Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My quest for savings: Books

This is the third post in the series on my quest for Savings.

I'm a book addict. I like nothing better than curling up on the sofa with a good book in hand. I started seriously reading books in 6th grade. Started off with "Famous Five", "The Three Investigators", "Secret Seven" and the like and progressed to Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes. Became a Science Fiction fan and read every one of Isaac Asimov's and Arthur C Clarke's books. Having a library of about 2000 books at home helped – (my dad and my uncles were book addicts too) and I'm sure what also helped was that we did not have TV at home until I was in 9th grade or so. TV transmission started in my little corner of India only in mid 1980's.

Back in India, almost all my allowance during the school and college years used to go into buying books. I loved browsing second hand book shops looking for "gems" to add to my collection. Once I got a job, a sizable amount of my salary was spend on books. Though my reading habit reduced drastically after marriage and kids, I still try to read at least a book a week – though it is mostly non-fiction now – like finance, investing , business, science and philosophy.

In the first few months of my coming to US, I had spend around 300 dollars just on books and was looking for a cheaper and more frugal way of getting books that I liked. That’s when I discovered Paperbackswap. It acts as an online exchange for books. You list the books you have and get credits for listing your books. Use your credits for requesting books from others and they ship it to you free of cost – and the best part is that the book is yours to keep. Similarly, if some one requests a book from your list, you ship it to them and get credit for requesting more books. This way, I estimate that I have saved well over 500 dollars in the last 6 months alone by using Paperbackswap. The sites interface is very easy and intuitive to use and its very easy to search for books posted by others and for requesting/reserving books I like. I highly recommend Paperbackswap if you love reading and "owning" books. So what are you waiting for? Get over to Paperbackswap and register – It's guaranteed to save you money!!.