PaperBackSwap Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Advanced Book Search’

Banned Book Week – How many have you read?

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

Below is a partial list of banned and challenged books, compiled by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. The ALA cites Robert P. Doyle in his book Banned Books, “at least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the target of ban attempts”.

Many of the books on this list have been swapped by our members; some thousands of times. Which banned or challenged books have you read?



The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald


The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger


The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck


To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee


The Color Purple, by Alice Walker


Ulysses, by James Joyce

Beloved, by Toni Morrison

The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

1984, by George Orwell

Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

Catch-22, by Joseph Heller

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley



To see the entire list, you can visit the ALA’s website at this link:





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.

NEWS: Newsletter – February 2009

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Yes, that’s MILLIONS! We kept hearing from members about how much money they had saved on books since joining PBS.  So we got to thinking: how much?  When we added it all up (estimating $4.00 – $4.50 for a used paperback, CD or DVD if you bought them instead of swapping for them), the three clubs together (PBS, SwapaCD and SwapaDVD) have saved members over 10 million dollars! You can watch the savings grow in real time on the Pulse of PBS page, accessible from the menu under Community at the top of the site.

New Advanced Search. Now you can exclude terms, search for exact phrases, and more.  The new Advanced Search will help you find the books you are looking for!  It is accessible under Search at the top of any page on the site.

Personal Messages in Your Email. Yes, we heard the pleas of those who didn’t want to log in to read a two-word PM.  Now the text of the PMs will be in the email notification sent to you.  You still have to log in to reply, but this will be a timesaver, we think!

Maps upgrade. Now if you have your city/state hidden on your profile, your city/state will be hidden on your Maps too.  And anyone who has set his or her location or profile to “private” will also have an “anonymous dot” on all maps.

Exclude Genres. Want to see (for example) only children’s books on your Homepage sliding book displays?  Want to see no children’s books there?  You can choose to exclude genres (as many as you like) from your Homepage sliding book displays – this is available in your Account Settings now.

DEAR LIBRARIAN, Newsletter – October 2008

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Dear Librarian–How do I find a particular member’s bookshelf so I can look at her books?–Searching in Sweetwater

Dear Sweets,

There are a number of ways, depending on how you “know” the member.  If you know the member’s nickname (if she has a nickname) you can simply enter that in the Member Directory to find her profile.  Her book list is linked from her profile.  Searching for her name in the Member Directory may not take you to the right profile – so many names are common here.  The nickname is unique, so it is a good way to search for a member here.

If you know the member only from a forum post, you can simply click on the Books button on any post she has made.

If you have exchanged Personal Messages, you can click her highlighted name in any PM you have shared and it will take you to her profile (if she has made one) or directly to her bookshelf (if she has not made a profile here).

If she is on your Buddy List, you can click the link to her books from your Buddy List available in My Account.
Dear Librarian–I ordered a book and the first sender didn’t respond.  Now I am waiting for the second sender.  Can’t we do something about these unresponsive members?  –Waiting in Wisconsin

Dear Connie,

Yes!  We’ve tightened the “unresponsive member” mechanism a little bit and added a twist – now if senders miss a few requests, their accounts are placed “under review”.  This prevents more requests from being submitted to them – and holds off any Wish List offers – until they return and remove the review from their account.  We know that members don’t mean to be inconsiderate – they get busy, or their computers crash, or they have to go out of town unexpectedly and don’t think to place the Vacation Hold on their accounts.

This new “under review” status means that requestors aren’t inconvenienced AND the unresponsive sender isn’t penalized by missing requests and wish list offers while she is away from her account.  She can remove the review herself, so it isn’t such a great inconvenience to her either, and that meant we could make it so that a smaller number of missed requests will trigger the Review.  Too many episodes of being under review can culminate in a suspension (which the member cannot remove herself – we have to do this), but most of these missed requests are totally accidental, and we don’t want to suspend members too lightly.  This way, everyone is helped, and everyone is less inconvenienced.  We think this will really help keep swaps moving around the club!

Dear Librarian–What is the difference between the Book Browser and the Advanced Search?  I get the same results when I use either one to search–Seeing Double in Denver

Dear Denny,

Not much, actually.  The search engine is basically the same.  There are a couple of additional search parameters in the Book Browser (for example you can search by book ratings, which you can’t do in the Advanced Search), and the layout is more convenient in the Browser (you don’t have to go “back” to the previous page to refine or change your search terms like you do with the Advanced Search).

It’s a bit of redundancy.  We do know that many people use and like the Advanced Search and we didn’t want to snatch it away from them, although the Book Browser is a little easier to use.  You can find both under Search at the top of the site.

Book Browser. Newsletter – August 2008

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

New feature. This new page under Search at the top of the site lets you do a kind of advanced search with a more user-friendly layout.  And there are new options: one example is the sort-by-star-rating, which will display your search results with the most-highly rated books at the top of the list.  The star rating system has been an underutilized feature on the site, so this sort will become much more powerful as members “star” their books.  (So if you have a great book on your shelf but no one knows how great it is, rate it! If you rate it, they will come…. Apply star ratings to every book you have read.)   Read more about the Book Browser here.

Advanced Search: Newsletter – September 2005

Friday, September 9th, 2005

Can’t find that particular book? Have no fear – Advanced Search is here!

Sometimes searching for a particular book can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Not so at PaperBackSwap! We’ve created a search engine that will take you to the books you want – fast!!

Our Advanced Search offers multiple search criteria for a book. Now you can search by title, author and publisher using various word matches all at the same time. You can specify the binding type, publication date and reviewed versus non-reviewed books.

Do you ever find yourself remembering what a book is about but not remembering the title? Now you can search by typing in a description of the book as well. There are so many features now available with this search engine that you really have to try it out to believe it! Check out our Advanced Search and start finding all those books that have been “lost in the haystack.”

Advanced Search Gives Members Exactly What They Are Looking For: Newsletter – August 2005

Friday, August 5th, 2005

We’ve been working on a number of new features, including the Advanced Search. This feature offers capabilities beyound the regular Search feature. With Advanced Search, you are able to specify mutliple search criteria at one time to help narrow down your results. With over 100,000 books in the system we are trying everything we can to help make this process even easier for all members. There are many more improvements coming to this new enhancement over the next few weeks.