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Archive for the ‘A Word from the PBS Team’ Category

PBS School Donation Program 2012

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Books for Schools

Our 2011 Program is underway!  This is Books for Schools’ third year, and we are honored to feature deserving schools from all over our great country from South Carolina to Oklahoma to Alaska to Colorado to Louisiana and many more! Thank you for your nominations. We’ll feature several schools at a time and as their book goals are met, we’ll add new ones.  We have over two dozen schools in the program this year.


A simple thing like your unused credits can make all the difference in a child’s life. At PaperBackSwap, we believe in both the power of reading and the power of giving. For each credit you donate, PaperBackSwap and our supporting organizations will provide a new book for a school. That means the school you choose will be getting the books they need for classrooms, libraries and for the kids to have as their very own!

This holiday season, let’s come together to help educate and support children in need all over our great country.


Thanks for joining us in making a real difference in the education of these kids!

 The PaperBackSwap Team


“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”  ~  Aesop, The lion and the mouse


Click here to go to the Books for Schools page.


These kids are so thankful and excited to open the boxes of new books and choose something that catches their eye. For some, this is may be the only book they get to keep for their very own. We couldn’t do it without our members’ generous spirit and donations of credits.


If you have more questions about this program, please read
the FAQs About Books for Schools.

If you know of an elementary school in need, suggest it here.


Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday dear PBS…..

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

By Deana (PBSDeana) – PaperBackSwap Team



That’s right, it’s our 7th birthday!

We’ve passed some great milestones in the last year including 5 million books posted, the 10 millionth book mailed and received, donating over 32,000 books to schools & 17,500 books to the military.  We’ve also swapped hundreds of thousands of books and added plenty of fantastic new features to make the Club even better.   We’ve added new members, made new friends, found new authors we never would have tried, played games, laughed and shared and cried with each other, and learned so much along the way.   We are delighted to see how the Club has grown and evolved in the past 7 years, and look forward to many more years reading together.

It’s no secret that all of our volunteers and members are what makes PBS the wonderful community it is today. In celebration of all of you that have made the last seven years so incredible, the PBS Team is turning the tables and giving YOU the birthday gifts!  We are a group of readers, so of course there’s no better present than book credits!

To enter our Happy Birthday to Us Drawing, just respond to this post and tell us how long you’ve been a member of PBS.  If you aren’t sure how long you’ve been a member, you can find it in “My Profile” under “My Account”.  If you haven’t chosen a nickname or made a profile yet, now would be a great time.  Simply go to “My Account”, choose “Settings” and click “Set Up a Profile”.  You can also see the date you joined on each forum post you write.

We will draw 7 responses at random to receive 7 credits each!  The contest will end on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm. We will announce the 7 winners of 7 credits each on Wednesday,  September 7, 2011.  Do you see a pattern here?

Good luck, and go eat a piece of cake for us!

A Word From the Founder – New Perspectives

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Most often when I pick up a book, I have no agenda; I just want to read for pure enjoyment.  Without realizing it, though, I usually take away a message when reading a book that changes my view of  life, family, and friends – and even people I’ve never met!

Two of my most recent reads are good examples.

When I started reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, I had little knowledge of the restaurant industry – other than eating in them regularly.  The book gave me an insider’s look at what goes on in the kitchen and behind the scenes of many restaurants.  It completely changed my perspective.  For me, the book was about a lot more than just cooking.  It was about career choices and the decisions that we make along the way.  This book highlighted the winding path that Bourdain took to become the TV star and celebrity that he is today.  The book was even more intriguing knowing he wrote and published it before he became famous.  Now in its second printing, this memoir has received considerably more attention and readership that he never would have found during his first printing without his TV show.

Kitchen Confidential

Devouring books as always, I also just finished reading Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson.  The story revolves around a number of individuals who all come together to locate and search for the name of a missing German U Boat from WWII. While this may not sound enticing to some of you on the surface (pun intended), it has a much deeper (I just can’t help myself) exploration of the challenges that we encounter in our lives and how we deal with them.  This story evolved in the 1990’s and deals with the issues of many explorers and the issues that they face. This book helps you to understand why sane men pursue exploration and the fears that they must face along the way. Along the way, we discover through them that our own lives have repeated parallels even though very few of us embark upon such daring exploits. Many of us must come to grips with the death of our friends, marriages that went awry, and the effects of alcohol and how it destroys lives of people we care about. It also gives great insight into the passion that drives men to challenge themselves in a risky adventure.

Shadow Divers

To put it simply, there is not a book that I have read that does not lead me to new questions and deeper insights.  What about you?  What have you read that makes you stop and think about things from a new perspective?  I look forward to reading your thoughts and opinions.

A Word From the Founder – My Nuclear Reaction

Monday, March 21st, 2011

The ubiquitous topic on every news station and on the minds of much of the world is the effect of Japan’s recent 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami on their nuclear power plants. There has been news of power outages causing meltdowns and explosions, which have in turn caused radiation leaks. Residents near the reactors have been advised to stay indoors or evacuate the area, and it seems unclear exactly how far-reaching the threat of poisonous radiation is.

Witnessing all this through the protective screen of my television, I cannot begin to imagine how confusing and frightening this must be for those experiencing it firsthand.

I grew up during the Cold War. The threat of a Russian-made ICBM delivering a nuclear warhead cruising towards the United States at any moment would send chills down my spine. I remember sitting in the halls of my elementary school, hunched in a ball with my head between my knees, and teachers telling us not to worry, and that this was probably just another false alarm. Probably? How did they know for sure? The reality was – none of us really knew.

We heard about the possibility of a nuclear attack almost every night on the news. Some people built bomb shelters. Some stocked up on food and water supplies. Everyone believed that it was only a matter of time before some rogue soldier sitting in a silo thousands of miles away was going to push the button and start WWIII.  It was just a matter of time.

We lived with that threat daily. What could you do? Pray and wait. Hope it never happened. I suspect that this is the same feeling the people who live around the nuclear reactors felt in Japan. Afraid of the possibility of a leak, aware of the risk, but unable to do anything but hope the threat would not become reality.

Now that reality is all too real.

Though Japan’s government and citizens are reportedly handling the situation impeccably, that doesn’t mean they aren’t facing fear and genuine concern for their country’s well-being. My thoughts and prayers go out to them – especially all of those that have been directly impacted by this crisis. I admire the brave workers who are exposing themselves to dangerous amounts of radiation in hopes of saving others; they are true heroes. I appreciate the officials and residents who are generously rationing resources and selflessly working together toward recovery.

In moments of tragedy, we have to look for the positive.  I hope, not just Japan, but the whole world comes out of this ordeal with more preparation and a stronger sense of unity. Because we all know what it is to be afraid, or to worry, and regardless of what burdens we bear or catastrophes we encounter, there is comfort in knowing that we are not alone. 

May God bless each of you and keep you safe.


A Post from the Founder – A St. Patrick’s Day secret

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

One of our programmers, Len, shared a St. Patrick’s Day secret about me this morning in the Club Members’ Thoughts discussion forum:  

Richard P., the PBS Founder, can look at a patch of clover and immediately spot the four-leafed ones. I’ve known one other person who could do that, and it wasn’t Chuck Norris.

I’m thinking of spilling a box of toothpicks next time RP’s around to see if he counts them instantly. If so, we’ll know he buys his underpants at K-Mart 🙂

Have you ever known someone with this kind of 4-leaf  clover radar? How do you think they do it?

Since I’ve been “outed”, I thought I would share a little about my talent!  Ever since I was a little kid, I have had this fairly unique ability to look down at a patch of clovers and almost immediately pick out a four leaf clover.  Many times I can find several at one time in the same patch.  My brother John has the same ability – so it must run in the family! 

Often times I will simply be walking along a path and glance down – and reach for a four leaf clover.  When friends are nearby, they are always amazed.  

This group of 4 leaf clovers was from last year.   I was out with my girlfriend’s kids and they challenged me to find one as we walked along a path.  Within seconds I had found not one – but over 20!  One thing that you rarely ever see in life is a 5 leaf clover.  I have only found about a dozen in my life.  In the top left of this group, there is a 5 leaf clover.  I decided to make this one into a collage of sorts and gave it to my girlfriend – thus the “Mom” in the middle. 

So on this St. Patrick’s Day, I want to wish you the very best of luck and that you find your own 4 leaf clover – Or I can find one for you!


A Word From The Founder – The View From Here

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

I knew that this fateful day was coming.  I’ve been “almost 50” for several years now.  Truthfully, I have been somewhat dreading it.  I kept looking up at the top of the hill, knowing that one day I would be over it, plodding on into unfamiliar territory.  And now that day is here.

So now I’m supposed to be over this hill?  If I had to sum up my life in a word, “climbing” is as good a description as any for what I’ve been doing for the past half-century.  While I stressed over this milestone for several years, it doesn’t seem so daunting now that I’m here.  In fact, I see now that there’s plenty of climbing left to do and that there are many other peaks ahead of me.  I’m tempted to ask, “So, what’s the big deal here?”  This 50 thing is not as bad as I had always contemplated.  I feel the same as I did yesterday.  I am as active as I was yesterday, and I still have the same responsibilities.  The world hasn’t stopped just because I added another candle to the cake.

Then I pause, spin around, and look back to admire the view.

I’m surprised to see how much ground I’ve covered.  The view up here is actually quite nice.  I can see river rapids, forded years ago, that seemed insurmountable at the time.  Of course this journey had some obstacles, but now I chuckle over the amount of time that I spent worrying about them beforehand. If only things were as clear looking forward as they are looking back.

Over the road I’ve taken, I can see a lot of foolish mistakes, satisfying triumphs, and seemingly insignificant decisions that completely altered my course. Though stretches were certainly bumpy and some not so happy, it hasn’t all been an uphill battle. Along this path I helped bring two wonderful children into this world, and hopefully gave them the right tools to make their journeys easier than mine. I have shared a lot of special moments with people that I love. I’ve made friends that have become like family, and I’m thankful to have met so many who have had a positive impact on my life.

My time has largely been spent learning, every misstep an opportunity for growth. I’ve achieved a number of goals while missing out on others.  In either case, I have learned to be more patient, and I’ve become a little gentler and kinder in my approach to life’s challenges.

It seems like it was only a few steps back that I started a website based on the assumption that I wasn’t the only avid reader with shelves full of books and a love of reading to spare.  I had no idea that so many thousands would share this passion and desire to make a difference in others’ lives by passing along a book, CD, or DVD that was no longer needed. It’s indescribably rewarding to share in the joy of embracing a great book, favorite song, or inspiring film that truly touches your heart.  Needless to say, while difficult at times, it has certainly been worth the effort.

The Richard who began this trek would probably hardly recognize this Richard at 50. He’s a little rougher for wear, sounds a lot like his father, and smiles with a few more wrinkles furrowed beneath a lot less hair.  All in all though, I’m the same starry-eyed kid who embarked on this path long ago.  And I find myself still hiking uphill, only now with a little more experience and wisdom in tow.  My head may still be in the clouds, but my feet are on an incline, and I’m not heading downhill anytime soon.

Published After 50

For some, life is just beginning after their 50th birthday. Each of these books was published after the author had turned the big five-oh, and they’re all available for swapping on the site!

Robinson Crusoe
Author: Daniel Defoe
Published at age 59

Watership Down
Author: Richard Adams
Published at age 52

The Camomile Lawn
Author: Mary Wesley
Published at age 71

Little House in the Big Woods
Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Published at age 65

Black Beauty
Author: Anna Sewell
Published at age 57

The Trumpet of the Swan
Author: E. B. White
Published at age 70

Fountain of Age
Author: Betty Friedan
Published at age 72