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Swappin' Books

Websites bring you the titles that clutter other people's shelves

If you love to read but are watching your pennies (and the library's too far away), consider joining an online book-swapping club like PaperBackSwap or BookMooch or TitleTrader. All let you exchange books with faraway readers for the cost of postage.

— Michael Biann/Getty Images

You post a list of the books hanging around your house and look over the lists of other members. If someone wants one of yours, you receive an email with the address. As the sender, you pay the postage, currently $2.38 for up a pound, but you earn credits with the swap service, which then allows you to receive books.

When you request books, you use your credits and receive your reading for no money at all. For titles not currently available, there's a wish list — you'll be notified when someone has a copy to trade.

Paperbackswap sister sites and do the same job for electronic media. TitleTrader also exchanges DVDs and CDs, as well as video games.

Joan Rattner Heilman writes about good deals and how to find them.

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