A famous English writer, poet and artist by the name of John Ruskin once said, “If a book is worth reading, it’s worth buying”. While that might have sounded very reasonable and inspiring during the Victorian era when dear Ruskin was alive and there were fewer books to buy, a century later with dwindling world economy and skyrocketing prices it’s next to impossible to grab hold of every book you desire without leaving a serious dent in your bank balance.
Renting from the library is a good option, or just swap books online. The same can be done with DVDs. Everybody has dozens of DVDs they no longer use either because they got tired watching it or lost interest in it.
So here are some places where you can exchange, trade or swap books and DVDs you no longer need, for a fresh one.
PaperBack Swap is a book swapping website from the same people who own Swap A DVD and Swap A CD (see under DVDs and CDs). You can swap books as many times as you want, once you finish reading it.
Read it Swap it – A book trading site with over 226,000 books available. The number of books you can request depends on the amount of positive feedback you have from other users.
WhatsOnMyBookshelf – A book trading community where you can barter books using points system.
Novel Action is a book swapping site. It’s isn’t free though – they charge a fee of $25/year during which you get unlimited exchanges.
FrugalReader – Trade books by earning credits when you give your books to others. Use your credit points to get books you wish to read.
BookCrossing – Trade books with over 742,000 people in over 130 countries for free. Over 5 million books waiting to be shared.
BookMooch – Trade books and earn points which you can redeem to get your desired books.
BookHopper is a UK based book swapping site. A user is allowed to take a maximum of one book per week.
America's BookShelf – A book swapping community with a membership fee of $12 per year. Additionally you have to buy book credits at $3.50 per credit. Each credit allows you to receive one book.
Book Swim is a book swapping cum rental service starting at a membership fee of $9.95 per month. When you have finished reading a book, swap it for another book. There is no limit to the number of books you can swap and there is no shipping charges either.
Textbook Revolt – A book exchange website which focuses on college textbooks.
DVDs and CDs only
Swap A DVD is a big community of swappers that allows you to exchange movie DVDs. At the time of writing this, Swap A DVD has 175,000 members and 83,000 DVDs available. They also have a sister site Swap A CD, which specializes in music CDs.
FlickFlop lets you trade DVDs with other users for $1.99 per trade which includes packaging and handling charges.
Swopster is a game swapping service. It’s free to join but there are some disappointing restrictions: they support only USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand citizens and you can only swap within your own country.
Books, DVDs and others
SwapTree – One of the most popular swap site. Swap books, DVDs, CDs and video games. You don’t have to pay for the item you are exchanging, just the shipping charge.
SwitchPlanet – Another trading site that deals with books, CDs, DVDs, game CDs, music CDs and so on. Free to join and the only cost you have to bore is when you ship your used items to others.
ZunaFish – Trade books, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes for just one buck per trade.
TitleTrader is more than a book/DVD swapping site. It allows you to trade anything from clothes to jewelry, from sports goods to kitchen appliances. Curiously though, TitleTrader promote themselves as only books and DVD trading site.
SwapThing – Trade books, DVDs, magazines, posters, electronic goods etc. Free to join but you have to pay the shipping charges, as always.
Bookins – Trade books and DVDs for a flat charge of $4.49 which includes the cost of shipping.