Online Book Swaps: ‘Tis Better to Give and Receive

by Rachel Kaufman
Special to the Washington Post
Sunday, December 14, 2008; Page N02

It’s like getting a present,” Christa Cothrel says a little gleefully. The Arlington resident and self-described bibliophile has been getting books in the mail for four years — free.

Joan Wendland of Sterling hasn’t bought a book in 18 months, yet her bookshelves are full. She has sci-fi and fantasy, mysteries, nonfiction, audio books and one incredible Jasper Fforde novel autographed by the author. “He doesn’t come through the States often,” Wendland, 44, says, “and when he does, there’s a huge line.”

Wendland didn’t pay a penny for any of these books. She and Cothrel are two of the thousands of people using the Web site PaperBackSwap to trade books. The autographed Fforde cost her one “credit,” which Wendland received when she mailed an old book to someone else.

Read the rest at

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *