PaperBackSwap Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Milestones’

PaperBackSwap’s 14th Birthday Contest

Monday, September 3rd, 2018


Today, PaperBackSwap turns 14! Happy Birthday to us! And what is a Birthday Party without games?!

Since playing pin the tail on the donkey, or musical chairs isn’t easy to do online, we have come up with a game everyone can play.
We call it Favorites at 14.

Here is how it works:

In the comments here on the Blog, tell us one of your favorite books, title and author, from when you were 14, or thereabouts. And tell us why you liked the book.

It is that simple. On Friday, September 7, 2018, we will choose a winner at random.

The winner will receive their choice of 6 PaperBackSwap Credits, one year of Standard Membership or a one year subscription to Box-O-Books.

Contest is only open to current PBS members whose accounts are in good standing.


Good luck to everyone!



The Joy of Books, A Word from our Founder

Monday, November 17th, 2014

By Richard Pickering, PBS FounderThe Joy of Books

I knew that the 2014 PaperBackSwap Cruise would be a great time to meet club members, participate in book-themed events, and share in our love of reading. It was going to be fun (and it was)! But I never expected that our itinerary held an event that would affect me deeply.

As the cruise ship pulled into Belize, I was informed that there was a surprise event scheduled, in which I would be needed to participate.  “Dress appropriately, as a representative of PaperBackSwap,” Cheryl G. (Poncer) said. That was all I was told.

About a dozen of us —PBS members and some staff — got off the boat and made our way to the taxi stand, where we boarded a van that whisked us away. As the roads became bumpier and turned from asphalt to hard-pack dirt and stone, my curiosity mounted. “Where are we going?” I asked. The rest of the group smiled knowingly, and Cheryl G assured me that this would be an adventure that I would never forget for the rest of my life.

We headed into the heart of the country, passing small farms and an occasional building that boasted some small trade or service for the local population. Finally the van slowed, and the driver leaned out the window to ask directions. We were in the middle of a very rural area – I could see thatched roofs around us, and I learned later there was no running water and almost no electricity. We were in the proverbial “middle of nowhere.” Liberty Children's Village in Ladyville, Belize

The van turned down one last dirt road. There was a gate at the end, and beyond that, the building that was apparently our destination. Finally, I was let in on the secret: this was a small orphanage, home to 42 children whose parents had died of AIDS.

The staff greeted us with open arms and thanked us for coming.  Many of the older children were in school, but the younger ones were there, and anxious to meet us.  We went into the day care center, which was very clean and nicely appointed. The high ceilings and fans kept the room cool, and the walls were covered with drawings that the children had made and gold stars for good behavior or outstanding scholarship.

Another surprise! The group (led by Gail P.(TinkerPirate and Cheryl G. Poncer) had brought along over 100 books for the kids, carrying them in their luggage onto the cruise. That was enough so that each child would get a couple of books, with plenty more to share with each other. I read a story aloud to the kids, about a farmer with a problem – cows that could type! The cows had a lot of demands for the farmer. It was a fun story, and the kids were very attentive. After the story, our team distributed the books and also gifts that the group had brought, and then we spent some time playing games with the kids.  After goodbyes and hugs, it was time to leave.

Click Clack Moo, Cows That TypeCheryl had been right — I would never forget the day, the kids, the orphanage staff who took such loving care of them, the appreciation for the books and our visit. It was so moving to consider the life that the kids had led, the circumstances that brought them to this place, and the life ahead of them.  I was proud of our group for coming up with the idea to visit the orphanage. On top of planning all the fun events of the PaperBackSwap Cruise, they had gone deeper and found a way to give back. How typical of PaperBackSwap members! It’s been 10 years since the club’s launch, and the generosity and kindness of our membership continues to amaze me.

It’s the kind of giving that makes our Books for Schools campaign such a success every year. So many members have asked us when the next Books for Schools will go live. We’re happy to say that BFS 2014 will be launching very soon! We are planning to begin right after Thanksgiving.

You can read about Books for Schools,  see a list and details of previous participating schools, suggest schools for future inclusion, and if you want to get a head start on donating before the BFS 2014 launch, you can use the Give Credits button on this page.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with those children in Belize. May God bless each and every one of them, and guide them in their lives going forward. And may God bless each and every one of our club members. We love your giving spirit!


Thanks to all those who made the Orphanage visit happen: Gail P (tinkerpirate), Cheryl G (Poncer),  Ajay I., Barbara S (barbelaine1), Cari (ladycari), Kareena I., Len S (lens), Marie N (pottergal), Rick (RickMatt) , Sonal S (ComeGo), our driver Stanley, the staff at the orphanage including Director Agatha Valentine, and of course the kids!!!


News From The Cruise – PBS 10th Anniversary Celebration

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014
Hard to believe it is already Sunday, again! Times flies when on a cruise ship in the Caribbean with some of our wonderful PaperBackSwap Members!

Last Sunday was just a few moments ago, when we scallywags climbed aboard the Norwegian Sun cruise ship, and off we sailed from Tampa.

After stops in Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel we are now steaming north, full speed ahead, back to Tampa. Back to our real lives.

The weather has been, well, weather. We have experienced rain, humidity, warm breezes, sunshine, hot temperatures, more rain, hot temperatures, even more rain, hair-frizzing humidity, sunshine and really hot temperatures. Then really, really high humidity with really, really hot temperatures and sunshine galore. And it all has been glorious!

The sunrises have been stunning, the sunsets even more so. We have eaten great grub, drank much grog, secured much booty, danced quite a few jigs, and discovered treasured friendships that will last us lifetimes.

We have had a blast!

We wish you were here and hope you consider joining us on the next cruise for PaperBackSwap Members!

May your seas be calm and your distant shores filled with treasured moments.

Richard “PegLeg” Pickering and his band of merry mates.



10th Anniversary Celebration Cruise for PaperBackSwap Members

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

By Cheryl G. (Poncer)

It is hard to believe that come the fall, PaperBackSwap will be 10 years old! What began as a way to swap books with other avid readers across the country has turned into so much more.

For me, it has become a lifeline, a lifeboat, a connection to friends near and far. I have had the pleasure to meet and make friends with folks across the US, friendships that will last a lifetime.

I first found PaperBackSwap in a tiny blurb in a Women’s Day magazine while waiting for my husband in some doctor’s office, there were too many doctors at the time to even remember which one.

I tore out the blurb (yes, selfish!) and stuck it in my pocket. It was deposited on my desk with the other scraps and items that my pockets always seem to collect. And there it sat for months and months. After he passed away, I found the scrap of paper and decided to investigate. Heaven knows I had too many books just sitting collecting dust. Some I had read upwards of 3 times, whiling away the hours of endless doctor visits and hospital stays.

In 2006 I signed up for an account. Being the suspicious person I was trained to be, I keep looking for the “catch”. Never did find it, and soon enough my cynical side took a backseat. The members were so kind! And generous! And funny! And the friendships started within the very first few months of my being a member. Receiving books was great, forming friendships was life altering.

And that bring us to the cruise in October 2014 for Members and their family & friends. NCL 1 sun

We are sailing from Tampa, Florida on Norwegian Cruise Lines, on the Norwegian Sun.

We will embark on October 26 and return to Tampa on November 2, 2014.

Come join The PaperBackSwap Team and Tour Guides on a 7 day cruise to

  • Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras
  • Belize City, Belize
  • Costa Maya, Mexico
  • Cozumel, Mexico

8766163_origWhile we are at sea, your Tour Guides and Cruise Committee will be hosting multiple Wishlisted Book Swaps, a PBS Trivia Contest, a Scavenger Hunt, a Duct Tape Contest, a Q&A Session with members of the PBS Team, a Halloween Costume Contest, a Genre Dinner, Get-to-know-you Bingo, PBS Team Meet & Greet and a Cocktail Party. Our final stop will be Cozumel, Mexico, where lucky raffle winners will take a Jeep ride around the island with PBS founder Richard Pickering.

Inside Cabins are $535 per person. Oceanview Cabins range from $615 to $635 per person.  Space is limited–the cabins are almost gone, and once they are all gone we cannot get additional cabins at these prices! Registration is open until June 30th or until cabins sell out.  Don’t let the ship leave without you.  You can register for the cruise by filling out this form and our Travel Specialist will contact you.  Details are available in the Discussion Forum topic.

Come with us, meet some new friends, get together with old friends, celebrate PaperBackSwap’ 10th Anniversary with us on the sea!


“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”  ~ William Butler Yeats

“The world is round so that friendship may encircle it.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.” ~ Henry David Thoreau



Tell Us A Story Contest Winners!

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013


We asked you to tell us a story and we were overwhelmed by the amazing responses we received!

PBS members are the most creative, witty and wonderful folks!


The Judges have decided that the judges could not decide on just 9 winners, so here are the Winners of one credit each, in no particular order:

In the Science Fiction category:

“Here’s your new red shirt, Ensign!”
. . . . .

“He’s dead, Jim.”  Lynda C. (Readnmachine)


In the Best News Ever category:

Cancer conquered. Will read books for many more years! – Brenda K. (IFly182H)


In the Best Use of Punctuation category:

Springtime, rhymes; Summertime, textbooks; Autumntide, manuals; Wintertime, prescriptions: Reading!

 – Lillie C. (el-jay)

In the Non-Fiction category:

 PBS has enriched my life beyond my wildest dreams! – Kathy H. (Nellie)


In the Best Laid Plans category:

I joined to downsize. THAT didn’t work out well!Cari (ladycari)


In the We Love New Readers category:

I read to her; now she reads to me! – Cynthia P. (tempest11)


In the Phew! category:

Went away. Realized I forgot my book. Came back.  – Ryan F. (thehappyfew)


In the Deeply Profound category:

Birth. Death. Life is lived fully in the middle. – Alice T.


In the We Totally Agree category:

A big dream brought readers together; created a family. – Rhonda (pinkcypress)


In our Proud Marine Mom category:

PBS kept Mom occupied while baby transformed into Marine. – Beth D. (ponykeg)


In the Almost Haiku category:

Truly love
to sit and read…
sitting not necessary.

– Bonnie (LoveNE)


In the We Can All Relate category:

I collect more books than I can ever read. – Sari N. (Sarijj)


In the This Lifts Our Hearts category:

PBS kept us entertained during son’s Transplant last year. – Jackie G. (jackie13)


And in the She Can’t Count but we Love the Song category:

Happy natal day to you!
Happy natal day to you!!
Happy natal day, dear PBS who has nurtured my love of books and brought me new BFFs!!!
Happy natal day to you!!!!

– Gail P. (TinkerPirate)







Our Grand Prize Winner is:

Went to my mailbox to find a new world – Deb R.

Deb, we have created today’s Quote of the Day using your story. It is appearing on the PBS Home Page. Thank you very much!

Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to everyone who participated!

Our Members make PaperBackSwap the Best Book Swapping Site in the World!

We are NINE! Happy Birthday PBS!

Friday, August 30th, 2013

PaperBackSwap is 9!!


To celebrate 9 years of PaperBackSwap, here is a contest for our members!



Tell us a story in exactly 9 words. Not 8, not 10, but 9 words. Exactly 9.



The Grand Prize Winner will receive 9 credits! 8 runners up will each receive 1 credit!




We will announce the winners on Tuesday, September 3rd. Contest is only open to current PBS members whose accounts are in good standing.



Good luck to everyone!




Time to Celebrate! PaperBackSwap is 8! Contest Winners!

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012












8 Credits each for these 8 winners:



Debbie S. (mom-of-many) member since 9/13/2007


Gail L. (gaill) member since 5/29/2007


Alana L. (racemom) member since 3/21/2010

Kerrie W. member since 12/29/09


Ellen H. (eeeee) member since 7/3/2006


Becky P. (beckmom) member since 3/18/2008


Joe Z. (zelman) member since 7/28/2010


Lori S. (GroovyGlitterGirl) member since 8/18/2007



Thank you to everyone who entered our contest! May everyone’s Birthday be as great as our 8th Birthday has been!