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PaperBackSwap (PBS) is an on-line book club Founded originally in 2004 by Richard Pickering of Suwanee GA. Robert Swarthout, from Rome GA, was an original partner who left the company to pursue other ventures after just one year. The purpose of PaperBackSwap is to use the Internet to facilitate the parity trading of books (or "book swapping") among member bibliophiles in the United States using a credit based system for swapping. The club also operates sister websites Swap-a-DVD and Swap-a-CD to facilitate parity trading of DVDs and CDs, respectively.

Site Fees[edit]

The club is primarily supported through Club Memberships.

  • UNLIMITED fee-free swapping - you can request as many books as you wish, without paying Swap Fees (normally 49 cents/incoming shipment). Compare to Limited Membership, which allows you to request 30 books per year without swap fees.

Standard Membership $20 per year: 1 Free 55-cent Postage-Printing Fee per month (each fee = 55 cents; up to $6.60 annual savings). Compare to Limited Membership, which allows one courtesy Postage-Printing Fee per quarter (every three months). Directed Delivery - When multiple copies of a book you order are available, we’ll determine the most expedient route to you. We take into account several factors to get your book to you as quickly as possible, putting special emphasis on the closest geographical location for “Greener swapping”!

  • 500-item Wish List - Compare to Limited Membership, which allows 200 items. Unenrolled (a La Carte) members' Wish Lists are limited to 100 items.

Plus other benefits and features.

Limited Membership at $12 per year. Request 30 Books per year Without Swap Fees - No swap fee for your first 30 swaps per year! ($14.70 value) (note: you'll earn a Free swap fee each time you use PBS Printed Postage to send a book) 200-item Wish List - 100 more than unenrolled (A la Carte) member Plus other benefits and features.


A credit system is used to enable members to trade books for credits and credits for books. Credits may either be purchased, or they may be earned by mailing books which have been requested. Consequently, a member need not seek another member who desires a parity trade; credits are the medium of exchange. Both paperback and hardback books may be traded, as well as audiobooks. Within the PBS system the value of any bound book is always one credit, and the value of an audio book is always two credits.

Pickering patented several embodiments of the program with the US Patent Office involving the swapping process of Books, CD's and DVD's . Pickering continues to successfully run the company to date.

Press coverage[edit]

  • PaperBackSwap's Complete Press & Media
  • The Today Show (April 21, 2009). “Get paid to recycle! 15 green tips for the lazy” - by Marisa Belger
  • O The Oprah Magazine (March 1, 2009). “Books on a Budget” - by Katie Arnold-Ratliff
  • People Magazine (February 23, 2009). “More Books for Your Buck” - by Thailan Pham
  • PC Magazine (Sept. 18, 2006). “Web Site of the Week:” - by Sean Carroll
  • USA Today, CBS News, The Christian Science Monitor (February 15, 2006). “Avid Readers Swap Their Books Online” - by Marilyn Gardner
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution (April 17, 2005). “He Traded Reading Habits” - by Doug Nurse
  • Newsday (July 27, 2005). “Read any good books lately?” - by Andy Rathbun
  • The New York Times (October 16, 2006). “I’ll Trade You My ‘Titanic’ for Your ‘Spider-Man’” - by Bob Tedeschi
  • San Francisco Chronicle (June 23, 2009). "Book lovers trade tomes through Web sites" - by Tara Dooley


External links[edit]