save 49%) or $10.49 (save 25%)

Friday Night Bites: Kick off the Weekend with Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family by Karen Berman. Take the whole gang on a trip through the imagination with food and activities for all ages.This cookbook offers up 20 different dinners and over 100 recipes to make dinnertime fun again! There are jobs for kids and adults, and every meal includes appetizers, main courses, side dishes, and a fun dessert. See more books on Cooking, Food and Wine currently available in the Market.

Retail Price: $14.95

Buy New (Paperback): $2.09+1 credit (save 86%) or $5.49 (save 63%)

Even Money by Felix Francis, Dick Francis. When a gray-haired man steps forward from the Royal Ascot crowd claiming to be his father, Ned’s life is thrown into turmoil. He’d been told since he was a baby that his parents had died in a car crash. Barely an hour later, his newly found father is stabbed by an unknown assailant in the Ascot parking lot. Blood oozing from his abdomen, his father warns Ned to “be very careful.” But of whom? Of what? See other Thrillers currently available in the Market.

Retail Price: $26.95

Buy New (Hardcover): $4.09+1 credit (save 84%) or $7.49 (save 72%)

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay Julia Jarmond, American by birth, is married to the arrogant, unfaithful French Bertrand. She learns that the Paris apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by his family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to them… Browse other General Fiction books currently available in the Market.

Retail Price: $13.95

Buy New (Paperback): $7.09+1 credit (save 49%) or $10.49 (save 24%)

Dear Members

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Well, you just never know who you are going to run into or where!  Recently I was attending an Atlanta Falcons Monday night football game.  I had just parked my car and there was a large group tailgating in the next spot.  They were in a lively mood so I stopped to say “Hello,” and we started talking.

They were chatting about books, which was a little odd, right before a football game. So I then asked if they had ever heard of PaperBackSwap? They all started laughing and saying that they were just talking about our club!   Well, imagine their surprise when I told them that I was the Founder of PBS. One of them (at right in the picture below) mentioned that he was in graduate school at Georgia State and commented that he had “saved tons of money swapping books”.

Richard and Jacob.  (Thanks to Jacob for the photo.)

It was a great to run into this group of bookswappers out of the blue like that, and a real shot in the arm to know that our club is helping this young man with his studies. Best of luck to Jacob and all our PBS students out there!

Speaking from snowy Atlanta – this new year is full of surprises!  We hope all of your surprises are good ones.

Stay safe and warm,
Richard and
The PaperBackSwap Team