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Ken Peavey
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I've got several books. I've read them, reread them, can probably recite from them.
New books cost at least a few bucks. Some can get pricey.
Once the information contained in them is assimilated, the books are often relegated to the shelf to collect dust.

Put them back into circulation through a book swap.
Book Swapping has been going on probably since people figured how to read and write. There are plenty of websites that assist in swapping, http://bookmooch.com/ for example. Give up a book in trade for another. Swapping in the mail incurs postage. Swapping in person will find the price is right.

Permies get around. They go to classes, seminars, farmers markets, tour farms, attend lectures and seed swaps-plenty of places to go and things to do. Adding a book swap to an event is easy enough. Just take a couple of books with you, leave a couple in your car. The idea is gaining in popularity in a weak economy.

Promoting a book swap as part of an event would add value to that event and may even fill a couple more seats. As a host, get the word out that a book swap is part of your event by mentioning it in an email or listing it on a flyer. Put a few books in a box under your farmers market table.

Here's something nifty taking hold all over the world, The Little Free Library.

 
Ken Peavey
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Went down to Gainesville yesterday to visit The Repurpose Project. You name it, they probably have it, in good shape, cheap.
The place is currently moving to it's new location and holding a half price sale. There was a Country Living Grain Mill I just had to have for $125, just like out of the box brand new.
While I was poking around I came across the book section.
Lots of books. Textbooks, cookbooks, children's books, literature, fiction...and some gardening books.
I couldn't live without them. Took everything I could find. Perhaps a dozen books with a price tag of $1. I'd have picked up more stuff but it was already 20 minutes past closing time.
I piled my selection on the counter and was asked "How much would you like to pay?"

I was flabbergasted.

The store is located near the University of Florida. I suspect they get a good deal of business from poor college kids needing stuff for apartments.
I make a decent living and explained how I like what the project is doing, how I was thankful for the grain mill and the fact they held it for me for a few days, and that I wanted to support the endeavor.
I handed over a $20 bill. I probably could have had all that stuff for $5.

My little gardening book collection is growing. More books to swap!

 
Ken Peavey
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Seeing Sam Barber's thread about Organic Gardening Magazine suggests that magazines can be swapped right along with books.
Good information never gets old.
 
Ken Peavey
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Book Swapping Through The Mail
The US Postal Service offers Media Mail. Books can be shipped for reasonable prices. Place in an envelope or box, add sender and recipient address with ZIP code, and pay by the pound. It'll get delivered but there is no guarantee on when. Shipping costs begin at $2.69/pound and get better as the weight grows.

See the USPS for Media Mail Shipping Rates.

The size and number of the books being shipped would determine the packaging. A couple of small books could fit into a brown Kraft envelope. Looking at prices, Office Depot has 10" x 13" Clasp Envelopes available at $16.79/100, 17¢ each. This puts the cost of shipping 5 pounds of books at less than $5.
 
Ken Peavey
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Poking around on a lazy Sunday afternoon I came across thriftbooks.com.
Used books, dirt cheap. Looks like the seller and the site earn some spare change on the sale with the bulk of the price going towards shipping. Buy more than 1, get 50¢ off each additional book.
Momentum got the best of me, I ended up picking out 28 books for less than $100. Then I found the Foxfire Book and Foxfire 3.
When self control returned I ended up with 30 books for $104.06. That includes shipping. The books will come in over the next couple of weeks from all over the US.
Some paperback, some hardcover. Most are garden related. Threw in a Ben Franklin autobiography. Picked up a few that I thought would be good for sharing- Patricia Lanza's lasagna gardening was $2.70 shipped, Amazon price is 1¢ plus $3.99 for shipping.

There is no bookstore in the nearest town. About the closest thing to a book around here is the 77 acres of pine trees across the street that will be cut down, turned into pulp and used to produce cardboard boxes to ship books in.



 
Ken Peavey
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Some of the books have started to come in already. They are being shipped out from 9 different locations. From the looks of things, Thriftbooks.com is a blending of several used book sellers across the US who have their act together. The site is a composite of what is available. A listing for a particular book shows the best available copy and offers books in other condition as well as hard and soft cover. This gives you the chance to save a little more.

The condition of the books is impressive. Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma came in hardcover with the dustcover. There is what may be a fingernail imprint on one spot. It's as good as brand new, was listed as 'Very Good'. Cover price: $26.95. My price was $4.84 and I got 50¢ off because I bought more than 1 book at a time. $4.34 included shipping. They are giving them away. The Autobiography of Ben Franklin (it doesn't name the author for some reason) had a page that was folded-the worst damage found. Most of these look like they have never been read.

For a book swap or Little Free Library, I think the hardcover versions of books will be the way to go. They'll hold up longer to wear.



 
Ken Peavey
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Here's an interesting site: The Book Thing of Baltimore, Inc.
Our mission is to put unwanted books into the hands of those who want them.


Free books.
FREE.

I've not found any mention that they ship books and there is no inventory listed on the website. It appears you have to show up, but you can help yourself to whatever you like.
I expect to be driving through Baltimore next summer. This presents an opportunity to bring back some books.
What can be done with a truckload of books?
Stock up some Little Free Libraries.
Book Swap Parties.

I gotta contact Eric Stewart over at Kinship Urban Farm. A community garden with a library of books to swap could help draw people in. Head over, help out, meet other locals with common interests, and swap books so folks can study and learn on their own. I'm not seeing a downside here.
 
Stefan James
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I use Paperbackswap, you have to pay postage and there are 'credits' to make sure you share as many books as you get but its pretty easy- the hardest part is waiting for the books you want but they will come along.
 
Kevin Searcy
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Location: ST Albert AB Canada
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Hello, Just sharing a site I found, www.soilandhealth.org I saw your name and a book reference to saving old books, so you may know how to best share this site. It's a collection of out of print books, now available as E-books, for a small donation. Check it out and please pass it along. Check out Cato's book on farming. I now see cabbage in a whole new light! Blessings
 
Ken Peavey
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Kevin Searcy wrote:Hello, Just sharing a site I found, www.soilandhealth.org I saw your name and a book reference to saving old books, so you may know how to best share this site. It's a collection of out of print books, now available as E-books, for a small donation. Check it out and please pass it along. Check out Cato's book on farming. I now see cabbage in a whole new light! Blessings


Swapping E-books?
Sure, I can see that working. That site has several titles I recognize such as An Agricultural Testament by Sir Albert Howard. Many of these works were written before the green revolution and offer insight on agriculture without mechanical and chemical methods.

R Scott has started a thread which details other ebook libraries: Archive.org -- Saving old books before they rot away.

 
Helen Gilson
Posts: 38
Location: Zone 6 Ohio but interested in Zone 6 Southwest
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I just ordered $100 worth of books before finding your post! I ordered used but free would have been good too I pick up books at the thrift store all the time. I usually have a few I'm willing to pass along. I enjoy using Freecycle for things like that. Can we start a Permies Freecycle forum? There may already be a barter forum available but Freecycle is just good fun, giving and getting for free. Our county has an active one and my church uses a facebook group for one that I am the admin for.

I've sold online so have no problem shipping something priority mail for a couple bucks if someone out on a rural homestead can use it.



 
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