Archive for the ‘swap’ Category

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Swaptree integration

We’ve added integration with a thirteenth swap site, By available titles Swaptree is now one of the larger swap sites we integrate with—and the last large one I’m aware of!

Swaptree differs from some of the other sites in that you don’t accumulate points and trade them in. Instead, Swaptree helps you make item-for-item trades with other users. The site also lists DVDs, CDs and video games, and you can make cross-media trades (eg., a video game for a book).

I’m don’t know how it figures out what you get for everything, but it’s a nifty idea, and seems sensible in light of my blog post on top wanted and unwanted items at swap sites. When I entered the top-wanted The Omnivore’s Dilemma, it offered me choice of nearly 100,000 books—some quite attractive to me—along with some appealing DVDs and games. At the other end, it offered me nothing at all for the least-wanted Da Vinci Code. That certainly seems like a potential answer to one problem with swap sites.

You can specify which swap sites are calculated into on Edit profile > Sites/apps.

It might be interesting if, in the future, LibraryThing integrated more deeply, so that, when you went to a book on LibraryThing, it told you if you could get it based on your Swaptree “have” list.

Come talk about this.

Labels: new features, swap, swap site

Monday, November 12th, 2007

A Dutch swap site

I’ve just added a new swap site,, a new Dutch book swapping site. Here’s the swap page for Duncton Tales, available on

Book-swapping is another of the “29 Things” many members don’t know about LibraryThing.

In short, there are a growing number of swap sites out there—sites where you can give and give books for a modest fee or even for postage alone. The largest site is BookMooch, but many members swear by other sites, and there are a growing number of country-specific sites. is the first Dutch site of its kind.

Some time ago, we decided NOT to get into the swapping game ourselves, but to integrate with sites. Almost all sites have met our modest requirements for integration. In this way every work on LibraryThing can have a “swap” page, showing what sites have a book and making it easy to give or get a book from a swap site. The page can be found in the “Buy, borrow or swap” box.

Examples: Atonement, The Kite Runner, Freakonomics.

Labels: 29things,, swap

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

ReadItSwapIt becomes 10th swap site

A tenth book-swapping site has chosen to integrate with LibraryThing, ReadItSwapIt.

ReadItSwapIt is a UK site, and boasts some 125,000 titles available right now. Here’s the page on LibraryThing showing copies of a book on ReadItSwapIt. They’ve got a bang-up buzz page. It’s a credit-free system. This is a bold move, but not unattractive. As they explain it:

“Swapping on ReadItSwapIt is like swapping with friends. If you like each other’s books, you swap. If you don’t, either of you can reject the swap.

Many swap sites operate a credit system. That means, instead of swapping books, these sites allow you to swap credits. Any time anyone wants a book of yours, they give you a credit and you post the book out to them. You can then use this credit later to get a book sent to you by someone else.

This sounds great on the surface. But in practice, the problem with this system is that whenever anyone requests any of the books you have registered, you have to post out that book immediately. It doesn’t matter how inconvenient it might be for you to get to the post office that week. And what if you go on holiday? You have to let the site know. You have no control over the amount of swaps you make. You could end up acquiring loads of credits but not be able to find any books you like on the site. So you’re left with a load of worthless credits, no books and a big postage bill.”

That rings true to my experience. I posted a book to a swap site, and then dithered when I got the email. My wife decided she wanted to read it too. I ended up buying the book on Amazon and having it expressed to the swap person, just to save face. People like me need a more forgiving system.

I’m also impressed by their commitment to accessibility It’s way more than LibraryThing does.

Labels: swap

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Readers United, Swap Club / International tweaks

Everyone give a warm welcome to two new swap sites, Readers United, a UK site, and Swap Club, a New Zealand one.

All told, we now integrate with nine swap sites around the world. (We could had eleven, but one died and we nixed another after we discovered them listing books they didn’t really have available.) The continued appearance of swap sites, is a good sign for book swapping. Clearly the idea is here to stay!

Swap sites that aren’t yet integrated with LibraryThing should check out our directions.The more the merrier.

The swap sites are now also integrated with LibraryThing’s new “geolocation” feature. Basically, LibraryThing looks at your IP and/or domain (eg.,,, etc.), and reorders the swap sites accordingly.

We’re doing the same on the home page as well. Here’s how it looks if you enter the site from a French IP address:

Geolocation is an inexact science. We won’t want to overdo it. (“Wait, are you suuuure you don’t want to be on the French site?”) But we’re open to suggestions.

Labels: swap