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Press & Media » The Express-Times


The Express-Times (Newspaper) - 5/5/2007 by Dustin Schoof
Find a book. Swap a book. Share a memory.
That's the basis of the Website where users from Las Vegas to the Lehigh Valley can trade books with one another with a simple click of the mouse.
"A friend of mine from Massachusetts sent me the link. I'll tell you what, it's the best thing I ever did. I love this site! says swapper Jackie Shoemaker of Easton.
Since becoming a member in late 2005, Shoemaker says she has received 125 books and mailed out more than 130 more.
" I just love to read, I'm a bookworm; if I'm not at the computer then I have a book in my face. For me it saves a ton of money and you meet a lot of nice people."
Jackie Shoemaker of Easton
The premise of the site is fairly simple. Members post their book titles (users must initially post at least nine titles to start) which then feed into what Co-founder richard Pickering calls a "virtual library."
From there, any registered member can peruse the various titles-ranging from romance novels to tips on home gardening-while engaging in live chats and online discussions with other members.
The only charge involved is the price of postage, which is calculated when users choose to send the title requested by another user. Credits are then received by both the sender and the recipient.
Pickering credits frequent flier miles and a love of books for jumpstarting his online creation-co-founding the site in 2005 with business partner Robert Swarthout. Regular trips to the airport bookstore during business trips quickly turned into an assortment of 500 books.
The site has since attracted members from all across the country. In the process it has amassed a million books in its library for members to choose from while at the same time shipping up tp 35,000 books a week.
The company also recently launched a sister site called Similar to swapping books, users can trade CD's from a central Web-based library.
"It's a truly amazing and wonderful thing for us to see as founders of the club. It's been a great experience. I love it and it's a passion and I've thoroughly enjoyed it; we're going to keep going with it. The way it's going now, it's sort of taken a life of its own. It's fantastic, a small little project like this turn into something so big."

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