Book swapping or book exchange is the practice of a swap of books between one person and another. Practiced among book groups, friends and colleagues at work, it provides an inexpensive way for people to exchange books, find out about new books and obtain a new book to read without having to pay. Because swaps occur between individuals, without central distribution or warehousing, and without the copyright owner making a profit, the practice has been compared to peer-to-peer (P2P) systems such as BitTorrent—except that hard-copy original analog objects are exchanged.
College book exchange programs
Many colleges and universities have developed online book exchange programs to help students save money on text books. Some colleges build their own systems and others use systems from third party service providers.
Hostel book exchange shelves
This is a frequent practice among the youth hostels around the world. Many of them have a special shelf where they keep books in various languages, and the travellers can leave one and take one with them.
- Paperbackswap, an online book swapping site
- BookMooch, an online book swapping site
- ReadItSwapIt, an online book swapping site
- BookCrossing, an online book swapping site
- Little Free Library, trading posts that offer free books, housed in small containers, to members of the local community
- WhatsOnMyBookshelf, an online book swapping site
- Collaborative consumption, a trend describing similar swapping and lending organizations
- Netcycler, an online swap service for secondhand goods
- Badlkitabk | بدل كتابك, an Arabic social network for book swapping
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