PaperBackSwap Blog

Free Book Giveaway! (Tell us why YOU love books)



Why is it that we love books so much? Is it the solid feel of them in our hands? The cover art? The new-book smell? The old-book smell? Is it being able to tell how far we’ve read into the book (and how much is left) without even looking? Is it that they can be read anywhere, without batteries or technology of any kind? Is it that our eyes get tired from screen reading in a way that they don’t from reading ink on paper? Is it that we can continue to read our printed book on an airplane during those times when digital devices must be turned off? Is it that we actually own printed books (not just the right to read them), and can put them on a bookshelf when we’ve read them, or lend them or swap them?

For us, it’s all of those things! And we’re clearly not alone: publishers are again reporting a significant fall in ebook sales, while the sales of print books continue to rise, for the second year in a row.

We have nothing against ebooks — we think any kind of reading is great! We know that ebooks have their conveniences (for example, they’re lightweight to pack for travel, and the ability to enlarge the font can be useful for visually impaired readers). But we’re glad they haven’t replaced the real thing. Because we love the real thing so much. Don’t you?

We bet you do! In fact, we’re inviting you to tell us the one main reason why you love print books … if you do, you’ll have a chance to win a free book! The book is a brand-new hardcover of a very heavily wishlisted book — the New York Times Bestseller Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll.

Luckiest Girl Alive
Jessica Knoll
ISBN 9781476789637, Hardcover
A young woman is determined to create the perfect life — husband, home, and career—until a violent incident from her past threatens to unravel everything and expose her most shocking secret of all.  A riveting debut novel that reads like Prep meets Gone Girl, described by Reese Witherspoon as “one of those reads you just can’t put down!” This book currently has over 400 active wishes in the club.





Make a comment below before noon ET on Friday, May 27, 2016, and that will enter you into the random drawing to receive the book. NB: Contest open to PaperBackSwap members only (join here!).

Here are a few comments from some of our members to get you thinking:

There are too many awesome bookmarks out there to never use them! I have some really old ones passed down from family members that make me smile every time I see them. You don’t get to use those bookmarks with ebooks!”  ~ Jill H.

“It’s very nice to be able to pass a book around the family before I swap it.”  ~ Rick M. (RickMatt)

“I really prefer to hold a physical book, and the feel of the pages as I am turning them.”  ~ Diane G. (icesk8tr)

“I like the feel of a real book 📚.  I find them easier to read and not as hard on my eyes 👀 as an e reader.”  ~ Angela H. (Halti4)


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319 Responses to “Free Book Giveaway! (Tell us why YOU love books)”

  1. Paula Bordenet says:

    I love reading a book because I like the ease of flipping back and forth while I’m reading it. There must be something about the tactile feel and a connection with the brain. I don’t know, but it is much more satisfying than reading an ereader. I have an ereader for when I travel, but honestly it’s so complicated downloading digital books from the library. I look forward to going to the library to pick up a “new” book. I don’t think packing paperback books in my bag is all that much heavier.

  2. Peggy Long says:

    My mum was a librarian and our home was always “well booked”. I have been keeping a record of every book I have read since the summer of 1965! The average is 200 books a year.
    It’s not just the feel of paper, or the weight of the book in my hands ….. but the smell of the ink, the font of the print and the thoughts in the mind of the author!
    I just love books! ❤️📘

  3. Dale Gibson says:

    I always enjoyed reading…long before e-readers. Just like a pencil, far better than a pen. I am in the final phase of my ManLibrary, a place where I will ensconce myself, (and 5 dogs), along with my books. I keep repeating to friends it is NOT a ManCave, but library.. No sports or stupid TV programs here!
    Long live serenity…..

  4. Christine S says:

    A book is like an achor; keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground as you get lost in the story of a book. It’ feels very often like a physical connection to the author, the story, the characters. Even better, sometimes its as if you are holding a piece of history. Something that will outlive us all. Its a gift you can pass along. Its tangible proof the author, story, genre, characters existed and we, as readers, are a part of that existence

  5. I grew up in the country and about once a month mother would take us to the library in town. It was always very exciting to pick out a book. When I was about 7 we moved to town and joyfully we lived two blocks from the library. I remember how it felt to curl up in a corner and become part of the book, one of the characters as it were. I love a good book and I have a Kindle, but a paper book is a more personal companion.

  6. Valerie R. says:

    I love being able to touch and see the art work and covers, having both paperback books and hard cover books to choose from in my collection, watching my collection of a favorite author grow and even trying to find room in my house for my expanding collection! It gives me comfort to see my books and remember the great stories within their pages.

    One thing I am very proud to have passed on to my children is the joy of reading and starting them on their way with their personal collections.

    Nothing beats a great day at the beach than reading a book while listening to the waves!

  7. Sylvia T says:

    No batteries required and no special care needed with the printed book.

  8. Lily says:

    I love reading a paper, “in-the flesh” book because we associate this with so many memories. Our firs book wasn’t an ebook. Our first bedtime story wasn’t either. All we have is memories and we should treasure them while we can.

  9. Trina Williams says:

    Nothing like holding a book in your hand. You can stow it, read it in bits, trade with a friend and go back and reread any part without a hassle. EReaders sometimes have glitches. Books don’t.

  10. Dorothy Voigt says:

    Books are friends that are with us 24/7. I especially like cookbooks for they are always “able and willing” to inspire me to some new culinary adventure whenever I have the yen to try something new. They are an endless source of kitchen adventure!

  11. Cici says:

    Book in hand is the suspended animation of life – the smell, the sound. The sound – the whirring of pages for that gratifying sound of page upon percussive page. The feel of the pages strummed by fingers while entranced & captured by the written word. A repeated theme, familiar and comforting. I’m in my room at 12. I’m in the library of my boarding school, where homesickness became eclipsed by the written word. I’m in a college dorm in disbelief that the opportunity of reading Plath is mandatory. I’m in control, suspended by words, in a workday spinning out of control & fraught with chaos. I’m at the bedside of my beloved father – hopelessly succumbing to departure, the unbearable looming before me as I cower beneath the text and the smell, the thrumming of the pages, unwilling to be present in a moment I want to avoid. I gather the binding of my book to beneath my nostrils and inhale comfort. Sameness. Continuity in a life fraught with change. The words, the smell, the sound, the feel – familiar, safe. Anchoring me. This is why the physical relationship with the word on crispy pages is a psychological imperative.

  12. Claire N. says:

    I love the feel and heft of a book, and the sight of interesting titles all piled up on my nightstand.

  13. Roxy W. (ravyn) says:

    I love printed books because it is one of the very few things that is socially acceptable to hoard. And I do… by the thousand.

  14. I especially love new books because I love smelling the pages! I love reading books because I like the feel of paper in my hands; I feel more connected to the author somehow. Also, books feel real to me. There’s print on the pages. Ebooks are okay, but have a kind of artificial feel to them. I love books because I love the look of them in my bookcases, and I like the feeling of them in my hands. My well-read books feel like friends in a way no ebook ever could.

  15. Carolyn K. says:

    Printed books are so easy to take with you, anywhere, and you don’t have to be worried about losing an expensive electronic device. For me, it’s so much easier to find passages or quotes I love by flipping back through the pages. Also, I can put post-it notes on the pages with annotations and “tag” them, and these personal connections to the text become valuable resources for me when looking for mentor sentences or mentor text to use with my middle school students. Probably my BEST reason for loving printed books is that I can have them all over the house! One in each of the bathrooms (of course!), one in my living room, one in my bedroom, and one in my car (although I admit I am NEVER without an audio book to listen to). Could life be any sweeter?

  16. June Sabayrac says:

    Books are best friends, one to love for a lifetime or only for a one time read. You can feel love and emotion just by clasping the book to your chest or feel fear for a character and tiptoe thru the passages. Books are there for you in doctor offices, hospital waiting rooms, subways or airline flights…….when you want it, it’s there to share life with you!

  17. Elizabeth , says:

    I love books because it’s a whole universe in between the covers.

  18. Diana K says:

    If it’s a reference book and I’m not going to swap it, I like making notes in the margin, highlighting passages or underlining them. There’s nothing like a good book and being able to refer back to it again and again.

  19. Ann M. (annie-oop) says:

    I love the senses that are evoked by the act of reading print books; the smell of older books, the feel of paper beneath my fingers as I read, and the “phffft” sound that the pages make as I turn the pages of a book that I am devouring!

  20. Sunny H says:

    Batteries not required!

  21. Diana K says:

    If it’s a book that I’m not going to swap because it’s a reference book, I like to be able to write in the margins, highlight passages or underlining. There’s nothing like a good book to refer to time and again.

  22. Barbara Linder says:

    I love the feel of turning pages in a book that holds its experiences waiting to be discovered. I love looking at it as a whole, seeing how far I have read, how much more is left before the end…it is an emotional experience in itself!

  23. Denise B. (dkb1269) says:

    The reasons that were listed about real books vs. ebooks are all great. The main reason for me is the swapping. I keep very few books, so reading and trading is best for me. I like to collect series and then read them all in order. I can read them at my own speed and not be pressured to return it in a certain amount of time. Yes, I could easily borrow these books at the library. But then, the book may not be immediately available. Swapping is the main reason for me, so I will have the book when I am ready to read it.

  24. Betty Reeves says:

    I love both ebooks and real books. Nothing is better than a real book when I wake up at night and want to read or when I am a passenger in the car on a short trip. I love the feel, smell and weight of real books. I also love to be able to read then in spurts or beginning, ending and then middle, when I want. I like ebooks for long trips because I can have 10 to 250 books at my fingertips. They are harder to flip to the end and the biggest downfall is having to keep them charged but at the same time, I can read them in the dark without disturbing my family. If I had never gotten an ebook reader, I would be totally content with “real” books, but now I’m spoiled and I want/need both.

  25. Nope! I LOVE reading on an e-reader! “That” is MY love! I don’t care about winning, as you can tell, but e-readers are MADE to lessen eye strain, to make reading EASIER which it does by FAR!!! E-reader’s keep your notes, highlights, and bookmarks electronically, and if you haven’t charged your e-readers for your trips, that’s your OWN faults!
    In MY opinion, it’s MUCH harder to read a print book rather than reading an e-reader! You have to hold it open when an e-reader takes ONE HAND! They are SO LIGHT anymore, it’s NOTHING to hold! Yes, you sure CAN increase the size of the font, which for sensitive eyes is AMAZING!!! You CANNOT do THAT in a print book!
    By the way, book bloggers like myself are getting EXTREMELY TIRED of reading descriptions about books that are compared to Gone Girl! That was SO yesterday!!! The other book that is often compared to is The Orphan Train. Just saying!
    Enjoy your ‘print’ book, everyone! I’ll enjoy my e-reader!!! “THEY” are the BEST!!

  26. Colleen says:

    I have loved real books since my mom signed me up for a summer library program in elementary school. Thereafter, books were my friend and companions, always there for me. As someone once said, “A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.”

  27. Colleen P. (ColleenMP) says:

    I love reading books. I prefer printed books because I can go back and forth in the book if I want to check something, love the feel of it in my hands and the editing is usually sooooo much better than ebooks. All my keeper books by my favorite authors are printed (paper backs or hard backs). Don’t get me wrong, I have a Kindle Fire that I use when I go on trips but mostly use that for games and some reading. I am very unhappy with the poor editing of a lot of ebooks that I’ve gotten. They don’t seem to be able to get someone to read them through for word misuses, grammar errors and just basically sentences that make no sense at all. Plus they still cost around $5 (unless it’s the 99 cent sales) which to me is not really a savings. I will keep reading printed books and use my Kindle Fire for trips.

  28. Miranda H. says:

    Books are such an amazing part of our lives. They take us on trips without leaving our comfy chair. The only thing I don’t like about books is when you reach the ending.

  29. Ron B. (ronb626) says:

    It’s hard for me to really define why I love books so much. Especially the printed versions. But, if you love books, I’m pretty sure that our feelings are mutual.

    Is it the feel of a book in our hands? Not sure, as I really need large print books anymore and by and large, they are bigger than their normal print cousins. But, the feel of it in my hands is definitely a plus. Not that an ebook doesn’t feel nice, they just feel different. I love my Kindle. I tell people when I go places, I don’t take a book with me. I take a library!

    Is it the sensations of turning the pages manually? Again, not sure, And, with a large print book, those sensations are larger as there are more pages to be turned for the same information. But, it does beat the sensation of tapping the page on my Kindle.

    Is it the familiarity of a favorite bookmark? This cold be true, as I use old tiickets to Oregon Ducks football games for my bookmarks. And, I love my Oregon Duck football. Hence, I love my bookmarks. Again, the feel is different from the Kindle which opens automatically to where I left off. Good idea, but, not the same touchy-feely-wise.

    Is it the scent of a new book? This one, probably, not so much as I get my books from the local library. Hence, they are seldom a “new” book. Hence, little new book scent. And, of course, the Kindle gives off nothing in this area.

    This didn’t start out as a comparison of printed books and ebook readers/books. But, it now has the feel of that. Probably because I can no longer discuss one without the other. I read daily on both. And, many times have multiple books going on in either/both medium.

    So, why do I love printed books? See all of the above. No simple answer. Not really complicated, but, somewhat complex. Simply stated, I love printed books because I love reading printed books. It’s just that I also love reading Kindle books. To me, it’s all good.


  30. Cynthia Hillson says:

    Why do I love “Real Books”? Ask my overflowing bookshelves where I somehow always find room to add a new friend.

  31. Alexis F. (lexxzzi) says:

    The silent words they speak,
    A brittle musty some,
    Hard and soft,
    Thin or plump,
    In a rainbow of colors.
    Waiting like scholarly sentenals
    Time capsules for words never to be forgotten,
    Freedom for phrase redeemed.
    Never in danger of being erased
    Dare to read.

  32. Diane J. (ladydi1226) says:

    I like knowing where I am in relation to the beginning and the end of my book and to easily go back a page, a paragraph or a chapter to refresh my memory of where I was when I last put it down.

  33. Vicki White says:

    I have found that my attention span when reading an ebook is short and I am easily distracted. My ebook reading is done on my iPad which also holds electronic games, Facebook, Emails, etc. Too often I find myself checking something and then not reading as my mind is racing to the next thing.

    There is also something so wonderful about receiving/buying a new (or new to me) book that I can hold in my hand and let my imagination think about how lovely it will be to open it and read it.

  34. Meghan M. (badlydrawngirl) says:

    I love actual books (and specifically used books) because they are something tangible that go out into the world and change lives. I love finding pieces of other people’s lives inside a used book, an airline ticket, a business card, a note… it makes me feel connected to others. And I love setting my books lose into the world. You never know where your book might end up, whose life it may touch, how far it will travel. You just don’t get that same relationship with a digital copy of a book.

  35. Candice Buerer says:

    Sometimes when reading a print book the smell of the ink and paper will take me back in memory of the times when my mother read “Alice In Wonderland” to my sister and me. I love the smell of new books!

  36. Joanna H. says:

    I think there is a tactile experience with flipping the pages of a book that you can’t get with an ebook. Also books are kind of decorative when you stack them or display them. I do like ebooks for the convenience of them, but regular books are more of an experience. Plus you never need power to read them, just some light and your eyesight.

  37. Cadence S. (gingerbug112) says:

    Normal page books take me on a adventure that no online book can. Besides just turning the page makes you feel the excitement of what’s gonna happen next. So the most thing I love about normal ink paged books is it makes you feel the excitement and adventure even when you just turning the page feels like your right next to what is happening. Picturing and capturing the captivating energy right in front of you.

  38. Debbie Dunn says:

    I love the look of all my books in their bookcases. Holding a book in my hand just feels right. Always brings back wonderful memories of reading to my daughter when she was little.

  39. Patti S. (CBLAK) says:

    I love having a real book in my hands because I can turn the pages back if I need to review a part I have already read. Also I like being able to turn the pages not just swipe with my finger.

  40. Trae C. says:

    One of my favorite gifts to both give and receive are books, because it shows a person’s interests, values, desires, and passions are. Sharing favorite books, or discussing favorite authors provides a commonality and bond between two people that is very unique to reading- the wear and tear on a book shows how much the person values it, so it’s meaningful when they share that with you. You can experience that on the same level with an e-book.

  41. Trae C. says:

    *can’t experience that on the same level with an e-book

  42. Debbie McBrearty says:

    You hit it on the head in your post! I love to hold the book, turn it’s pages, feel it’s weight. Yes, I also like to see how far I have read and how far before I finish it. As I have aged I find I need to go back to check details of the story I have forgotten . I guess I am just old fashioned!

  43. Laura W says:

    We use technology for EVERYTHING these days. I love print books because there is nothing tech-y about them. I can read a print book in a storm when the power is out, in the bathtub because I won’t get electrocuted if I drop it – though I’ll be very upset! Reading a print book is an escape from the everyday for me, and I’ll never stop purchasing or swapping print books!

  44. Tara K. says:

    I really love the variation in the color of the paper. It can range from white to almost a coffee-dyed color. Also, I can’t look at a screen for more than 15 min without getting eye strain. I can read a physical book for hours and hours.

  45. Danny N. (Alameda) Havelock, NC says:

    When you start it’s instant on – when you stop you just close the book (preferably with a marker). If you need to go back a page or two it’s no problem to do so. You can lay it here or lay it there. There’s never a battery problem…and mostly – it just feels right to hold a (real) book in your hands.

  46. Rachel says:

    Reading a book is so much better than a tablet. I do a bit of traveling and staying in hostels where there is always a book swap area, I’m always going through those books and leaving the one I just finished. Conversations are started by just seeing a book in someone’s hand that you have read or want to read.

  47. Jody O. says:

    I’ve loved books from a very young age; my parents often told me how I clamored to be put on a lap and read to. As a tween, special occasion gifts were books of Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins.

    There is something about the smell of a book, whether the ink of a new book or the aged smell of paper in a used book. That’s probably the most heightened sense in play when I’m reading.

    And besides, I can’t imagine anyone reading an e-book skipping ahead, one page at a time, to get a glimpse into how the story will unfold, or skipping back, again, one page at a time, to re-read a part that connects to something current in the storyline.

  48. Tasha F. (tashadoodledoo) says:

    Paper books have always been around. They can hold history, secrets, fairytales, and action packed, suspenseful, get-your-heart-pumping-a-million-miles-an-hour content. Now today, we have tablets. They have the same books and more but so many things are different. The smell of a fresh book doesn’t flow out of a tablet when you open it and flip the pages. You can’t read it all night and all day over the weekend because your tablet will run out of battery. You can’t dog ear the pages or stick a personalized, one of a kind bookmark in a tablet. With old-fashioned books, you can have them forever and in the flesh (not on a screen). You can go back and read them over and over. You can write in them and highlight your favorite parts. You can feel the cover in your hands instead of the cold metal of a tablet. if you have a really old book that you’ve had forever and your mom used to read it to you before you went to bed, or you got it in a really old bookstore with every book imaginable but this one begged you to read what was under its cover, you can see the age and history behind it in the color of the pages, in the rips on the cover, in every piece of tape that you or the previous owner stuck on it to make it last just a few more years. You can also pass traditional books on, to sons and daughters or to friends and neighbors so they can experience the same joy you had when you read it. Paper books are better. We love them because we can hold them, feel their weight in our hands, see their past, and read them anywhere and everywhere.

  49. I have a small library in my home. When I say small I mean like 200 books!! I have probably 30 that I could sell or pay it forward and give to those who need them, which is what I prefer to do!! I go to all the rummage sales and collect all of their books when they are done!! I always try to put the donated books into the hands of those who need them the most!! I love the smell and the feel of the books!! I love getting lost in them and being a part of the book!! I remember when I got the 50 shades trilogy lol. I would wake up and rush to my book to see what was in store for Anna that day!! I own and have read the entire Harry Potter series in a week!! I love and adore books!!

  50. Marina Todeasa says:

    Real books start conversations.
    Real books hold history in them.
    Real books can be highlighted and written in, and hold old receipts or pictures or scraps of paper you forgot about.

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