Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Giving up new book smell for more books the frugal way

Last year a friend talked to me about PaperBackSwap. She told me how she was able to get many of her schoolbooks through this site. I was happy for her, nodded my head then promptly forgot about it. In my quest for all things frugal I have to admit that it hasn't always extended to our schooling... I gotta say I've always been a stickler about my school books. I like them new.
Oh the feeling of being the first one to crease the page.
Well, we're six years into this adventure and I'm learning still...
For example: I've learned we don't have an infinite amount of room for books... Right now there are bookcases in every room but the kitchen and bathroom and I'm not putting a bookcase in the bathroom when we sometimes have a line waiting...
And I'm learning that its okay to buy some used schoolbooks. There are others out there like me who cherish and care for their books and therefore getting them secondhand is almost brand new.
And I'm learning I need to pinch more pennies to afford more books...
So I remembered that conversation with my homeschooling friend and checked out PaperBackSwap.
I've learned a few things these last two months.
1. A LOT of homeschoolers use this site. A LOT.
2. If I'm going to use this site for homeschool resources I need to plan in advance. That means looking for next year's books NOW.
3. You can get some great books in great condition. Books that aren't even for homeschooling- like a devotional book for couples, a cookbook for me, a Christmas decorating and traditions book for me...
4. Your wish list can hold 200 books. So wish for A LOT.
5. You gotta list books that people are gonna snatch up. Which means you gotta be willing to part with some of your great books in order to get new-to-you great books.

When I first started, I listed the books I had from a past curriculum that I no longer needed and couldn't sell on a forums page for that particular curriculum. Eight out of 10 were chosen within two weeks. I have since begun bit by bit to list pieces from other past curriculums- such as books that the curriculum dropped (and I'll be using the newer version), duplicates or books we didn't use/care for from the curriculum.
For example: Just last week-- While attempting to make a dent in the overflow clean my front porch, I found a box of science books used in Sonlight that I had forgotten I'd had. I sold all my old Sonlight materials last year but this box didn't sell and I promptly forgot about it. I posted the books on PaperBackSwap last week and I've already sent out more than half the books I posted [within the week].
I also went through and put books I need/want for next year on my wish list. I figure if I can get at least 10 books I need from PBS that will save me $70-$100. That's a pretty good savings and it leaves me with a bit more wiggle room in my budget- which translates into cash for more pricey field trips. Yay!
I know I am still not using the site to its fullest potential but right now this is what works best for me.

1 comment:

  1. I like your idea of using the paperbackswap as a way to get books for schooling and others that bless your family. I am going to look into this site soon to move some unwanted books for ones we need! Thanks for sharing! :) Carol

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