NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
London, United Kingdom, 2006/05/30 - Book lovers have found a new, green way to acquire books: swap them over the internet. Green book swappers are recycling more than 10,000 books a month using the book swap website ReadItSwapIt.
Members arrange to exchange their old books for new ones via the site, which is free to use.
In total, more than 40,000 books have been recycled since it officially launched in January and there are another 40,000 books up for grabs in its library.
“It’s a way for green book lovers to save money and trees at the same time,” says ReadItSwapIt co-founder Neil Ferguson, who set up the site in his spare time with his friend Andrew Bathgate.
The pair wanted to encourage people to read and recycle books and never dreamt that, in just four short months, their site would become the biggest book swap library in Britain.
“I used to commute a lot on the tube and I would read to try to escape the reality that I was squashed up next to somebody's armpit," said ReadItSwapIt co-founder Andrew.
“I was spending a lot on books and running out of space to store them, so instead of throwing them away I came up with the idea for ReadItSwapIt. It means each book you purchase has an unlimited life cycle – every book you finish you can immediately recycle for another book,” he explains.
Users pay for the cost of sending the books by second class post to other users (usually about 88p), but the site is totally free to use.
One member has swapped nearly 700 books while another, London resident Carol Kurimbokus, has swapped so many that her husband has threatened to move her - and her books - out into the street “in a cardboard box”.
“The original idea was to get rid of books and make room at home,” said Carol, a 47 year-old office manager.
“But I ended up swapping for books I want to keep - my stash of books is now so large I have to hide some of them under my desk at work,” she added.
Once readers start swapping, it seems they simply can’t stop.
At least, this was the case with local Torfaen resident and University of Wales lecturer Angharad Jones, who began swapping online in January.
She is now one of the most avid book swappers in Wales and has exchanged more than a hundred books using ReadItSwapIt.
“I’m a book-aholic,” says Angharad. “I used to have great problems walking past a bookshop without justifying buying one more book – but since I joined ReadItSwapIt I haven’t bought a single book."