7 Book Swap Tips for Book Lovers

Book lovers who also care about the environment should seriously use book swaps to minimize the deforestation of the paper industry. Goodfair has a new product line in honor of Arbor Day which can help keep your book obsession planet-friendly. 

So you’re a book lover. 

You totally get where Hermione Granger and Lisa Simpson are coming from. You categorize your book shelves on Goodreads. You max out your check out limit at the library. Your collection of bookmarks is impressive. You read four or more at a time. 

Four books hanging on a clothing line

We understand, and we’ve got you covered. In honor of Arbor Day, coming up on April 30, Goodfair is launching its latest preloved product: books! 

But first, let’s talk about one of the problems with publishing. 

Environmental Footprint of Books

Cat sniffing catnip over an open book

Reading second-hand books is a great way to satisfy your book addiction without harming the deforestation linked to publishing. 

Each year, 626,000 tons of paper are used to produce books in the United States. Book publishers are trying to improve their climate impacts, but paper alone tends to make roughly 30-40% of book publishers’ overall environmental CO2 footprint. 

You can solve this problem for your own bookshelf by reading used books and swapping with friends. 

5 ways to swap books

A woman with natural hair holding a stack of books in a library

Swapping books gives you karmic superpowers, because sharing books brings so many benefits to others. It not only opens up new worlds, it gives you that special bond that only readers of the same book can have. Here are some great ways to swap books.  

BFF swap 

I love trading books with friends, because I tend to trust their taste. Keep your book-loving friends close to your heart, so you can always stay in their book trading network. 

Host a book swap

You can organize your book swap different ways: 

  • Each person brings one book and trades with the option to “steal” once or twice.
  • Each person draws a name from a hat and brings a book for that person. 
  • Each person brings multiple books and browses freely among others’ tradeable stashes. 

However you host a book swap, make sure no one leaves empty handed. 

Trade at a used bookstore

A shelf filled with old books and potted plants

Many used bookstores will invite you to bring your old books for them to consider buying. Depending on their quality and popularity, you’ll get cash or credit for them, which you can use to buy other books. 

Exchange books at a Little Free Library 

A little free library is a cute little depot where people leave books available to borrow. You can bring a book and take one from the collection. It’s usually a little book shelf or cabinet set up in a neighborhood along the road. If there’s not one in your neighborhood yet, consider making your own. 

Book swap online

Check for Facebook groups like Clear Your Shelves or use Paperback Swap, an online platform, to trade books with people online.


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