Goodreads Blog

Bookswap Closing October 31

Posted by Patrick on September 30, 2011 175283

Sometimes in the course of a products life we have reconsider our priorities. After months of careful exploration and thought, we have made the sad decision to put Goodreads Bookswap on indefinite hiatus.

We initially launched Bookswap as a way to help our members pass on their favorite books on other readers--and we still love that idea. However, we realized that to properly support and innovate bookswap required more love than we could give. In the end, we feel our focus and our strengths need to be applied elsewhere.

Over the next few weeks, you'll see several changes relating to Goodreads Bookswap as we gradually remove it from the site. The basic functionality will remain active until October 31. If you have unspent swap credits, you must use them before this date. Also, effective immediately, we will no longer be issuing new book credits for books shipped.

Since we know that many of you love to swap and will continue to do so, we'd like to encourage you to add your favorite swap site as a book link on your account. Most popular swap sites are already options, and all you'll have to do is click "add" as it appears next to the link. Additionally, you can now log into the popular site Bookcrossing with your Goodreads account. Feel free to recommend your favorite swap site below.

This is a sad moment, as the two thousand something of you who have used bookswap have by and large really enjoyed it. But the truth is that there are many other services that let people obtain books they want at a cheap price, and they do it better than we did. We're going to continue to focus on helping people find, discuss, and enjoy books - which is what we think we are good at. Perhaps we will revisit bookswap someday, but in the meantime we are very exited to work on improving other features, such as cataloging, groups, recommendations, and more.

We'd like to thank everyone who gave us feedback on our swap system. We really appreciate your passionate comments and suggestions. We'd also like to thank everyone who ever sent a book to another person. A good read in the mail a gift that keeps on giving.

41 likes · like

Comments (showing 1,001-1,050 of 1,107) (1107 new)


message 1001: by Dave (new)

Dave I'm just starting to use GR, and the "I own this" checkbox is an important part of using GR to maintain my home library. I have lots of books that I haven't read and I've read many many books that I don't own anymore. If bookswap does go away, will the "I own this" remain?


message 1002: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka Bookswap is gone. The I own this checkbox is here to stay.


message 1003: by KC (new)

KC Eileen wrote: "Yes, but those other sites don't have your catalog, your connections, nor the volume of folks that are on GRs. I've tried several of the other swap sites and while I like booksfreeswap the best of ..."

THIS. Exactly.


message 1004: by Gea (new)

Gea I'm disappointed with bookfreeswap. I just received a book in terrible condition. It was so beat up that I left it at the airport and bought another new one. Bookfreeswap takes a long time to get back to me and is nothing like Goodreads book swap. Oh well. Time to accept that it's over.


message 1005: by ★Kayla★ (new)

★Kayla★ I also tried the bookfreeswap. Not happy, I don't want to pay if someone wants my book. I only want to pay if I get a book. Sadly I hardly get on Goodreads any more..... :(


message 1006: by Hilary (new)

Hilary ★Kayla★ wrote: "I also tried the bookfreeswap. Not happy, I don't want to pay if someone wants my book. I only want to pay if I get a book. Sadly I hardly get on Goodreads any more..... :("
booksfreeswap, you don't pay to ship, you only pay to receive books. It is actually cheaper than GR was. The site is not as sophisticated as GR and I too miss GRbookswap, but I've had some good luck on booksfreeswap!


message 1007: by Cassy (new)

Cassy I am so bummed. I was ill, moved, then hacked so much that I could not get my own iPad sites back to me. Finally up and running, ready to swap the books I lovingly stored to swap- no more book swap! I even bought special tissue to store them. Any good sites left?


message 1008: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bookaholic booksfreeswap.com

It is the closest we have found to the gr swap. The receiver pays for the books. All the others, the shipper pays. I don't want to pay to send out books. :P

The shipping fees are actually less than gr was but the site isn't as 'pretty' either. They have changed a lot of stuff on the site since so many of us came over there. They are also very responsive to any questions and suggestions. You can friend me if you have any questions. I am Elysia over there too. :D

I use it and gr to keep up with my books. It is a pain having to use 2 sites instead of just one, but I have also gotten a LOT more books there than here.


message 1009: by Bridget (new)

Bridget ★Kayla★ wrote: "I also tried the bookfreeswap. Not happy, I don't want to pay if someone wants my book. I only want to pay if I get a book. Sadly I hardly get on Goodreads any more..... :("
You might have this mixed up with another site. Booksfreeswap shipping is paid by the requester, not the owner of the book. Paperbackswap does require the owner to pay. BFS is not a terrific as GR but GR is now sadly gone and this is the bes substitute I have found.


message 1010: by Lori (new)

Lori I'm bummed. I really liked bookswap on here.


message 1011: by Kristin (new)

Kristin ti amo wrote: "What??? I just got a Goodreads account! I've never even used the book swap! I have a huge shelf full of books I don't want. What am I supposed to do now?

Please reconsider!!!!"


Bookins.com


message 1012: by Lisa (new)

Lisa I've been using swap.com (formerly called swaptree) for years and it works GREAT!


message 1013: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Humphreys I like GoodReads. Is that ok to say? So much of the internet comes and goes; we get too attached. The Web is ephemeral.


message 1014: by Loucindy (new)

Loucindy Jeff, I like Goodreads, too. And I like your statement. (I was feeling the same way about this thread).


message 1015: by Gea (new)

Gea I love Goodreads!


message 1016: by Eileen (new)

Eileen But it isn't ok to give feedback about a decision GR made that has made it less shiney an experience for those who really used and valued swap, Jeff? Is that your message? GR made a decision and obviously many are disappointed and upset, so we should just remain silent? They made a decision, and folks are just giving feedback. Life isn't always a love fest.


message 1017: by Madeleine (new)

Madeleine Jeff wrote: "I like GoodReads. Is that ok to say? So much of the internet comes and goes; we get too attached. The Web is ephemeral."
Yes, this! Exactly this. A little positivity is a welcome change in this thread.

I, too, was quite upset when GR announced the impending demise of bookswap more than five months ago. I do miss how easy it was to integrate my wishlist with the rest of my bookshelves, since this was already my most-visited website (and still is). I miss the wide variety of offerings unique to this site's bookswap. I miss acquiring new-to-me books cheaply and the simple joy of coming home to a GR-labeled package waiting in my mail slot, especially at the end of a rough work day. I especially miss passing along a book I no longer want to someone who'll give it a happy new home.

But you know what? You can't always get what you want, everything is always changing, and.... uh, life goes on. There comes a time when you have to stop complaining about a function that required too much of the GR staff's time and resources, only to offer diminishing returns. Haven't you read the statements and explanations from both current and past GR employees explaining just how time-consuming swap was that are peppered throughout these 21 pages of comments? 'Cause, uh.... you don't get to complain when you can't deign to understand the logistics of what you're railing against.

Not everyone has the same easy access to both large and independent bookstores that so many of us enjoy. Some towns don't have a wealth of libraries and other lending resources available to them. Many, many people are living on a budget that doesn't allow for a voracious reader's appetite. There are countless difficult hurdles out there, sure, but there are just as many solutions to those problems if you want something badly enough. Shut your mouth and open your eyes long enough to consider new options.

If reading is that important to you, if you truly love having a wide selection of inexpensive new reading material, if you're an avid bookworm desperate for books, there comes a time when you have to find a way to satiate your literary love on your own. Start a book swap among friends. Find other similarly disappointed GR users and pool your bookish resources. BE ACTIVE. Not everything will always have an easy solution: Sometimes you have to expend a little effort to get what you want. It's usually worth it.


message 1018: by Meaghan (new)

Meaghan Can this come back now?


message 1019: by Wendi (new)

Wendi This website is now dead to me. What's the point?


message 1020: by Joel (new)

Joel Wendi wrote: "This website is now dead to me. What's the point?"

You sent five books via Bookswap in 2010, more than a year before Bookswap closed, and never received any yourself. Clearly the site was more or less dead to you already.


message 1021: by Wendi (new)

Wendi You're right. And with that snarky reply it is definitely dead to me now.
Wow! Great way to do business.


message 1022: by Joel (new)

Joel Wendi wrote: "You're right. And with that snarky reply it is definitely dead to me now.
Wow! Great way to do business."


your post wasn't snarky? you just popped in to tell us a site you barely use is now dead to you because it removed a function you hadn't used in over a year because you thought it was helpful and constructive criticism?

i don't work for goodreads.


message 1023: by KC (new)

KC Okay, kids. Settle down now.

Many of us - regardless of how frequently we used GR's Bookswap - are upset that it's gone. End of story. This is the thread for that. We can rant about it if we want to. Free country. However, we can also say how much we appreciate/like/love GR despite it. Although I think that a separate, "I love Goodreads" thread might be a better platform. I still love GR, but I'm not afraid to say that the loss of Bookswap has made it a less shiny experience for me.

Is that okay to say?

Now...can we all just get along?


message 1024: by Lee (new)

Lee Just to reinforce what a few other members have said:

paperbackswap.com

it's a great site to use!


message 1025: by KC (last edited Mar 12, 2012 06:21PM) (new)

KC Lee wrote: "Just to reinforce what a few other members have said:

paperbackswap.com

it's a great site to use!"


Yes, PBS is another option (and thank you to everyone who has provided alternatives/suggestions).

A word to some who are looking for a new swap site, though: PBS, as well as others, expect YOU to pay in order to SEND OUT a book that someone else wants (which didn't sit well with me, at all). Plus, I never just wrap a book in paper and hope it arrives in good shape (or that it doesn't get wet), so I also incur expenses for packaging materials in addition to postage costs. /rant

In MY opinion, one of the beauties of Goodreads' Bookswap - which made the system almost flawless - was the fact that the RECIPIENT paid for what they wanted, whether it was 1 book or 5. I simply packaged my outgoing books, weighed them (when there was a discrepancy), printed the pre-paid label (which Goodreads provided), and off they went. That little part of the process made Goodreads' Bookswap SUPERIOR to other sites' swap system. And it's one BIG reason why many of us regular (former) Bookswap users are STILL bummed that it went away.


message 1026: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka Kasey, have you tried Booksfreeswap? While their website is not as pretty as GR's, the way it works is pretty similar. The recipient pays, not the sender, and you can get multiple books at once from a single sender to save on postage.


message 1027: by Alan (new)

Alan Chen I'd like to make 3 comments:

1) Re: Paid bookswapping sites - Yes, you do have to pay to ship or receive books. However, I look at it this way. The books I want to send out are usually common enough that they're worth pennies. If I can send them out for less than $4 total (which is the cost of a $0.01 book on Amazon w/shipping) and then use the credit to get a book that's worth more (say, a book worth $10), then I've come out ahead.

2) Off topic, but try DealOz.com. It's a website aggregator that finds the lowest price for books (among other things), both new and used, that takes into account discounts and shipping.

3) Wow, vocal minority? Good grief, why are you still on this discussion board more than 5 months after the swap closed? You gave your feedback. Nothing has changed. I think it's time to move on.


message 1028: by KC (new)

KC rivka wrote: "Kasey, have you tried Booksfreeswap? While their website is not as pretty as GR's, the way it works is pretty similar. The recipient pays, not the sender, and you can get multiple books at once fro..."

Thank you, rivka. I'll admit to looking it over but not really reading the fine print. I'll take a good look at it this weekend as I've got a truckload of books to unload.


message 1029: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey B I JUST DID MY BOOK SWAP! but now I'm just going to create a shelf and label it 'books I own'... mhahahah


message 1030: by Natalie (new)

Natalie I feel EXACTLY the same way!!!!!!!!!

Lauren wrote: "April wrote: "So...what's the point of this website now?"

EXACTLY!!!!!

Dude!!! It's like Borders closing all over again... I think I might cry :("



message 1031: by Marc (last edited Mar 22, 2012 07:36PM) (new)

Marc Saying it's not the focus of the website is kind of silly, since many great websites come out of developing into an idea through its users. Facebook, one of the most widely-used websites today, was designed to be a social networking website. However, its creators didn't know anything about the specifics of the website. They let it evolve and went with what the users requested/molded it into.

Although I'm not a big user of this website, and certainly won't be after this, it seems counter-intuitive and simply just bad business to not do something that sells. Case in point: everyone here is disappointed about the change but the company thinks it's a good idea to not pursue it.

This decision is merely a prime example of a business that has no idea what it's doing. There are FAR too many web-based businesses that make awful decisions and fall to the wayside.


message 1032: by Bridget (new)

Bridget You so nailed what is wrong with this decision. I could not have said it better. When you ignore your customers, it is at your own peril. I still visit the site as I have my library recorded here and like to keep track of books I buy and read. I looked at it 3-4 times a day with the swap. Now it is once every couple of days. That must mean something!!


message 1033: by Kim (new)

Kim I am still desperately missing the Bookswap!! I do continue to use the site, but not as much as I did before. Hopefully the decision to close that part of Goodreads could be reconsidered...I am sure there would be even more traffic to this website if the Bookswap was opened back up again!! :)


message 1034: by Gea (new)

Gea I still miss it too! I have not been able to find an adequate alternative. I use bookfreeswap to give my books away (8 so far), but the one book I received from them was in such bad shape I left it at the airport and bought a new one. Their selection is very limited and half the books listed on their site are not available. It is quite frustrating. Can't find another book swap site as nice as Goodreads. Oh well. As the Buddha says, everything is impermanent. Someday Goodreads may be gone as well.


message 1035: by Cassy (new)

Cassy I just signed up for that- while I was looking for a good home for my books, I had hoped to get some back. I am so glad I read this post. I do not think that is the place!

I am still in the market for a place like this WAS.


message 1036: by Gea (new)

Gea Cassy wrote: "I just signed up for that- while I was looking for a good home for my books, I had hoped to get some back. I am so glad I read this post. I do not think that is the place!

I am still in the marke..."


Cassy,

Maybe you'll have better luck than I did. Don't let me dissuade you from trying. We might read a different type of books. Good luck searching. If you find anything, let me know.


message 1037: by Hilary (new)

Hilary Cassy wrote: "I just signed up for that- while I was looking for a good home for my books, I had hoped to get some back. I am so glad I read this post. I do not think that is the place!

I am still in the marke..."

I've been on booksfreeswap since December '11. I've had great luck (you can check my shelves) with titles and quality. I think like any swap site you will receive books in poor quality (not as requested) but in my experience (and I've used almost all) it is very limited. As stated in previous posts booksforfree is not a sophisticated of a site as GR but I love that you only pay when you receive a book, and I think the total price ends up being cheaper than GR.


message 1038: by Hilary (new)

Hilary Oh and should you need them, I've heard that their customer service is wonderful.


message 1039: by Gea (new)

Gea Hilary wrote: "Cassy wrote: "I just signed up for that- while I was looking for a good home for my books, I had hoped to get some back. I am so glad I read this post. I do not think that is the place!

I am stil..."

I just checked your book list and saw that I sent you 1Q84. You do have some good stuff on there. Maybe I need to check the site more often.


message 1040: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bookaholic I have found a lot of good books on there and have only had trouble once so far. If you check the incoming books listed on the home page, you will probably find a lot more than if you just wait for books to arrive from your wish list.

I use it in conjunction with GR. Not as convenient as when the book swap was here, but still workable. I definitely still use GR on a daily basis. I also use the reviews before deciding to get books on the booksfreeswap.com site.

Elysia is my name over there too if you want to friend me. I would be happy to help answer any questions about how the site works.

As mentioned, the customer service there rocks and they have made a LOT of improvements since last Oct.


message 1041: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Can you at least add owned books to the lists of our friends books that we can see. We may not be able to swap with strangers anymore, but we could at least quickly see what our friends had available that we may be able to borrow.


message 1042: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka Books your friends own is still a functioning tab on the friends page, which you can reach by clicking the friends icon (pair of heads just to the left of your profile link on the top right of every page).


message 1043: by Kelly (new)

Kelly rivka wrote: "Books your friends own is still a functioning tab on the friends page, which you can reach by clicking the friends icon (pair of heads just to the left of your profile link on the top right of ever..."

Thank you , I never use that page I always looked at my friends individually


message 1044: by Cassy (new)

Cassy I am pleading for help.. I thought I added at least 200 books to my shelves here. Someone sent a message that said could I at least let others see them so we could swap- I thought I did that! I am obviously doing something wrong. It said to click a link to respond to her directly, but when I did , I was just on the regular opening page. I guess because I answered on the iphone, but did the list on the ipad.

Would I be better linking this to facebook?


message 1045: by Cassy (new)

Cassy So no one can see my shelves unless they are my friend. I could have sworn when I found this you saw each others shelves. It was probably an update.


And I can not get to my profile page. I try. No luck.


Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide) Can we PLEASE get this back!? I've been trying to use other sites for months now and they're terrible. I miss Bookswap so badly :(


message 1047: by Sheila (new)

Sheila I have to admit that I have been hoping that the Amazon issue earlier this year had a small something to do with Goodreads decision to shutter Bookswap, so I have been hoping that they would decide to eventually bring it back now that they had broke free of the amazon contract.

Plus, Patrick in his original post above this thread, said we have made the sad decision to put Goodreads Bookswap on indefinite hiatus.

indefinate: Lasting for an unknown length of time
hiatus: A pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process

So based on that, I am going to keep hoping! A pause of an unknown length of time doesn't sound like a definate, permanent thing, and makes me hold out hope for it eventually returning. :o)


message 1048: by Micah (new)

Micah Wow this sucks i love goodreads bookswap


message 1049: by Bridget (new)

Bridget I also mourn the loss of Bookswap. I still think Booksfreeswap.com is the closest next best. I have swapped over 50 books. Choices aren't as large, but as more members join, this should improve. Recipient pays for shipping and Sender just prints the label (same as Bookswap) I really miss the sophistication of Goodreads site.


message 1050: by Jessica (new)

Jessica this still sucks!


back to top