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Another Site for Literary Types

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Was there ever a site that sucks more than MySpace? I thought not. And yet, I’m there all the time because somehow, it’s become the social site. Who will rid me of this troublesome site? If I see one more error message – that’s being reported to their crack team of support staff, natch – I’m afraid I’ll puke.

In other news, it’s cold here in Houston – and rainy, too. We’re supposed to have ice and sleet tonight, and I find it kind of ironic that here that’s big news, but any Yank worth their salt wouldn’t bat an eye at this forecast. (That salt thing was a pun. You people that get snow on a regular basis understand.) Yet here in Houston, schools and businesses are closing. I believe it’s mostly because hardly any of us know how to drive on this stuff. I know I don’t. By staying home, I’m doing my part to keep my neighbors safe.

Being cooped up in the house gives me the perfect opportunity to visit new sites and write about them, though. (Although, we’ve been having a lot of trouble with our Time Warner Cable connection today. We’re blaming it on the weather.)

I see that the last review I did before my Blogger-imposed hiatus was Myvelopes.com. Sadly, Myvelopes has gone to join – to use one of TechCrunch’s phrases – the dead pool. Myvelopes, an online budgeting site based on the envelope method, had a great idea, but as I mentioned in my review, the payment options left a lot to be desired, especially when you consider the fact that people that take the time to track their money are probably a bit more budget-conscious than their less frugal counterparts.Note: The only thing that’s gone to the deadpool is my brain. Mvelopes.com is still very much alive and doing well. Maybe I should budget for a full neurological exam.

And speaking of frugal, allow me to introduce you to FrugalReader.com, a book swapping site that I was turned on to via LibraryThing. (A fantastic book cataloging site that was reviewed here in August.) Although there are several other book swapping sites (Bookins, PaperBack Swap, Book Mooch, Title Trader, What’s on My Bookshelf) I find I like FrugalReader the best, even if it doesn’t integrate with LibraryThing’s real-time swap status. Part of that is because it’s so easy to use. There are no complicated points algorithms to figure out; generally speaking, paperbacks cost one point and hardcovers two. For example, I currently have ten books on my shelf available for trading – nine paperbacks and one hardcover. This gives me a total 11 points with which to “buy” books. (Plus, if you list at least nine books when you sign up, you’ll get an extra two points.) You can also buy points, or credits, a service that I don’t think any of the other book swap sites offer. This is significant as it allows you to get up and running right away, instead of having to mail umpteen books and then waiting for them to be marked “received.”

Accounts are offered in two flavors; standard and premium. The standard account is free and includes everything you need to get started. The premium account includes extras, like being able to get first dibs on books as they become available, restricting who you’ll trade with, assigning custom points values to your available books, and discounted rates when purchasing credits. For more information, visit their How It Works page.

Note: LibraryThing has another competitor. Shelfari, a slick, Flash-based book cataloging site, boasts a beautiful design and great import features, however, it lacks the depth and friendliness of LT. Still, it’s a site to watch.

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1 Comment

  1. Jeane says:

    Paperback Swap also lets you purchase points to get books, though I’ve never used it.

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