PaperBackSwap Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Donations’

PBS Gives Thousands of Books to Local Non-profit

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 Gives Thousands of Books to Local Non-profit – 1/21/2011 by Kelley Van Auken

The largest Book Club in America,, recently donated almost 6,000 new books to local 501(c)(3) non-profit My Very Own Book. The books will be used in MVOB’s reading incentive program, which is run in five elementary schools in low-income neighborhoods: two in Dallas ISD, two in Richardson ISD, and one in Plano ISD. Students in the participating schools read outside of schools hours and are rewarded every six weeks with a new, free book of their choice.

PBS began the School Book Donation Program last year to provide books for students because of the company’s belief in both the power of reading and the power of giving. The schools selected to participate in the Books for Schools Program are based on needs of the students. PBS club members who wanted to support the program selected a school and donated their extra credits to purchase books for the students. For each credit donated by a member of PBS, PaperBackSwap and supporting organizations provided books for the school. Overall, the 2010 program has provided approximately 30,000 books to 30 schools, five of which are MVOB schools.

“We are very pleased with our club members’ amazingly generous and quick response to this program – they obviously feel strongly about the education of children in America. Access to books is crucial to foster a child’s love of reading, so the books our members have donated will have a big impact on these kids’ lives. We hope to be able to continue this program and help more needy schools all over the country,” said Richard Pickering, Founder of is a free online book club where members swap books just for the cost of postage. People join PBS by posting on the website good condition books from their bookshelf that they are willing to share. Two startup credits are given by PBS to start the member’s swapping. Credits are earned by sending out books to other members. Any available paperback or hardcover book may be ordered for one credit, and audio books may be ordered for two credits.

Complete information about the online book club is available at To learn more about the school book donation program or to nominate a school, go to To learn more about My Very Own Book, go to

Dear Members, Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

As I go about the days getting ready for Christmas, I find that I am not quite done with Thanksgiving! I am still counting my blessings.  First, I am thankful for my family and friends.  I am also thankful for the community here at PBS; it really is a wonderful place for all of us to come and visit, share and build relationships around a common bond in reading.  I am grateful for all of our volunteers, who improve the club experience for everyone else, every day.

It has been humbling to witness the club’s response to our Books for Kids drive.  The letter from Carmel Elementary describing how much the kids want books was heartbreaking: “I see our students come to the library searching for just the right book every single day (some several times a day)…” Our members did not let us down –  we reached our goal of 30,000 books for needy kids!  The schools are thrilled.  One kindergarten teacher told us, “Every day the children and I would turn on the computer and watch the number of credits rise…Your love of books and reading is going to help the children in my school enjoy some great books this holiday season.” To all those who donated, congratulations for a job well done!

I am thankful for all of our members.  Whether you’ve been with us a day or the whole six (!) years, you make PBS a tremendous place where we can all share in the joys of reading, life, and community.  The club stretches from east coast to west coast, from the Dakotas to Puerto Rico, and out to far-flung corners of America like Guam and the US Virgin Islands.  Military members serving overseas often can’t find books in English where they are stationed – so the ones that arrive from PBS members are precious.  We are strangers made into a family by books.  It’s a magical thing.

So whether you are celebrating Chanukah, Hijra, Solstice, Kwanzaa or Christmas this month, we wish you all the very best this holiday season!

Richard and

The PaperBackSwap Team

Books for Schools 2010 – Book Donations

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Thanks + Giving = Books for Kids!

Dear Members,

We are very pleased to announce Books for Schools 2010, where your unused book credits can make all the difference in a child’s life!

Many of you remember last year’s holiday school book drive.  It was a huge success; we got thousands of books to elementary schools who needed them.  The kids were thrilled (see the pictures above), and we were so proud of our membership’s response.  It even made the local news in some places!  Because of your enthusiasm, we were able to help far more schools than we had ever expected.

We’ve set an ambitious goal this time–25,000+ books for deserving schools all over the country.  All of the selected schools have a high percentage of students receiving a free or reduced-fee lunch.  These kids are eager for books, but their school libraries’ funds have been cut, and many of the students have never owned a book.  Making it possible for them to be able to borrow books from the classroom, or to have books of their own to read at home, would be a wonderful way to give the gift of reading to a child this holiday season.

For each credit you donate, PaperBackSwap will provide a brand new book to one of these schools!   The books will be used in the classrooms, and/or given to the students to keep.   Once a school has reached its goal of donated credits, PaperBackSwap will ship all of the books to the school, for free. Read more about how the program works.

Please go to the Donations page to see our first three schools filled with students who would love to receive a book from you.  And, from the kids:

Happy Thanksgiving and all the best for the holidays!
Warm regards,
Richard & The PaperBackSwap Team

Dear Librarian; Story Time with Soldiers, Wrapping Books Better

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Dear Librarian-  I am so thrilled to give to the Story Time with Soldiers program!  Why don’t you have a program to send books directly to the soldiers, though? I would love to give credits for that. – Patriot in Patalaska

Dear Pat,

We’d love to make that available!   Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to source the right type of books (our current sources are for children’s books) and the costs of buying books and shipping them overseas are just prohibitive.   We are working on it, though, and maybe someday we will have a solution.  In the meantime, folks who want to get books to soldiers can check out Books for Soldiers – they are doing a great job!

And thanks for giving to Story Time, Pat – we know that by doing that you have made a real difference in the lives of these children, who are truly our country’s littlest soldiers.

Dear Librarian –  I got a book that barely made it through the mail!  The packaging was hanging off the book and the sender used Scotch tape.  The wrapping job was appalling.  It is sheer luck that the book got to me and wasn’t lost or severely damaged.  How can we tell people to wrap better?   – Determined in Detroit

Dear Troy,

We have all that info in the Help Center about wrapping, and the information about not using Scotch tape right on the wrapper itself!  What you may not realize is that the package probably looked pretty good when it started its journey, but along the way the tape peeled off and the wrapper tore.  We can tell folks all day long in the Help Center (and we do) about wrapping, but nothing brings the message home like a helpful word from a member who actually got the book at the other end.  Just let this sender know that the USPS journey was tough on this wrapping, and that Scotch tape doesn’t hold up very well in general, and we bet that your advice will have more effect than a zillion reminders from us.

Please be gentle, if you do have to give feedback about wrapping to a sender.   Remember that the person was trying to get the book to you and was doing his or her best.  Even if it looks like their best was “appalling,” it probably did not start out that way, and if the sender knew that the wrapping would fall apart, he or she would have done better.  Give him or her a kind and positive helping hand to know how to do better next time.  It will make the club experience better for everyone – including the books!


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Dear PBS Members,

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Happy Spring!

Things are blooming and the birds are singing; nature is coming back to life.   Time for spring-cleaning and yard cleanup, looking forward to outdoor fun with the family.   It’s a wonderful time of year.   And we have wonderful news to go with it!  We’ve been able to expand our donations program with a new program for military families.   We are happy to announce Story Time with Soldiers in co-operation with United Through Reading.

United Through Reading is a nonprofit organization devoted to uniting families by the simple yet important act of reading together.  Their military program, as featured on NBC Nightly News, focuses on families separated by military deployment.  How it works : Prior to deployment, soldiers read a storybook for their children while being videotaped. Then a DVD is sent to the family along with the book, and the family can watch the DVD and read the book with the children.  Through Story Time with Soldiers, Paperbackswap will be providing new children’s books for the soldiers to read aloud – every credit a member donates will get a book for this purpose!  You can also donate PBS Money to offset the cost of buying and shipping the new books.  Your donations can really make a difference in the lives of our military families as they protect and serve our country.   You can read more/donate here.

We hope that everyone is having a terrific Spring!
and the PaperBackSwap Team

Dear Members

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb… If you’ve been snowed in and are going stir crazy waiting for spring, we recommend taking a mental vacation, with a great read.  A good book can absorb you and make the cares of the outside world fall away.  No need to put on winter gear to go bookshopping, of course – your next great read is no farther away than the PBS Market.

We’re really pleased by the feedback we have gotten from members since opening the Market, which offers NEW overstock books at discount prices.  Members especially love the ability to use a credit for each book, to reduce the prices even lower.  You can find the Market under the Search option in the grey menu bar at the top of any page on the site, you can see Market books during your regular book searches, and you can also browse Market books on your Member Homepage by clicking the “New Books for Purchase” link below the lower sliding display.  There is also one Wish Listed book currently available in the Market at the top of your homepage, which changes every hour.  Take a few minutes to browse the Market, and remember that each purchase supports PBS and helps keep membership free.

On a sad note, a very dear member of the club has left us – LeAnne Grant (Gracious-Granny) passed on peacefully after an illness.  Many of you knew her, had received books from her, or had been helped by her in her Tour Guide role here in the club. She was a truly kind and lovely person and she will be sorely missed.  Working with her daughter, we have set up a School Book Donation campaign in LeAnne’s memory.  It seemed a fitting tribute to one who touched so many lives, and to whom books and reading were so important. We hope that all of you will visit the donation page to leave your comments about LeAnne, which we will share with the family.
We also hope that everyone will hug a loved one a little extra hard today, or tell someone how much he or she means to you.  The few seconds you take to say “I love you” to your parent, partner, child or friend are never wasted.

Take care,
Richard and the PaperBackSwap Team

Books for Schools donation program photos

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

We got some photos from our first round of Books for Schools donation program. Here is Clear Creek Elementary showing us the delivery of the books you so generously donated credits to get for them! Clear Water Creek Elementary was just one of the lucky first round of donations.

What it's all about!

They’re thrilled with the books, and it looks like they had a lot of fun sorting through them. The school received more than a thousand books — some will go into their classrooms and library, and some will go home with students to keep.  From the first two rounds, member credit donations to the program got books for 25 needy schools. We’ll let the membership know when we’re ready for the third round of Books for Schools- stay tuned!  Read more about Books for Schools donation program.  See more photos of Clear Creek getting the books below: (click for a larger image)

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