Readers Cut Back On Expenses By Bartering Books - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Readers Cut Back On Expenses By Bartering Books

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During this recession, people across the country are cutting back on their expenses by swapping books. One San Diego woman shows us how.

Books have cast a spell over Stacy Magic. From world history to Harry Potter, Stacy collects them all. The problem is the price and balancing reading during a recession.

"I can't go past a bookstore without going in and buying books," Stacy said.

So two years ago Stacy discovered an online library of sorts called Bookins.com. It's a free book swapping service that's pretty simple: pick out a book and that book is mailed to your house. It doesn't matter if it's big or small, new or old. The price never changes.

"It's $4.49 for shipping, period," Stacy said.

Take, for instance, if Stacy would have bought a Harry Potter book at a store.

"I would have paid $34.99 plus tax, but you get the gook for $4.49," she said.

Stacy says it's a give and take system, meaning you have to ship your books off to strangers as well. You can also print postage right off the website.

"I would just put it in here, cut out the label, close it up and drop it in a mailbox," Stacy said.

According to Bookins.com, membership is free, with 40,000 now bartering books - a 25 percent spike in business during this recession alone.

"I would highly recommend it, it's great," Stacy said.

Stacy says most of the books are in pristine condition, but just one of the 60 books she traded reeked of cigarettes. She asked for a refund and received it immediately.

Stacy says she has saved more than $1,000 using Bookins.com for books and DVDs.

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