“ Welcome to ReadItSwapIt, the UK's free book swap shop! We have 40738 books available for swapping, with many more added every day. ReadItSwapIt is a completely free service, so you can swap as many books as you like and you'll only pay for the postage. „
I have just celebrated my three year anniversary with ReaditSwapit and have swapped just short of a hundred books in that time.
The basic premise of the site is to list all your old or unwanted books on the site for other members to view. They can then request a swap with any of your books which will show both on the site and with an e-mail. You can then browse the requesters list to see if there are any books you would like to swap with. If there isn't there is the option to decline the swap. If there is, great you are swapping. All you need to do is swiftly wrap the book and toddle down to your nearest post office with some stamp money and post the book.
The other member will (hopefully) be doing the same somewhere in the UK and thus in a few days time you will have a new book to read with just the cost of postage spent. The alternative is to request the swap, this works exactly the same but in reverse. Browse the huge library of virtual books until you find one you want and request the book from the owner, then it's pretty much the same scenario as before.
The good things about this website are fairly obvious. Firstly it's an awful lot cheaper than buying books new, the postage costs are the only outlay as the website is entirely free to use. It can only be used if receiving and sending from the UK so no lengthy waits and extra costs involved with overseas postage. It's a great way to get rid of old books from your bookshelves (although you'll be filling that space up again I suppose).
There aren't many negatives that I can think of, I suppose postage costs could be one, it seems to cost more to post a heavier book in the last twelve months. Sometimes it would be cheaper to buy the book from a second hand or charity shop although of course they wouldn't have as many books as this site has listed. There is danger of abuse from dishonest members although in three years I have only had books go astray for a few days, they have always turned up in the end and a ratings system on the site would mean that anyone not entering into the spirit of the site would find their swap requests declined.
All in all I would recommend this site if you are a keen reader with a supply of finished books that you want to get rid of.
ReadItSwapIt.co.uk is a book swapping website. It is free to join and free to use, offering you thousands of free books to choose from. The purpose of the site is to encourage reading and to share books that you've finished reading and would otherwise spend the rest of their existence sat unused and unloved on a bookshelf. I rarely keep books after I've read them once, the real 'keepers' have to be a story that really involved me, or a reference book that I can refer to again for instructions. I give books to friends, family, charity shops, and have participated in BookCrossing. ReadItSwapIt (from now on I will refer to as RISI to avoid myself a little RSI!) is an easy to use friendly website and I have had many good experiences thanks to the simple and efficient system that is maintained. I am just getting back into using the site and it's just as good as it always has been!
First off you create an account with your personal username and password. It's best to register this account to an e-mail address that you will check frequently, as you will receive lots of email updates in relation to your swaps, and there are options for you to set extra notifications. Make sure you register your address correctly as this is where your books will be sent, and it's important that you keep your contact details up to date.
After you log in for the first time it helps to get acquainted with the site. The best place to start is by adding any books that you have available for trade. Head to the 'My Books' section, and then click the plus sign + to add books. You can add as many or as few books as you like. You will have to fill in a form for each book, starting with entering the ISBN to obtain the basic details and link in to the catalogue. You then select the book type (which is pre-set to Standard Print) as you may also swap different formats including audio books on cassette, CD or MP3 CD. It is compulsory that you must state the condition that the book is in. You must choose one of the following options: Like New, Excellent, Good, Acceptable. There is then a section where you can state specific areas of damage such as creased spine, yellowing of pages, rips to the cover etc. Be honest and up-front, and state any damage here at this first point. Unless the book is literally falling apart most swappers will not be off-put by a few crinkled pages and will still happily swap for an 'acceptable' or 'good' condition book. Lastly you will need to categorise the book into the subject that it best fits, within the fiction or non-fiction sections available. As soon as you have finished completing the form the book will then be visible against your profile and is available for other users to request for swaps.
Once you've signed in you will have access to 'The Library' and the forum areas. The main purpose of this site is to swap books with other users. The way it works is on a 1-for-1 basis, where you swap one of your books in turn for the other user's book. The library is sorted by category and you can also search by the newest, most common, and most popular books. You can use the search function to look up books by author, title, or description as well as browsing through the Library sections. Once you have found a book that you would like you can either add it to your wish list, or if there is a copy available, request a swap from the other user. You can request a book from someone's list, and in return they will be able to claim a book from your list. Of course there is always the option to turn down a trade, and there can be several reasons for doing so. The other user might not have any books you are interested in, they might have a poor swap history, or you might not want to give any reason and that's fine too.
If your swap offer is accepted and the other user selects a book from your list, you will then receive a notification email containing their postal address and the details of the book which they have chosen. Here is an example showing you the terms and guidelines for sending a book:
"You have agreed to swap with another ReadItSwapIt member and all that you need to do now is post your book.
Please send "TITLE OF BOOK" by "AUTHOR OF BOOK" to the following address:
RISI USER'S NAME
RISI USER'S ADDRESS
Please send your book within 1-2 days. The person you have agreed to swap with is doing the same, so you should receive your selected book within five working days.
We recommend that you obtain a 'Certificate of Posting' from the Post Office when sending your book. This entitles you to compensation if your book goes missing in the post.
You can find a full range of postal charges at the Royal Mail website. Remember that most paperbacks will weigh less than 500 grams. You can also buy stamps online and print your own postage.
When you have posted your book please go to your My Swaps page and click the 'I have sent this book' link beside the appropriate swap. This will let the other ReadItSwapIt member know that you have posted your book.
If you do not receive your book within 7 days, or if you have any problems with the swap, you can email the member that you are swapping with at "RISI USER'S EMAIL ADDRESS". If you don't receive a response or you want more information on what to do if there's a problem, click the 'I'm having problems with this swap' link on your My Swaps page."
The directions are clear and easy to follow and as long as you stick to the rules it will be a positive experience all round. Checking my swap profile on the site, I can see that I have swapped 42 books with RISI and have a 5 star feedback rating. There are also statistics showing how many books I have registered, how many books are on my wish list, the dates of my last swap and log-in, the number of swaps I have accepted from other users, and the number of swaps I have requested from other users. It's helpful for keeping track of everything and in all my swaps the only negative I have encountered is a book going missing in the post, which was not the fault of the sender.
The My Swaps section of the website allows you to track your active swaps and see the exact status and position of where you currently are. This is very useful if you are swapping a large number of books, and it also good for seeing if the other user has fulfilled their part of the deal as well. This can be updated by both parties as the books are sent, and keeps you both informed. You will also receive an email notification once your 'new' book has been posted to you. Once the swap is complete you can then both leave feedback and the swap is complete. Once you've read the book you can add it to your book list and start the whole process again! Keep those books moving!
In case you are going to be offline or away for a while, you can set your books to 'inactive', by going to the My Books section. You can choose to deactivate them one by one, or bump the whole lot in one go. This keeps the record you have created, but stops it being visible to other users, so they are unable to swap with your books during the inactive period. Useful if you don't have time to get out to the Post Office during a busy period, or if you have misplaced a book, or if you are on holiday. You can make the books active again when you are ready and then you can continue swapping as usual.
Another area that may be of interest is the Community, which is a group of forum message boards with various book related themes. Along with the Help section, this is a great tool for new users and helps you to get to grips with the way the site runs and what is expected from everybody. It's a welcoming place to share your views and also offers a place to discuss books, authors and reading challenges etc.
This is a fabulous idea, and works extremely well in my opinion. The vast range of books available is overwhelming, and there is plenty of choice. Swapping is an easy system where you have the freedom to choose or decline based on what the other person has available. I have had nothing but positive experiences and will continue to use this as my first choice for trading or passing on my used books. It's a wonderful way to swap second-hand books and give them a new lease of life with someone else who will (hopefully) enjoy reading them. Spread the word!
I joined this website after re-organising my stuff and created quite a pile of books that I no longer wanted (either previous gifts or just no longer interested). My first plan was to just sell them, but after hearing about readitswapit.co.uk I thought I would see how it would go, especially after previous bad luck in selling books.
As you can decifer from the title it is a bookswapping website. It is free to join and the only payment you have to make is for the postage when you swap a book.
You add your books using the ISBN and the site automatically loads up the book information. You state the condition of the book and then your book is available for people to request. It is as simple as that. Once someone requests a book you can then look through the books they have added and if there is something you want to can arrange to swap. If they don't you just select that you don't want to and wait for the next request. You can view the most requested books to get an idea of what will go quickly. If you have any of these books and don't mind getting rid of them you will most likely get requests very quickly.
You can also search the books that other people have added and request to swap. And they do the same with your books. The more books that you have listed the more likely you will have someone agree to swap with you. It is quite normal for people to decide not to swap as well. You should never feel you have to swap a book just because someone is requesting to.
Once the swap is agreed you then post the books out (usually within 2 days) and then wait to receive your book.
After adding my books I went back the next morning to have 20 requests, 10 for one book. I have had so far only had good experiences and sometimes the most difficult part is choosing which book to swap with! It may not be a way to get rid of books quickly, but I already have a huge pile of books to read so I am not so bothered about the wait.
The website is quite easy to use and it is easy to either browse books or to search for specific books. More simple than I have found on other book selling/swapping sites of a similar nature. This is really good for those that like to browse books and perhaps stumble upon something that they have never heard of before.
You can browse by the various fiction and non-fiction categories available.
** Downsides **
If there is a book you really want the other person may not accept your request so you may have to wait a while for someone else to add a book.
It is a must for anyone who loves books and wants to reinvent their bookshelves. It is a lot less hassle than selling books and you don't have to reduce your book collection either. It may not be quick but it is more hassle free than other sites I have used. Though it is always disappointing when someone declines your request.
Simple, hassle-free, no fees and you are getting something you want for something that you don't want.
I've only been a member of 'readitswapit' for about a week and I actually joined after reading a review on here.
The point of the website itself is pretty obvious and straight forward - you swap books you don't want with other users, for books that you do.
The website is free to join and use - the only cost that you incur is that of sending out your books. You should send books out within 2 days of agreeing to swap and second class post is acceptable - remember that any books over 2.5cm thick will be classified by royal mail as a packet, anything thinner can be sent as a large letter and thus cheaper (remember prices for post are about to be raised yet again).
How it works:
After signing up you list the books you are willing to swap - the simplest way to do this is to type in the books ISBN number, the other book information can then be automatically added for you. For each book you list available to swap you also need to state what condition it is in - it is advisable to be as descriptive as possible and point out any faults the book may have.
After listing books you are ready to start swapping - other people can request to swap a book with you, and this gives you the chance to look at the books they have available. If there is a book you want then you can accept the swap, if not you can decline it. If you decide to accept the swap you will be given the other persons address and should send out the book they requested from you. You can also request to swap books with other people - when you are a new member the number of swaps you can request is 5, this increases the more swaps you do and feedback you recieve.
When you receive a book you should mark this on your active swaps and leave feedback for the other person. When both of you have recieved your book and given each other feedback, the swap information is transferred from 'active' to 'complete'.
Remember the aim of the site is to swap for books you want, it isn't 'like for like' so you cannot demand a hardback in exchange for a hardback etc
Readitswapit also has a forum where you can introduce yourself, discuss books, ask for help etc.
- Website is free to join and use
- Enables you to have a consistent supply of reading material without the price tag
- Although it hasn't happened to me, I have read that 'swaplifting' sometimes occurs - this is where 2 people agree to a swap, one sends out their book and the other person keeps it without ever sending theirs. Members do get banned for this but that doesn't stop people signing up with the intention to do it.
- Website navigation could be better
I have always loved reading but haven't done as much as I'd like to have done recently - that is until I came accross readitswapit.co.uk - I didn't have the money to keep buying new books and while I occasionally visited the library it was a hassle to remember to return the books on time and I don't have an awful lot of spare tiem when the library is open to get there.
I have been using readitswapit for about 8 months now - if you haven't already guessed its a site to swap books with other book worms! Best of all its free.
So - how does it work? Anyone can register on the site as long as they are over 18 years old. Once you are registered you need to list the books you have and no longer want - this is a quick and easy process - click the 'my books' tab and then add books - its as simple as entering the ISBN number and all of the details about the book will automatically come up. From the 'my books' section you will be able to see a list of all books you have added to the site - you can make them active or inactive (swappable or unswappable) to other members. It will also list any books inactive that you have sucessfully received as swaps as inactive so that when you have finished reading just make it active and you won't have to input all details again. There is also a section you must fill in to give the condition of the book so that other members know what they are getting.
There are currently 296,465 books available on there for swapping! There are books from every genre -fiction, non fiction, childrens etc. If you click the library it will bring up all genres available - click the one you wish to browse and request a swap. When you request a swap your list of added books will be sent to the 'swapee' and they will be notified by email that they have a new swap available. They browse your list and if theres something they want, click that book and agree to swap with you. Never feel under pressure to agree a swap as if you don't want to swap with someone you don't have to - simply click don't swap with this member - you can choose from a list of reasons but usually because you don't want to read any of their listed books.
Once you have agreed a swap you should send your book within 7 days - let kne swapee know when it has been sent etc. It works on a rating/feedback system like ebay to make sure that you are a trusted swapper. You can leave comments etc about the swap if necessary. This is the only cost you will incur - postage costs - you can send second class and most paperbacks cost around 90p-£1.20 to send so its a great way to get a new book to read.
You can also make a wishlist of any books that you want to read and may not be available for swapping at the moment - when they do become available you will receive notification by email so that you can request a swap.
The community tab is excellent - its a forum where you can basically discuss books! I have read many reviews of books which I would not usually have thought about reading but the review has made me change my mind. I don't post an awful lot on there but they are a friendly bunch and its quite interesting to read what books are the ones to be read at the moment! I also like reading the lists of peoples TBR (to be read) mountains and realise that I am not the only one with a TBR mountain!!
The shop section of the site is not one I have use - it takes you to amazon etc to buy the books which you are looking for should you wish to purchase them. RISI however do get a small percentage of the purchase price to help keep the site free.
Overall the site is easy to navigate and use. Its brilliant for reviews and finding out of print books and getting a load of new books to read. The best thing is that it is totally free to use. The postage of books is minimal but bear this in mind if you are listing a particularly heavy book for posting as it could cost quite a bit. You also need to bear in mind that all of the books you list are available for any swap you participate in so you can't be annoyed that you want a small book delivered for around £1 and your swapee wants you big heavy one delivered which may cost £5 odd! Its not a negative but just something to bear in mind.
I can't remember how I heard about ReadItSwapIt.co.uk, a recommendation from a random website while surfing aimlessly one evening. What I do know is that once I had found it I was hooked!
I've always loved reading. From a very young age I was far more likely to be found with my nose stuck in a book than watching TV, and I'm still the same. Finding RISI was like stumbling into a book lovers paradise, and I couldn't believe I hadn't found it sooner. A year on it still remains one of my favourite sites (after Dooyoo of course!)
~ About ReadItSwapIt.Co.Uk ~
ReadItSwapIt (or RISI to members) is a very simple concept. You buy a book and read it, but then what? Some are destined to grace your shelves forever, being read over and over again. A keeper in the world of book lovers. Others, once read, will sit gathering dust and taking up space. RISI allows you to swap such books with other members for ones you would like to read, while at the same time allowing someone else to get enjoyment from your read book.
The site has being going for a few years, far longer than I have been a member, and has gone from strength to strength. Today the site has 284,615 books listed available for swap, in every genre, fiction - non-fiction, adults-childrens. Best of all the site is completely free to use!
~ How Does It Work? ~
To use RISI you must be a registered member and have a UK postal address (BFPO addresses are also valid). The only other requirement is that you are over 18 years of age, if you are not then a parent or guardian can register on your behalf.
Registering is simple, by a link from the home page. You will then be redirected to a form to fill in with your full name, e-mail address, home address and your chosen display name and password. You are also asked to select a secret question and answer to enable you to retrieve your password in the event you forget it. Once you have filled in the required information and click register, you will be sent a verification link to your email, which you must click to complete registration. And then that's it, your ready to get going!
The first thing you need to do is to list all the books you would like to swap. This is really easy and straight forward and can be done in one of two ways. You can either search for your book by title or author in the search box at the top of the page. A list of all possible books will then be shown with the option to add to your book list. Alternatively you can click on 'My Books' also at the top of the page and then click add books from there. A form will come up to fill in with the details of your book. Firstly you will need to fill in the section to find your book (although if you have used the first method of adding, this information will be filled in already). You can use either the ISBN found on the back of the book, or the title and author to do this. I find it easier using the ISBN, as books are republished and have different covers this ensures you are listing the correct one.
You then need to describe the condition of your book using a drop down menu. There are a 4 options, Like new, excellent, good or acceptable. As peoples perception of Like new and excellent are subjective, I'd be wary of using these two descriptions. I would only describe a book as Like new, if it was unread and could easily be sold from the shelf, for example. I find that under describing the book to the next level is best, ensuring that your potential swapper won't be disappointed. I have found that most people just really want to read the book, and the condition is immaterial. Under describing certainly hasn't restricted my success on the site and has meant I have avoided any negative feedback or hassle. A second drop down menu allows you to state any damage your book may have, from a slightly creased spine, to aged pages, water damage or missing sleeves. Again I would only suggest selecting none if your book is unread and could be sold in a shop. The list is quite extensive covering all the usual damage a book may occur but if it isn't there you can add to it's description yourself.
Finally, before your book is live for swapping you need to select a category for your book, again from a drop down menu. Then you are asked to rate your book out of 10. I'm not sure why you need to do this, your rating isn't displayed against your book so don't worry about putting people off with a low rating. RISI state it's to allow them to recommend books you may like to you, but I have never noticed this feature or had anything recommended that I'm aware of!
Describing the process makes it seem quite long, in reality it takes a minute to do. Once you're done adding books you are ready to start swapping. You can either sit back and wait for swap requests to come to you, or request a swap from other members who have books you would like to read, simply by searching for the book by title or browsing the library from the link at the top of the page.
You can request a swap from any member. When you make a request your book list will be sent to the member, and they will be notified by email. They then have two options. They can decline the swap, usually because you have nothing they want to read, or accept by choosing one of your books. You will also receive swap requests from other members and can also decline or accept, depending on if they have something you are interested in. Once a swap is accepted it will sit in your active swaps list and here you will find the address to send your book, which you should do within 7 days. The person you have swapped with will also be able to access your information, so all you need to do now is wait for your new book. Once it arrives there is one final stage to the swap process, and that is to leave feedback. You can leave a rating of between 1 and 5 stars for the member you swapped with and should factor in delivery time, packaging, condition and communication... much like Ebay. As you complete more and more swaps, your feedback score will grow, and again much like Ebay, you will reach different levels.
~ Other Features ~
The Library is just that, a huge library of books available for swap. You can enter the Library from a link at the top of every page. Once in the library books are separated by genre in the side bar so you can click to see all books in historical fiction for example. There are also links to the newest books added, the most requested books and the most popular. I find the newly added and most requested links the most useful, particularly when I'm not sure what I fancy.
Your Wishlist is a place you can add books you would love to read. Once added you can search for swappers, or there are links to Amazon to buy the book. I find the wishlist function very useful to store books that take my interest, and I'd like to remember. However it's not possible to search other peoples wishlists, which I think would be an extremely useful feature as you would be able to find who wanted your book and see if they had anything you would like.
The Shop is just that, and links to Amazon.co.uk. I've never used this feature, though as far as I know if you click through from here to buy a book RISI receive a percentage.
Finally, The Community is a large and active forum area for members. While I don't post here regularly, I do find this a very useful section, particularly for reading recommendations and solutions to site problems. It is a very, very polite and friendly community, if a little twee, and these people are precious about their books!
~ My Thoughts ~
Well as I've already said, I love ReadItSwapIt! It's such a simple idea but really does work.
The site is easy to use and navigate, with clear instructions and links even a technophobe like me finds it a doddle. With the books split into genres I find it easy to browse or find a specific item through the search function. There are so many books that it's rare not to find what I'm looking for, and the only problem to overcome has been getting someone to accept my requests. Because you need to have a book the other person would like to read, I have found sometimes it can take a while and a good few requests to get a sought after book. Rather than be a major problem, if I'm honest this adds to the fun of the site. I'm never, ever desperate for something to read as I have well over 70 unread books on my shelf and it can be quite exciting to chase a book, then finally hit lucky. It can become quite addictive!
In the same way, it can be difficult at first to decline swaps requests you recieve. When I first joined I didn't decline any, even if the requester had nothing I really wanted. In some ways this was a great way to find excellent books and authors I would never have come across otherwise. It also meant I ended up with some real turkeys though, which ended up in the charity box. It's important to realise that you don't have to accept every request, it's OK to say no and no-one will be offended if you do.
I don't think RISI is a way to get rid of any old book, there are many books that just won't shift as people just won't accept rubbish for their really good modern ones. There are some books that are just not worth listing, simply because everyone already owns them and has them on their swaplist, I think 90% of swappers have had Bridget Jones and The DaVinci Code on at sometime. I usually have a cull every few month, and books which have had no interest get wiped and sent to the charity box.
What I do love about RISI is finding new books and authors, and the lovely community feel of the site. Even if you don't use the forums, I have mostly found the users of the site to be extremely friendly and courteous. The site relies on trust of it's members to send out their books once they have committed to a swap. There are occasional instances of 'swaplifting', where a member fails to complete their side of the bargain and send their book, but this is very rare and as far as I believe the site admin do have procedures to follow up complaints. I have completed over 60 swaps now, and have never encountered any problems at all. A couple of times I have accepted swaps but things have cropped up and I haven't been able to post right away. A quick email explaining the situation to the other swapper has always been greeted with understanding and pleasantness.
One thing I do think you should be careful about is listing heavy books. Most Paperbacks cost between 90p and £2 to post, depending on thickness and weight. However a hardback will cost considerably more and you need to weigh up if it's worth your while after all, especially when a new book might not cost much more, or sometimes less, on Amazon. I'd recommend weighing any particularly large books and checking the Royal Mail website for postage costs before adding it to your book list.
Another thing worth considering is that on ReadItSwapIt every book is of equal value, once you make a swap request the person is free to choose any book from your list, and may choose one of greater value or size. This doesn't bother me, a read is a read and they are all equal in my mind. However some people don't agree. If you do have books your not prepared to allow the person you have requested a swap with choose, you can make them inactive. The problem here is that they will also be inactive on the site until you reactivate.
Overall I highly recommend ReadItSwapIt to book lovers out there. It's fun, easy and friendly and a great way to find new books, or swap ones you have read for ones you would like. If you haven't yet had a look, go over now and if you've Read It....Swap It!
Read a book and don't really have the storage and want it to go to a good home. Then read it swapt it is the site for you. www.readitswapit.co.uk
Its free to join. The idea of the site is to swap books, you request or recieve a request for a book and you choose a book from that users list. You can reject the person if there isn't anything you want so don't feel pressured into swapping. All you need to do is enter any book you have. The site recognises ISBN numbers so all you need to do is type in that and the site will find the book and you simply add the condition and any other comments and click on add. Simple as that. Once you have entered your books start requesting books. All you pay for is the postage and packaging
All books are added into categories so you can have a browse, or you are able to search for a specfic book via the search option. There is a new facility where you can add any books you want to get hold off, and whenever that books comes in you will recieve an email to let you know.
There is a forum on this site where you can chat and make friends with like minded people and you will also find great reviews on books there.
I have been on there for around 3 years and met some great people and have increased my To be read list quite a bit as recommendations come flying in.
As a big reader myself & mother of two book-devouring children I'm filled with gratitude on a weekly basis for our local library, which is not only bursting with top-rate books but will also scour other libraries nearby for any others we need.
Sometimes, though, even the library runs out of what we're after, & at the rate my kids get through books I'd be a pauper if I had to pay £2.76 on Amazon every time one of us wanted a particular book.
Praise the Lord, then, for Readitswapit. If you've got a stack of books to get rid of, you can list them on the site (dead easy by typing in the ISBN numbers). Then you can browse their library of books listed by other readers & if you find one you want, click a button to show you'd like to swap. A list of your books is sent to them & if they'd like one of your books the swap goes ahead & you simply post your books to each other & give feedback when they arrive. There's no other charges, just the price of postage which can be really cheap for a paperback at second class.
Sometimes you'll get an email saying someone's interested in a particular book of yours. In the same way, you look at their list of books & either swap or say no to reject the swap & that's that.
The choice of books is huge: I check the 'children & young adult' section of the libarary most days & there's several pages of new books added each time. By doing a search you can usually find what you're looking for, although if not there's also a facility to put a watch out for any titles you'd like which generates an email to you when someone lists it.
I've found the other Readitswapit users to be nearly all reliable & honest; only one person ever took a ridiculous time to post me a book after I'd sent mine, & an email to the administrators got a swift, helpful reply & that user's account was promptly blocked.
The only thing I find a bit frustrating with the site is that you may ask to swap with someone who has a book you're desperate for: you wait a few days only for them to reject the swap so you try the next person & so it continues fruitlessly. Unavoidable but VERY trying.
Apart from that, though, a fantastic idea & enormously useful.
As you can guess from the site name this website was set up to allow readers to swap books that they have read for books that they want to read.
The site has a large library of books, currently over 270,000, which covers a wide range of fiction and non-fiction available for swapping. In most cases there are links through to the Amazon product page of each book which makes it really easy to find out more about the book.
Sign up and the listing of books
It's easy to sign up for the site with only the usual e mail and registration details being required. Once you're signed up there is no need to add all your books straight away you can add books as and when you want.
The easiest way to add a book to the site's library is using its ISBN however it's possible to add a book without this as long as you have the title and author of the book. Whilst adding the book you are asked to categorise it by its genre, to rate its condition (Like New, Excellent, Good or Acceptable) and to give details of any damage to the book so that other users can see what they're getting. There's also a space to comment on the book so that you can let other readers know anything you think they should know. In all listing a book takes about a minute so it is not a time consuming process.
The swapping process:
There are two ways of agreeing a swap firstly you can request a book (which can be found either by using the search function of the site or just be browsing the library) from a swapper by clicking on the link next to the book. Once a swap request is made a link to your book list will be sent to the other swapper and then it's just a matter of waiting to see if they want to swap for one of your books. The second way of agreeing a swap therefore is to look at the book lists of the users who want to swap with you and seeing if there is anything you fancy, if so great, swap agreed if not then it's easy to decline the swap and move on to the next one.
Once a swap is agreed both swappers are supposed to send their books to the other user within a couple of days. Books are supposed to arrive within 7 days of the swap being agreed and so most swappers send their books on by second class post in order to minimise costs. There is a link on each users 'My Swaps' page which allows you to let the other user know when the book is on its way and I find this a useful tool. Generally the whole process works well and on the odd occasion that there has been a slight delay I've always found the other swapper to communicate well.
The Feedback Process:
Once your receive your book it is easy to confirm receipt via your 'My Swaps' page. Once you've confirmed receipt of your book you are asked to rate the swap out of five stars and there is space to leave specific feedback so that other users can see what you thought of the whole swapping experience.
Once both users have confirmed receipt of their books the swap is automatically moved to your complete swaps list which remains available to you indefinitely.
There are useful links on the main homepage of the site to the latest books listed, the most popular books at the moment and the books which have the most copies on the site. The search function of the site is also particularly useful, allowing you to search by book title, author or readitswapit member name
One of my favourite things about the site it the facility to add a wish list of books to your profile. This facility allows you to keep track of the books that you are after and allows other users to see if they might have a book that you would like to swap for.
In addition to the main swapping area of the site there is also an active forum which I have found to be very useful, informative and often entertaining. Whilst there are specific areas to talk about swap problems and books in general I've found there's also somewhere to discuss just about anything else you can think of.
I have been a registered user of the site for about ten months now and have made well over a hundred swaps all of which have been successful. I have found the other users of the site to be a great group of people and have received some lovely thank you notes, cards and bookmarks along with my new books. I would highly recommend the site for all book lovers looking for a way to clear the clutter and get their hands on something new to read.
I was disappointed to have a bad experience with readitswapit.co.uk. Things had motored along satisfactorily until I went on holiday, put my list on hold, and on returning found that one of the members wanted to put into action a swap that had been on eighteen months ago. I sent the book but never had the swap in return and only then found from the administrator that this person had been causing problems i.e. not sending out her book but keeping those sent and was finally, because of my experience, struck off. I felt this problem should have been tackled ages ago:postage costs a lot of money these days. (This person probably sells the books online? )
Readitswapit is a website which is dedicated to allowing book readers to swap their books with somebody else. Its an age old idea but it is a great way to recycle your old books and keep reading and learning.
The website is fairly basic looking it has a large blue logo at the top, but it is easy to use and registering simply involves create a user account, which takes about 5 minutes. You can then search the huge database of available books and choose those you are interested in and simply add them to a wishlist.
What you then do is add all of your books so that you have a selection to swap from, you do this by going to 'My Books' and then 'Add Books', you can type in the ISBN and the site will provide all the details for you, or simply give the title, describe it and give a description of its condition. Once you've done this with your books, you can now swap books with others.
When you find a book you like, you ask to swap, an email will then be sent to the owner of the book who can check all of your books and decide whether they wish to swap.
They will respond saying they want to swap, or that they don't for a number of reasons, you can say you've read all the books, or none are interesting or many other things. Overall its a great concept and works really well, my only complaints and its not the sites fault is that often when I put a decent serious book up for swap I get a request to swap from somebody who only has kids books to swap, but its a tiny gripe as I can easily say no.
Once a swap has been agreed, you should email the swapper to let them know when you post the item and you simply pay the postage of your book, they pay the postage of theirs and you swap. Once you receive the swap you leave feedback on the swap and the item.
I've had no problems at all, I find the site usable, easy to access and the selection of books is getting better and better. There is also a shop section powered by Amazon if you wish to buy books rather than swap and discussion pages on books, swaps and many other things.
Its a great idea for a website that is really growing and makes sense for book lovers everywhere.
Got a pile of books lying around and are desperate to read something new? 'Readitswapit' is the perfect site for you to swap your books for others that you'd like to read.
I found this site a few months back, and it's quickly becoming one of my most used sites. The concept behind it is genius; read your books, post them online in your online library, find books from other users that you'd like to swap and wait for them to accept the swap. Alternatively you can wait for swap requests and then choose a book from the users library. All it costs is the postage, and at 2nd class, I find I don't pay much more than a pound per book.
Registering is easy, and from there the first thing you should do is upload all the books you have lying around that you no longer want. There are books that I wanted to keep, those favourites I read over and over again, however the ones that are lying around are just wasting space around the house, so get rid of them. To upload books it's a simple as typing in the ISBN of the book, choose the condition of your book, highlight any damage, choose a genre and give it a rating. There is an optional box to tell users anything you want to about the book, though I've tended to leave this blank. All it takes is a couple of minutes per book! The ease of this and possible benefits only made me want to use the site more.
Next it's up to you whether you choose to wait around for users to request your books, and hope that they have a book you want to read, or alternatively browse through the thousands of books available and start requesting some swaps. As a new users you can only have five requests on the go at once, however the more completed swaps you have the more you can request at once so it ensures that as a new users you don't request hundreds of books and aren't able to complete them all, it settles you in nicely, and doesn't get too much too soon.
Requesting books is simple, once you've found the book you want all you need to do is decide which user you will request it from, usually there are a number of users all offering the book you want so pick one and click 'request book'. Unfortunately it's from here that as a new user you may get frustrated and loose interest in the site...
If you request a book, the user does not have to accept the request; usually responding with 'I've read all the books from this user', or 'I don't want to read any of their books at the moment'. You have to preserve; at the start I got quite a number of rejections, maybe because I only had five books uploaded (tip - upload as many as you can to ensure more successful swaps). However I just went back around and requested the same book from a different user and finally I was successful. If you really want the book you'll be persistent and it will pay off.
Once swaps have been confirmed all it takes is for you to package your book up, pop down to the post office and get it sent. Once sent, be sure to click the 'I've sent this book' on the active swaps page so the other user knows what stage of the swap it's at. Hopefully all will be done in a few days and voila, you've got your first book from 'readitswapit' for a measly 70p (average 2nd class small book) and a few minutes work.
I can't really say a bad word about the site, it does exactly want it says on the tin and the only downside is if another user doesn't accept the swap, but when there are multiple listings of the same book this doesn't really become a problem.
I just can't get enough of the site and what's great is that you will never find you haven't got a book to swap! Read it, then swap it, all in a days work!
ReadItSwapIt is, as the name suggests, an Internet book swapping site.
The principle is simple: you list the books you have for sale, which become visible to other members; you can search books listed by other members. Once you find a book you would like, you can request a swap and if the member in question sees anything they want in your list, they indicate which book they want to swap and all that's left to do is packing and posting.
Alternatively, other members can request to swap a book of yours and after perusing their collection, you can either indicate the title you want in return, or decline the swap (there is a number of ready-made reasons provided, from the obvious "I don't want to read any of their books" to "I am not ready to post now, but try soon").
There is a feedback system (and some safeguards against abuse, as limits on the number of swaps that can be requested at the same time depending on the feedback rating).
The site is free to join and the only cost associated with using it is postage of the books you are sending to other swappers. This can vary depending on the actual book, but as for now, most books (up to 500g in weight) will cost £1.85 to post 2nd class, and the thinner ones which can go as Large Letters will usually cost around £1. This is substantially less than "penny books" from Amazon (£2.76 with postage), and although books can be found for around £1.50 or less in many charity shops, swaps come directly to you door and are the selection is much bigger: ReadItSwapIt claims over a quarter of a million books available at the current count, and this is something to be reckoned with.
I first joined ReadItSwapIt around four years ago and completed several swaps. The system worked fine, but I found entering books cumbersome and, crucially, the range of titles on offer underwhelming: mostly ditzy romance and airport novels with a sprinkling of classics and cult books. I had not used ReadItSwapIt for the next few years, preferring libraries or Amazon marketplace.
Spurred by a banner ad (!!) I recently logged into my account again - and what a huge change!
I initially listed about 20 books, varying from obscure literature theory to popular paperbacks and had several requests for swaps immediately. The selection of books on offer, although still predominantly pop fiction, was significantly broader and I was able to pick up something I fancied in about half of the cases.
I also performed my own searches for books I have on my "wish list" and found quite a few of them on offer, with people willing to pick something from my own list in return.
This change is undoubtedly due to the fact that the site has grown hugely in the last few years, but also to the increased use people seem to make of the "new books" facility (a list of 100 most recently listed books easily accessible from the ReadItSwapIt menu). The majority of swap requests come in the few hours after you list a new batch of books.
I have a sneaking suspicion that at least some people who request swaps are semi-professional Amazon traders. I had experienced otherwise difficult to explain surfeits of requests for utterly obscure books that list on Amazon Marketplace with a reasonably high selling price (£5 and more). I know, because a lot of books I listed on ReadItSwapIt I have also listed on Amazon - and have been failing to sell for the last two years or so! I really don't mind exchanging something I have not managed to sell for £10 for the last two or three years for a book I actually might want to read, even if it's a penny book. If the swapper manages to sell it one day - good luck to them. I don't think there is anything wrong with that at all, although it brings me in a roundabout way to my main niggle with ReadItSwapIt.
ALL BOOKS ARE CREATED EQUAL
ReadItSwapIt is based on a wonderfully simple but occasionally simplistic assumption that from the reader's point of view, all books are equal. This doesn't cause any issues when responding to a swap request (you can always decline the offer), but it causes me a little bit of a conundrum when requesting swaps: I have a few "penny books" on my wish-list, books that are available on the Amazon Marketplace for 1p plus £2.75 postage. On the other hand there are a few books on my list of available that are worth more than a throw-away chick lit novel or a toddler picture book. I would be very happy to swap those "more valuable" titles for some but not all of books I have on my wish-list.
There is a way round it, but unless your book list is quite short, it's a cumbersome one: you can make any of your books "inactive" (you can also make your whole list inactive, if for any reason you want to stop swapping for a while) for a period - I suppose I could "switch off" those few more precious titles when requesting popular "penny books", but I never seem to get round to doing that!
I would appreciate being able to have more than one list on the ReadItSwapIt site: you could choose which list you are going to send to the other member when requesting a swap. I think it would increase the number of new, best-selling or more expensive books available.
On the other hand, the site certainly works well enough as it is, and perhaps I am just trying to fix something that's not particularly broken.
[If you are interested in an consumer review of the website, this is pretty much it. The rest of my review contains more detailed comments on the usability of the ReadItSwapIt website and its particular features].
WEBSITE & TECHNICALITIES
The joining process is quick and easy and the whole ReadItSwapIt website is functional and works well.
It's all quite simple, but generally usable and practical.
The main top menu leads to the most frequently used functions and areas, while the left hand vertical menu contains book categories/genres for browsing.
You can enter books using either ISBN numbers or author/title names. I have tried to use ISBN numbers but from my (so far limited to entering around 60 books) experience, ReadItSwapIt system is not actually very good at identifying many books by their ISBN. Only a few of the books I tried to enter were recognised from their ISBNs, while it was possible to locate pretty much any of them using the title or author.
The search function has some strange peculiarities (it certainly doesn't like more than three words in search terms) and it seems to work best when using actual titles (or three keywords from the title). ReadItSwapIt allows you to search their database or Amazon books, and it seems to me that the best way to locate books that are hard to find on the ReadItSwapIt system is to search Amazon Books using the title, or to go straight to Amazon, locate your book and if it has one, copy the 13 digit ISBN and use that.
You can also enter the details of your book by hand, and then attempt to find a picture and description later.
It's definitely worth locating a cover photo and particularly a description, and if there is no description on Amazon it might be worth providing your own few words: not perhaps for an obscure-30-year-old brochure on self-help for diabetics, but for novels or other titles that have a chance of being picked up.
There is an extensive drop-down list of possible damage, and this seems slightly excessive to me. I think that a "condition grade", as used by Amazon would be sufficient, with guidelines on what constitutes "good" or "acceptable" and a space for a freetext description of damage. Most books would have either no damage, or require manual entry anyway (as the drop down menu doesn't allow for multiple selections).
I also find it astonishing that there is no field for "paperback/hardback" as only books specifically identified by their new (13-digit) ISBN number would have this information on Amazon.
All the comments regarding the search function apply to looking for books for yourself as much as to listing books. A useful feature provided by ReadItSwapIt is a Wish List, which helps to manage your swaps, as well as generating automatic alerts if any books on your wish-list are newly listed on ReadItSwapIt .
Overall, looking for particular books is well covered on ReadItSwapIt and as the search system improves (as I am sure it will) and their database grows, it can only get better.
The situation is rather different when browsing book lists of members that requested one of your titles for a swap. Their list of books appears in a seemingly random order (probably in the order the books were entered) and there is no way to sort it. It's possible to filter books by category/genre or author, but not sort nor select multiple categories. None of it is a problem if the requesting swapper has a couple of dozen, maybe even 60 books on their list, but if their list runs into hundreds (and some do), it becomes an issue.
ReadItSwapIt website has now a community section, which is essentially a series of forums, some of the devoted to discussion or simple listing of books read, some concerning the mechanics of the site. I have not participated actively in those, but there is a bit of community there if you are into such things.
There is also a "shop" (essentially Amazon ) on ReadItSwapIt, which allows for purchase of books that are not available for swapping and also other Amazon items. This obviously provides the main income of the site (although there are also a few fairly unobtrusive Google Adsense ads).
== What Could be Improved? ==
I would certainly like to see improved ways to view other swapper book lists: simply allowing a sort by author and category would help.
I would also like to see more connectivity between different parts of the system: for example removal of the book from the Wish List if it was successfully swapped, or having books from your wish-list automatically flagged on swappers' lists.
Member profiles tell us ratings and totals swaps requested, accepted and completed, but they could also show percentage accepted, which would help if selecting a swapper to request a book from if more members have it on their list.
I would also like to see information about my interactions with a given swapper: let's say how many swaps (and a list of thus) I requested, accepted and declined/had declined.
It would be also good to see information along the lines of: you have declined their swap before, but since then they added the following books; or some way of flagging particular members/making notes about them (or rather their book lists).
These are all fairly minor things, though. Overall, ReadItSwapIt revisited after four years is an excellent site indeed and very much worth joining and using.
I have always been a fan of reading and use the library whenever possible. That doesn't stop me buying books, new or second hand when the mood strikes though. After a few months I find myself with nothing new to read and boxes of books being stuffed into bookshelves or boxes under my bed.
A couple of years ago I came across the swapping book site known as Read it Swap it, and haven't looked back since.
The site is essentially a place to list any unwanted books you have, that are available to swap with other members who have done the same. Registration is required, which includes details such as your address for members to post books to you, as well as a valid email address that you use regularly to keep track of any swaps being requested from you.
The site holds a simple layout with much more text than graphics which helps the speed of the site. It is sectioned off into areas for members only where you can log in and check your own book lists, search other member's book lists and more areas such as a community forum.
How do you swap a book I hear you ask? The easiest way to go about it is to list your own books first and then search the site for any other books you may want. Once you've found one, it's a simple process to choose to swap with another member. The site will ask you to confirm the process and then send an email to the member you wish to swap with.
The member can turn your swap down if they don't want to swap with you, and you can choose many reasons from not wanting to read your books, right through to all books have been read etc. Don't feel pressured being on the other side of the swap either if someone asks you to swap, you don't have to if there is nothing there for you.
Once the member accepts your swap, you are sent an email confirming the swap and the address to send the book to. The site obviously recommends getting proof of posting in case anything goes wrong with the swap. You are supposed to send within one or two days of the swap being confirmed. This isn't always possible and you will have the opportunity to email the swapper with your reasons etc. Most people understand busy lives of people and as long as you explain it's fine.
On a personal note I would recommend ending all books second class and using recycled wrapping materials if you can to keep costs down. It's great to send a book off and receive one but you will still spend between £1.41 - £1.85 for a paperback book depending on how thick it is. Remember this as well before requesting to swap up to your account limits, as the costs can spiral. You can only read one book at a time.
You can view any books you have loaded on in your profile area. It's a good idea to check this list every so often just in case you don't have a book any more for whatever reason. You can also use this section to let the site know you are going on holiday so no members can request books from you until you change your settings.
Your swapped books can be tracked under your swaps section. It's here that you will let the site know when you have sent a book or received it, and whether it's in the condition the other member stated it was. You can also rate another member here when you have completed a swap with them. As the site is based on trust and nothing can be done if you swap a book and you don't receive another back, it's important to rate fairly at this point.
The rating system is based on five stars. If the swap is smooth and quick with everything as described then leave five stars, if not explain why in a polite manner and leave as many stars as you feel appropriate.
The amount of books you can request from other members also depends on how many five star ratings you have. This stops new members requesting lots of books in one go. As you gain more ratings from members, your level will increase until your star colour changes and you become a super swapper etc.
There is a section on the site to add books you want to read, called your wish list. If you activate your wish list, you will be emailed once per day for any new books on your list added to the site the previous day. I love this area of the site as I know that I don't have to remember to search for a book I want, the site will email me when a new one comes available. This is especially good when you have requested all the available ones already on the site and been turned down for whatever reason.
If you do get problems with a swap, I would advise you to email the swapper directly first. If no joy there then look at the community forum and ask for some advice. There is an email contact for the site owners that you can go to but this tends to be a last resort.
I know from reading the forums that problems are few and far between. Personally in the two years I have been using the site, I have never come across a problem. I may have received a book that was in slightly worse condition than stated, but I only want to read it so if it's not too bad then I don't worry too much. I just make sure I change the condition if and when I choose to relist it.
If you do choose to relist after reading, then it couldn't be quicker as the site stores the books you have received and gives you the option to relist straight from there without having to go through the rigmarole of listing from the start.
The site links heavily with Amazon and Amazon provides all the blurbs for the books and it will also direct you there with the option of buying new if there are no books available to swap. I thought this was an ingenious idea from the people behind RISI but I'm too clever for them as I try not to buy a brand new book anymore.
Overall I think the site is great compared to other book swapping sites that work on different swapping points. I like the idea of a book for a book. I always have a reading pile now and I find that when I have too many to read, I'll stop requesting swaps for a while or set myself to being on holiday until I have worked my way through my mountain to read.
The downside to the site is that my mountain of books never diminishes but I still get fresh reading material to read instead of looking through all my read books and remembering the plot which doesn't fill me with desire to read the book again.
I signed up to Readitswapit.co.uk (or RISI) around 3 weeks ago after seeing an online advert on Amazon when buying a book. I am an avid reader and get through books so quickly that even though I am lucky enough to share taste in books with my four sisters and mum it still costs me a fortune to keep reading.
RISI is, I guess like a huge online library. A place where book lovers around the UK are willing to swap their read (and sometimes unread) books in return for one of yours!
It is free to register to use the resource. You just go to the website, pick a user name and enter some personal details. You will need to give your email address and your home / work address so that the person you are swapping with knows where to send the book. Don't worry your home address is not shown on your public profile. It is only given to the users with whom you have agreed to swap.
Before you can swap you need to add your own books. This is really easy to do. You click on the "add books" tab and then enter the ISBN number from the book. This is normally found on the back cover of books. When this is done all the information about the book is automatically found for you. I think that if the ISBN is not found that you can enter this manually but I have not had to do this.
You then have to describe the condition of your book from "like new" to acceptable. Don't worry if you have a slightly scruffy paperback- most swappers don't care - there is something special about a well read book.
There are a number of ways that you can search - by author, by book title - by category, so there are lots of ways that you can find your perfect read. And the best thing is that it is just like swapping with friends or family but having an almost limitless pool of people to swap with.
If you find a book that you fancy then you just click "swap with this book" and an email is sent to the other person. If they like one of your books then they will agree the swap. You are told by email when this happens. Sometimes the other person decides that they don't want any of your books right now - they just refuse the swap - nothing personal!
I have found that actually most of the swaps come to you! you get an email telling you that someone wants to swap with one of your books. Again - if you want something of theirs then great - otherwise no worries. I have had one of my suggested swaps refused and have refused 2 others so think it is a fairly frequent occurance.
The Physical Swap
Once a swap is agreed you just post off your book - most books cost less than £1.60 second class - they do suggest that you pick up a certificate of posting to compensate you if Royal Mail lose the book, probably a good idea. Then you click "I have posted this book" on the site - again an email is sent to the other party. I always put a little note to the next reader in mine - as it makes it feel more personal.
Wait, and receive your book.
It is important to give feedback on the swap once you have received your book. There is something really nice about getting a 5 Star rating!
I have done 10 swaps - none of which have had any problems yet. The site does work to kick out users who dont play ball so I think that it is pretty reliable.
All books that you have swapped with other users go into your "inactive books"list - which means that when you have read them you just make them active and they are ready to swap again.
If you are away there is an "I am on holiday" function which lets people know that you won't be responding for a while.
There is a community and forum area - great for advice and chat from discussing the latest novels to finding rare and out of print books.
A great site, full of trustworthy members and a brilliant alternative to your local lending library!